Each project is unique, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to fees and services on our journey together. Everything is scoped out and split into stages, so you’re able to plan well ahead.
Follow my 8 ‘simple’ steps below for details on how we achieve the dream together – and keep your mind at ease throughout.
Step 1 – The Meet & Greet
This initial meeting is our first opportunity to get to know each other. We’ll go over what you’re looking for, your ideas, any must-haves – and any must-not-haves! We’ll also talk about potential planning constraints, your budget, timeline, and of course, we’ll start talking design possibilities.
It’s best if this meeting happens on site, however, if that’s not possible, we can meet at my office.
Step 2 – Fee Proposal
Once the scope of works has been established, I’ll prepare a proposal for you. This will include a summary of your project brief and a breakdown of the design stages with their associated fees.
Step 3 – Site Analysis
To start the design work, I’ll visit your site again for a building and photographic survey of the site, existing structures and surrounds.
I’ll also arrange the required survey report, utilities check, and review council regulations and controls relevant to the property.
Step 4 – Sketch Design
Following the analysis, I’ll prepare concept and sketch design drawings for your review and approval. These will include plans, elevations and cross-sections as well as 3D imagery to help you visualise the project. This stage may involve some back and forth – toing and froing.
At this stage, with the design essentially complete, I’ll recommend you start talking with potential builders to obtain initial building cost estimates. This will give you further peace of mind, knowing the design is within your budget. If you like, I can put you in touch with reputable builders.
Step 5 – Design Development & Planning Approval (Development Application ‘DA’)
With the sketch design approved and the budget confirmed, within reason, I refine the design and engage any additional consultants needed to meet council’s requirements or that we feel may benefit the project. This is where I also prepare the necessary documentation to council standards for your final approval.
Once approved, I submit all of the applications, including any consultants’ documents to council. During the assessment process, I continue to liaise with the approving body, providing additional information if required.
Step 6 – Services Coordination & Building Approval (Construction Certificate ‘CC’)
Once council’s DA consent is received, I review the Conditions and engage the required consultants. This is the final stage of the design, where I ensure the architecture and the engineering are fully integrated.
During this stage, I coordinate consultants and their documentation for you, including structural and services engineers and any other specialists required. At the same time, we refine the design further as we investigate it at a more detailed level, with larger-scale drawings. I also prepare a basic exterior finishes schedule, cross referencing to the drawings.
The next round of documentation is submitted to a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA), and I liaise with the PCA as required.
Once approved, I can also provide you with suitable builder details for tender, review responses with you, and conduct a value engineering exercise if required. This can be based on the Construction Certificate documentation alone, or you can move to the following detailed design stage with the preparation of more detailed documentation for tender.
NB: Steps 5 and 6 are combined if the project is suitable for Complying Development.
Step 7 – Detailed Design & Construction Documentation
Should you wish to take your design to the next level, I can prepare further detailed drawings and construction documentation to your builders.
The level of documentation is always project specific; however, it may include construction details, reflected ceiling plans (with lighting and electrical layouts), wet area layouts (kitchen, bathroom and laundry), interior elevations, and landscape plans, etc. I can also prepare building specifications, plus further details on interior and exterior fixtures and finishes where needed. Finally, to accompany the 3D imagery, I can prepare a library of relevant imagery from completed projects (using Pinterest images, for example) as a form of mood board. This will complete the puzzle and ensure we get the look and feel you’re after.
Step 8 – Construction
My design work is done; however, I highly recommend we continue to work together during the construction phase.
You can call on me for different levels of project management and/or advisory services, including scheduled site visits, responding to builder queries, Requests for Information (RFI’s), defects scheduling, and so on.
Keeping me onboard during construction not only reduces the risk of communication mishaps, it ensures the dream we set out to achieve is realised.
As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for the future which is essentially unknown.
I know this sounds like an arduous process but rest assured, we’ll get there.
I’ve walked this road plenty of times before, with results that speak for themselves.