Saskatoon’s Skyline Designs expands to larger offices in Riversdale

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“We’re in the middle between being a conventional drafter and a full-blown architectural firm,” says owner Jared Pylatuik.

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Businesses and non-profit organizations regularly open and move in Saskatoon. Today the StarPhoenix talks to Jared Pylatuik, who originally opened Skyline Designs nine years ago while working another job. More recently he expanded Skyline to a larger space near River Landing to accommodate more staff.

Pylatuik, just 33 years old, has seen his firm complete over 500 projects in the drafting and design area. Skyline helps many first-time homebuyers design their dream home, as well as working with others in designing new homes, cabins, farmhouses, renovations, additions, tenant fix-ups and commercial builds. They were recently nominated for two awards at the 32nd Housing Excellence Awards in February.

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Skyline Designs
Skyline Designs’ owner Jared Pylatuik, left, and designers/drafters Nick McKenzie and Kendra Senchuk in their office near River Landing on April 5, 2024. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Q: What does Skyline Designs do?

A: We’re a drafting and design firm. We do about 80 per cent residential projects and about 20 per cent commercial. We’re kind of getting a little more into commercial work now. We do drafting, drawing, packages and designs and some 3-D renderings and visuals as well.

Q: What makes you stand out?

A: We’re in the middle between being a conventional drafter and a full-blown architectural firm. We want to be in the middle of that. The advantage is that you’re getting a lot more out of our service than just a regular drafter, but you’re not paying the sky-high fees of the architects in town. There’s not a lot of competition in town for what we’re doing. There’s people doing big jobs, like malls and hospital additions and stuff, and then there’s other people just doing house plans. So we’re kind of trying to find our niche in the middle.

Our biggest focus is on customer service. We always try and go over and above just to make sure that everyone’s happy. We’ve got a number of five-star Google reviews that back that up — there’s 63 on there right now.

Q: Why did you open Skyline Designs in the first place?

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A: I was working for a bigger commercial drafting and architecture firm but was doing house plans for family and friends on the side and enjoyed it. It started growing. Just for fun I wanted to create a logo and get a proper business licence. It just kept gaining momentum.

Q: Why did you move to your bigger space near River Landing?

A: The biggest thing was just having a place for staff to be comfortable. Also we wanted to create more of a brand so it felt more official. This is where we do operations, it’s not just run out of someone’s house or a co-working space or something like that.

Q: Do you tailor services to people less experienced in home building?

A: Yes. A lot of our clients are newer to the industry. They are just looking to build their first house. They don’t know where to start with anything. It’s an overwhelming process, so we like to help educate them about the process and where to go after they’re done getting the drawings made with us. We help them along with that. We’re the first point of contact for them.

We recommend different builders they can go to for the next step. We don’t actually have any official partnerships with builders, but we have a few that we would put our stamp on.

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Q: Are there other services you offer?

A: We have a list of services that we offer assistance with. For instance, engineering. We don’t do engineering in house, but we offer that as one of our services and contract the work out to a few different engineers in town. As well as engineering, we do that with energy modelling.

Virtual tours are something that we’re playing with. We brought a virtual tour to the recent HomeStyles 2024 as something that people could try out. We’re testing it right now.

Q: What is your architecture background?

A: When I was growing up, my dad was a builder. So I was always around it. We grew up on an acreage. He always had little projects on the go that I’d help him out with. Then by late high school I was figuring out what I wanted to do. I started getting into construction a little bit because I liked it. I ended up meeting an architect on one of the job sites and I talked to him. That’s how I got into it. I went to Sask. Polytechnic in Moose Jaw, where they offer an architectural technologist diploma.

Nick McKenzie is the first person I hired. He did the same program as I did, just at SAIT in Alberta. He was working at a landscaping design firm before this. He brings an interesting element to the table in terms of site planning, and things like that.

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Kendra Senchuk was hired in mid-January. She went to the Moose Jaw course, the same one I did. She’s worked at a number of different residential homebuilders. She has a good experience level.

Q: What is the process for a client looking to build?

A: The first thing that we would typically do with a client is have them come into the office and bring some sketches and photos of houses they like, and tell us what they want to do, what their dreams are, and what their budget is. Then we go through a few questions with them. We’ll create a first draft of a design. Once we send that out to them, we’ll meet them again to see what they like and don’t like. We go back and forth until we get to a place where everyone’s happy. Then we’ll add all the details, involve the engineers and energy modellers, whoever is required. At that stage, too, sometimes we’ll get some pricing from different builders. After that we finalize the drawings and they’re off to the races. We keep the lines of communication open after that with our clients in case there are any issues with permitting or if the builders wanted to make any adjustments on site.

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Q: How long does it take to design a typical set of drawings?

A: From first meeting to final stamped drawings it takes anywhere between six weeks to four months. It depends on how much back and forth there is, and how complicated it is. Sometimes someone will come in and they know exactly what they want. Other times there’s lots to think about and lots to change.

Q: How did you come up with the name Skyline Designs?

A: Skylines were always something I was fascinated in. My grandparents lived near Wadena, and every time we drive back home when I was a kid, there was one hill that would show the whole city and you could see the skyline of the buildings. Any time I go travelling I always like to try and get a good picture of the skyline that identifies a city. It’s a cool thing that I’ve always been fascinated with. It seems like a great fit for my company.

Q: You have been nominated for some recent awards?

A: We were nominated for best rendering and for best virtual tour at 32nd Housing Excellence Awards in February. We were among the finalists, and were happy to be nominated.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Skyline Designs

Owners: Jared Pylatuik
Address: 207 — 120 Sonnenschein Way
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: 306-717-4096
Email: [email protected]
Website: skylinedesigns.ca
Check: Facebook, Linked In

Skyline Designs' owner Jared Pylatuik (left) and designers/drafters Nick McKenzie and Kendra Senchuk in their office near River Landing. Their firm offers custom house and office design by a team that will take you through the process of and complete all necessary drawings. Photo taken in Saskatoon, Sask. on Friday, April 5, 2024.
Skyline Designs’ owner Jared Pylatuik, right, with designers/drafters Nick McKenzie and Kendra Senchuk in their office near River Landing. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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