Custom Home Construction - Vancouver Island

Custom Home Construction - Vancouver Island

Our Services

Primary Services

Design and Build: Watercress has a unique “round table” approach to developing a design, taking you from the first conceptual stages through to detailed working drawings.Through the involvement of appropriate professionals, trades and suppliers at the early stages, options can be developed and incorporated that would be impossible later without complex and costly changes.

Custom Build: Watercress will build a custom home from drawings and specifications already completed and supplied by the Client, Architect or Design Professional.  If you wish, we are happy to consult, review or make comment to a design already completed or in progress.  Our approach is respectful of all involved and the work completed, with interest to bring additional thought and building perspective.

Renovations: Supply professional services (consultation, design, planning etc) and appropriate craftsmen to modify, adapt or extend existing structures.

Consultation: We are pleased to provide consultation for any stage of the process you may be at or, if you are simply considering a project of some type.  Discussion from within the industry on process, design and other considerations can be helpful to gain perspective.  We offer an initial consultation at no charge.

Round Table Design/Build - Overview

From years of working in the field we came to realize that there was a better approach to the design and building process of a home than the traditional.  We could envision a natural way of developing design with real world inputs on cost and ideas from those who, in the end, would construct the project.  We also appreciated there was great knowledge, experience and talent in many quarters not traditionally drawn from.  The trick was to bring this talent together in a managed process under one umbrella.  This is what we have done, bringing a Team Approach to the design, budgeting and construction of a project.  Because these are completed simultaneously, they become integrated.

Round Table Design/Build - Comparison


  • Responsibility lies with one entity – we, the builder, from start to finish.
  • Engages you with a team of professionals from the outset.
  • An efficient and effective process, gleaming valuable input from trades, suppliers and individuals not traditionally involved in design. This avoids changes driven by new and valuable ideas, from these people, during the build.
  • Design, detailing and pricing are completed simultaneously, allowing for well informed decisions, and adjustments to be made early, prior to completion of working drawings.
  • Accurate detailing to your specific interests, minimizing change orders.
  • Refinement of mature ideas and valuable approaches is possible through exchange and synergy of ALL involved.
  • Consistency is created through participation of the same individuals from the earliest ideas to completion.
  • Everyone works from the same “side of the fence”. This supports working together to achieve quality, while examining costs and finding efficiencies.

We invite you to explore the details of this approach with us.





  • The Owner carries full management responsibility unless an architect is hired to handle all aspects of design and construction supervision.
  • The Owner works singularly with the architect or designer.
  • The builder, trades and suppliers are not involved until the build stage, which often draws changes from their valuable input and experience.  Some benefits may not be possible because it is too late.
  • The complete design and working drawings are completed prior to going to bid.  Should tenders be higher than expected, significant redrawing is typically required, back to the concept stage, to re-price.
  • Specifications are often generic or non-existent, attracting wide variations to bid inclusions.  The Owner’s final selections that differ from the bid will drive change orders.
  • Synergy is typically limited to the Owner and architect or designer.
  • Design is completely separate from the building activity.  This usually creates lost continuity of ideas, intent and nuance into the build that have been developed and considered during the design.
  • Once off the drawings board, participants work from “opposite sides of the fence”, driven by ‘more for less’ and ‘less for more’.  This is a tough environment to achieve high quality within.


watercress_services_pdf_iconDetailed Discussion of Design / Build VS Design / Tender / Build

Round Table Design/Build - Summary

Our "Round Table Process" has the unique character of reaching to trades, suppliers and consultants for real world answers, ideas and collaboration.  This "working together" draws richer results through the natural synergy of all working to a single goal.  It is a Team Approach; lead, but not dominated, but one entity - Watercress Developments.

We invite you to call to discuss your thoughts, ideas or interests.