Building an extension or new home is an important event in your life and there are lots of things to think about. Below are some common questions that people have when commencing these projects. If you have any queries that are not covered here please contact us directly. Each project will vary and the following comments are to be considered as general information only.
We focus primarily on residential design ranging from extensions to new homes – a number of which are featured in our portfolio on this website. We also undertake dual occupancy and multi-unit development projects. Generally speaking we do not undertake drafting projects; but anything where we are able to get involved with the design has appeal to us.
2. What is the process for getting a design for my home or extension?
Most projects follow a similar process whether it is a new home or extension – a step by step guide is as follows:
- Initial meeting to discuss your design needs and wants – this can take place either in our office or at the project site – bring along any plans, surveys or other relevant documents you may have
- A fee proposal is presented to you based on your design brief and the project budget (see below for how a fee is determined)
- Upon your written acceptance of the fee proposal, we can get started on the concept sketches for your new home – as design is not an exact science this stage can often take the longest time to complete so you should allow a few weeks
- Initial sketch plans are presented to you so that you may take them away and think about them
- Once you’ve had time to absorb the concept, another meeting can be scheduled to go over any changes you may have or to clarify some points – this stage can involve a bit of back and forth ensuring that we get the design to a point that you are entirely happy with
- It is often a good idea to get some professional feedback from builders at this stage to ensure the project will meet your budget requirements. It is also an opportune time to begin to establish relationships with builders who may complete the final tender
- Once the concept has been finalised and approved by you, we move into the documentation phase where we convert the sketch plans to working drawings suitable for submitting to the approval body for development approval and also for builders to start pricing the job. We have developed good relationships with a number of reputable builders over the past 15 years and can provide you with contact details if you wish to meet with them
- We then lodge the development application with the approval body on your behalf and liaise with them in regards to clarifying or substantiating any information they may require to ensure that the development application is approved
- Once we have supplied you with approved drawings, you are ready to commence construction with your chosen builder
We can also provide some additional services if you wish. These include;
- Interior design – The services of an interior designer can appreciably add value to your home and ensure the final project is polished and seamless. We have an award winning interior designer available to help you complete your project to the highest standard
- Detailed construction drawings – Depending on the complexity of the project you may need some additional construction drawings which may include; roof plans, reflected ceiling plans, electrical plans, construction details, landscape element details (letterbox etc). These are often required if the project is put out to Tender (see below)
Tender service – We will prepare an Inclusions Schedule outlining the detailed inclusions of the project. We then issue all of the relevant documentation to builders for tendering and help you to select the builder
We calculate our fees based on a percentage of the project target budget. Depending on the complexity of the job or site and whether there are significant constraints such as heritage considerations, the percentage rate may vary. Once the target budget has been agreed the fee will not increase even if the final building costs are greater than the target budget. The fee will remain fixed and only change if there is a significant change to the design brief, requiring a major overhaul of the design concept.
The fee for dual-occupancy and multi-unit projects are not calculated this way and it is best to contact the office to discuss this type of project in more detail.
Please contact us by phone for more detailed information about our fee structure.
For most projects, these are the services covered by our standard fee agreement;
Pre design stage
Obtain the clients design brief and other requirements
Inspect the site and assess site conditions and constraints
Undertake preliminary analysis of authority regulations and requirements
Prepare schematic spatial layouts
Prepare sketch plan drawings to adequately explain the design concept
Consider basic selections of materials and finishes
Review & revise sketch plan designs in response to client feedback
Obtain clients approval to proceed to detailed design
Detailed design stage
Develop the sketch plan drawings into a final design solution over a series of client meetings (generally about 3 or 4) and provide drawings to adequately explain the design
Final sketch plans to include:
– Site plan
– Floor Plans
Undertake neighbour consultation as required by ACTPLA with adjoining neighbours
Obtain preliminary opinion of probable cost from builders if required
Consultation with relevant authorities in relation to significant trees located on the site as required
Consultation with relevant authorities to gain approval for works to driveway and verge crossing if required
Consultation with relevant agencies (eg ACTEW) to gain approval for access to easements where necessary
Arrange and attend pre-application meeting with planning authority if required
Obtain clients approval to proceed to documentation
Documentation – for Development Approval (DA)
– Site Survey (by surveyor)
– Site Plan
– Floor Plans
– Sections as required
– Shadow diagrams
– Sample board (materials, finishes & colours)
– Complete Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) compliance as required
– Provide energy efficiency rating (BASIX/EER/glazing calculator)
Prepare relevant application forms and documentation on behalf of client
Submit all required documentation to planning authority for development approval
Respond to enquiries from planning authority during assessment period
Provide client with set of planning authority approved documents
The standard fee agreement does not include fees or costs incurred by third parties such as surveyors, engineers, energy assessors or government fees or charges. Any third party costs are passed on directly to the client with no mark-up or commission added even if we have engaged them on your behalf.
The standard fee agreement does not include interior design, detailed construction drawings or tender service.
Some projects may differ from this general structure and this should be considered as general information only.
The cost to extend or build can vary greatly due to many reasons including (but not limited to) site conditions, site location, market forces, construction type and the complexity of the project. As a very general rule of thumb we estimate a range of $3000 – $4000/sqm for most extensions and $2000 – $3000/sqm for most new homes. In addition to these per sqm building costs you will need to consider other items such as driveways, decks, paving, fencing, landscaping and possibly swimming pools etc. These costs are indicative only and it is best to contact the office to discuss your project specifically.
There are 9.29sqm per square; therefore a 15 square house is 139.35sqm.
As an accredited HIA GreenSmart designer with a strong interest in designing for minimal environmental impact we have utilised a number of sustainable measures to ensure that our designs are energy efficient.
Key design considerations:
Orientation of the site/house
Passive heating & cooling
Windows and glazing