Dwellings to fit your lifestyle.

Custom-crafted, residential dwellings in the style of Arts & Crafts, Country, and Traditional. Timeless design dovetailed with the latest in technology.

Abacus Designs

What our customers say…

I've had the privilege of working with James and his crew on 3 different custom home projects. James and his staff are knowledgable, hardworking and have a good grasp of all design intricacies. I like the fact that James can easily transition from his design to the actual build. Each project has been a smooth and enjoyable experience!! Looking forward to the next one!

Marc & Margaret Schutten, Carlisle

Our decision to use Abacus Designs as our builder was based on positive comments from some of their previous customers. We have to say, we are very happy with the house we received from James and the Boys!

From the design stage, through the construction stage to even the move in stage they proved themselves to be competent, ethical and pleasant.

As a business owner, who works in several areas of construction, I have to say it was a pleasure to hire James and the Boys and see their work ethic and craftsmanship. We recommend Abacus to everyone we can!

Ken & Ginny Hulleman, Flamborough

We highly recommend Abacus Designs! We have used Abacus Designs for two major renovations on our 1950’s home. When starting the process, they listened to our needs and came up with designs to meet those needs. The end product definitely exceeded our expectations!

No reno is without its challenges, however the team made every effort to make both renovation experiences as pleasurable and stress-free as possible. When issues with making changes to our old home cropped up, they were quick to contact us and provide us with options for a resolution. We were so pleased with the work they did on our kitchen, and main floor, we did not bother to talk to any other contractors, and went straight back to Abacus Designs, when it was time to do our addition and bathrooms. We plan to add another small addition in the future and will be calling Abacus Designs once again to work on our home.

All members of the Abacus Designs team are excellent craftsmen! They are very professional, trustworthy, and friendly. They were on time and showed up like clockwork. If they were going to be late, they would let us know. We found this very reassuring when leaving our home in their care. The job site was always left tidy and clean.

Our renovations were completed on time and within budget! Thank you, Abacus Designs, for your excellent designs and workmanship! We appreciate the care you took with our home!

Mark & Liz Schroeder, Waterdown

We Specialize in…

Design & Consultation Home Renovations Custom Home Build Additions Kitchen Renovations Bathroom Renovations Pool Houses
  • Design & Consultation

    Design & Consultation

    Design collaboration for a home that is all you.

    If your dream is to live in a home that is not only strong on timeless design and craftsmanship, but where you know you’ve been a creative force in its design, Abacus Designs may be for you. Through a consultative design process, homes are custom-developed with you in the driver’s seat. We bring a great range of construction, architectural and design expertise to the table, which results in a final design plan that is technically accurate and unquestionably sound.

    Whether you have a detailed plan in mind or a handful of ideas, we’ll develop a home build design that allows for a clear, problem-free construction phase. And because the design plan is developed by a architectural designer that's also a builder, plans include the important on-the-ground construction expertise and knowledge of the relevant issues that prevent problems later on.

  • Home Renovations

    Home Renovations

    Are you ready for a fresh new space – and a fresh new appreciation of your whole home?

    Abacus Designs offers the easiest route to a spectacular new space by being a single source for the completion of your entire project. From the full design to the final details, we ensure your renovation is well coordinated and completed to the highest standards. We work from a base of traditional craftsmen’s principles and incorporate the best in new technologies where it will enhance your living.

    We bring both strategic design ideas and construction expertise to deliver a renovation that turns your wish list into a home that feels spacious, functional and fully transformed.

    One of the key features of the renovation is that the family usually lives in the home during construction. Abacus keeps this front of mind when planning out project phases and operating day-to-day, so that noise, disruption and mess are kept as minimal as possible. And all materials and specialty trades are carefully scheduled to keep the project running efficiently and on track.

  • Custom Home Build

    Custom Home Build

    A home to love for generations.

    Abacus Design brings almost 20 years of residential construction experience, specializing in traditional craftsmen’s methods and styles that blend beautifully with the natural surroundings. We look to new technologies to provide vastly improved functionality where we can, like energy efficient windows and doors or fully wireless hvac and entertainment systems, and we’re selective in bringing in only those that meet the standards of excellence we’re known for.

    It’s our belief that the best homes are a true expression of the homeowners, but better than they ever imagined. Whether you’ve established your list of must-haves or are looking for smart recommendations, like ways to maximize interior light or create multi-use spaces, we’ll work together to design an inspired plan for your best living.

    Working with Abacus means you have the peace of mind of dealing with a single contact to take care of it all. We’ll keep you informed on project progress, guide you through the decisions as they’re needed, handle any permit acquisitions, and then move through construction meticulously and efficiently.

    You can have every confidence going into an Abacus project knowing that we stand behind every part of our work. Our guarantee, as you’ll see in our contract, simply covers everything: for a period of two years from project completion, if you have any concern with something designed and built by Abacus, just let us know and we will make it right.

  • Additions


    Ready to start living large?

    An addition is a great way to get the space and functionality you're looking for while staying in the home and neighbourhood you love. A smart design for extra square footage can often address multiple uses as well as living space improvements throughout the whole house. Abacus Designs brings creative design expertise from the perspective of a builder’s knowledge of what works, to make additions that benefits your unique needs.

    An addition is a significant architectural change to a home. Let us ensure it’s a change that integrates properly – aesthetically and structurally. We can help you assess possible sites and sizes for an addition, based on property characteristics and home layout, and then flawlessly incorporate the structure to work with the home’s heating, plumbing and electricity. We ensure that your addition is one that adds great value to your life at home as well as longstanding value to the home itself.

  • Kitchen Renovations

    Kitchen Renovations

    Inspired design for inspired living.

    Often the headquarters of the home, the kitchen is the room where it’s crucial to get it right, not just for aesthetics but for functionality and versatility. Design needs to incorporate the many possible uses – socializing, casual dining, message centre, entertaining, office and homework areas – as well as cooking and style preferences. We enter into each new kitchen as an exciting design challenge, an opportunity to find the perfect combination of layout and components for your unique combination of needs.

    We understand how crucial it is for a kitchen renovation to be completed as efficiently as possible. Abacus adheres to the strictest standards of craftsmanship while carefully managing the work process. Clear, detailed timelines, proper material ordering and trades scheduling all work to prevent delays and cost overruns, as well as minimize disruption for the homeowner.

  • Bathroom Renovations

    Bathroom Renovations

    Time for a personal space that truly refreshes?

    For a room that demands a great deal of service for a relatively small amount of square footage, the bathroom is one that has got to work well – and feel great! We can offer insightful layout ideas and provide the best in fixtures and features to make it work beautifully. From wall relocations, electrical and plumbing to drywall, tiling and finish carpentry, we’ll take care of every detail of your project.

    Whether you need an updated look or simply need more space, a bathroom makeover with Abacus is one that will continue to reward every day.

  • Pool Houses

    Pool Houses

    Say hello to great indoor-outdoor living!

    Today’s pool houses are a lot more than utilitarian spaces for hiding pool equipment – they can be anything from an outdoor bar and dining area to a luxury resort–style lounging room, to a summer cabin for overnight guests! And the architectural design possibilities are limitless, so we can easily reflect the backyard feel and lifestyle you’re looking for.

    Give us a call to discuss the backyard addition you’re thinking of, the uses you might like it to serve (and it can be many!), and the styles you like. We’re happy to come and look at your outdoor space, make recommendations if needed, and give an estimate of cost. And because we are a residential home builder, there’s no question it will be a structure built to last.

About Us

Custom-crafted, residential dwellings in the style of Arts & Crafts, Country, and Traditional. Timeless design dovetailed with the latest in technology.

Abacus Designs specializes in custom-built homes, additions, renovations and restorations.

What sets Abacus apart from other companies is the personal involvement of our principal, James Poort, throughout the entire process. James is both designer and craftsman which gives him unique ideas along with practical insights for whatever challenges present themselves in a new custom home or renovation.

James listens intently to his clients and then, with a little wit and hard-won wisdom, he engineers each and every important decision that needs to be made.

New design trends and ideas are readily embraced at Abacus but not before being evaluated for their integrity, functionality and longevity. When it comes to design, James leans more towards the traditional and timeless but when it comes to technology he is a big proponent of "the new." Leveraging the latest technologies to realize energy efficiencies and improve the quality of the living space is just one more of the signature features of an Abacus design.

A home is the most significant and sizable investment most people will ever make. James takes great care in stewarding this investment wisely, giving clients exactly what they want.

Our Promise

2-year workmanship warranty on everything we touch.

  • James Poort


Our History

Abacus Designs was founded close to 20 years ago by James Poort, a man whose faith shapes the company's commitment to standards of excellence and ethical business practices.

Abacus values time-honoured traditions and practices while keeping an open mind to new products, materials and techniques. This has allowed Abacus Designs to evolve and expand over the past decades to meet the demands of the growing markets of the western greater Toronto area (GTA), the regions of Niagara and Kitchener/Waterloo.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

776 Middletown Road
Waterdown, Ontario L8B 1P4

Service Area

Western Greater Toronto area (GTA) and the regions of Niagara, West Lincoln and Kitchener/Waterloo.

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