Design

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is that every building project large or small is unique, presenting an opportunity to create something special, contributing positively to the built environment and enhancing the lives of the occupants. These aims should not be compromised by poor design or “off the shelf“ solutions.

We believe that our approach is the key to higher returns for our clients both in terms of lifestyle and property value. Although each design is unique, our designs reflect a common theme, responding to their settings with spaces that flow, maximising light and views and applying ESD principles.

Click here to view some of our recent projects

22 George st pergola 1

Design Process

Whilst we are flexible about how we work with you, most often we find ourselves taking our clients through the following steps in the design process.

Initial consultation
We will meet with you to identify and asses your requirements, and present these to you in the form of a project brief.

Stage 1 Concept design
From the project brief we will develop a concept design. This will be in the form of layout drawings, elevations and perspectives sufficient to explain the design. Typically this step will involve consideration of site and town planning requirements and the development of a preliminary budget.

Stage 2 Planning application
This stage involves developing the concept design into a final design solution including details of the materials and finishes, site layout and landscaping and other information needed to enable the planning application to be lodged.

Stage 3 Contract documentation
Final approval requires a building consent to be issued by the council. The design must satisfy matters such as the building's structural and energy performance. We will then prepare the contract documents to enable the project to be tendered and constructed.  These typically include the building specification, engineering and footing designs, selection schedules and working drawings.

Contract negotiation and administration
Where we aren't involved as builder we can work with you to ensure the success of the building contract. Our role here typically extends from tendering and selecting the builder or subcontractors, administering the contract through to managing the defects list and final signoff.

The Project Budget

One of the most important considerations in developing your design is the project budget. We believe it is important to match the design solution to your budget up-front to avoid nasty surprises and costly re-work at later stages.

When building it is important that you understand and budget for the total build cost. Builders offering off-the shelf packages typically provide pricing based on a standard or base level specification. In terms of the amount you need to finance this is only part of the story. For example most base level specifications are based on ideal site conditions and do not include items such as garages, heating and cooling, lighting, some appliances and landscaping.

In matching the design to your budget it is important that all of these costs are taken into account. While some builders offer a comprehensive design at a fixed price others quote a base level product requiring the client to bear some of the costs and 'option-up'. Without full transparency it is difficult to compare their offerings.

Sample Budget

We will work with you to develop the project budget and will provide you with an estimate of the Total Cost to Complete. In other words a statement of all the costs involved in getting your project to the stage that (furniture aside) you can move in.

The Total Cost to Complete takes into account:

  • Site costs, including levelling of the site, retaining walls, footing modifications and other items for which the owner is responsible.
  • Design and approvals, including engineering design and investigations, planning and building approvals.
  • Building construction costs, including items not covered by the base specifications, eg garage, cabinetry, full height ceilings, upgraded kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Fit-out costs including floor coverings, lighting, heating and cooling, appliances, security, data and telephone connections.
  • External/landscaping costs, including pergola, driveway, fencing, water storage, plumbing, stormwater, paving, screening and plantings

Click here to view a sample project budget >>

In this example the Total Cost to Complete for a $240,000 house design is estimated to be in the order of $400,000.