About Me – a. J. Muir Design
Thanks for taking the time to visit my “About Me” page. I wanted to include some information to help people get to know me and my background a bit better. Below I have provided a brief biography of my carer. please take some time to read through it and let me know if you have any questions.
In 2017 I celebrated my 30th year in the design and construction industry. During this time I have experienced many things, and continue to learn and develop my skills. Hopefully I can put my unique experience to work on your next project.
Please see Design Services for my specific areas of expertise.
I was born and raised in White Rock and the South Surrey Peninsula. I went to Semiahmoo Senior High and graduated in 1989. My parents had lived in the area since the late 1960’s where my father first began his home design and construction company called Tree House Design. I began to work for my father’s company in 1987, which was located on the waterfront in White Rock at the time. I would walk down to his office every day after school and work for several hours. I started learning drafting and design along with selling stock plan catalogs and making blueprints.
After I graduated from high school I worked full time for my father as a draftsman but eventually realized I would benefit from hands-on experience. I worked for a small framing contractor for a year or so before returning to work for my father as a design-builder. During that period we provided design-build services for many renovations and new homes in the Langley, Surrey and White Rock area.
I spent a significant amount of time with our framing contractor and ended up working for him framing large custom homes. Eventually he partnered with a local builder and I became the site superintendent who would build the homes after the crew had completed the forming and framing. This was a very successful model until the market took a significant downturn around 1993. With the residential sector at a virtual stand-still I made the move to a local commercial construction company called KDS Construction.
For the next ten years I worked as a commercial site superintendent and specialized in design-build tenant improvements. During this time I also became certified as a journeyman carpenter. As the company grew I spent less time designing and more time building very specialized projects including institutional and government buildings. During this period I completed a seismic upgrade to a 90 year old school, built the diagnostic imaging department at Surrey Memorial Hospital, and built the LEED Gold accredited White Rock Operations Building.
Eventually I felt the need to return to my roots and focus on design. In 2003 I began working for an architect named Mark Ankenman in Crescent Beach. My task was to take a residential design company he had started and make it a viable separate entity for residential design and subdivision design consulting. I found office space in a building nearby and then designed and built the new office. When complete, I co-managed the design company with me as the head of the Residential Design section and my co-manager as the head of the Subdivision Design Consulting section.
Working in Crescent Beach was like a dream come true but in the back of my mind a voice told me that I was meant to work for myself. In 2004 I started my own design company and hung out my shingle. I provided contract design services to the general public and also to other local designers. My relationship with one such designer, Raymond Bonter, grew very quickly and I have had very close ties with him since then and continue this mutually beneficial relationship today and into the future.