9 stages of architectural design


This stage is crucial to understanding project parameters and charting the project's course before detailed planning. Each site and brief is unique, with its constraints and opportunities. Our initial focus is on understanding site-specific rules, infrastructure, planning regulations, dimensions, and landscape features that shape our project approach.


The aim of this stage is to produce existing, demolition and proposed floor plans for all building levels. The plans consider floor finishes, door and window sizes, room dimensions, kitchen cabinet layouts, plus all external patios, pools, decks and landscaping.


This stage involves taking the agreed plans from above and turning them into a 3D model to resolve the external elevational treatments and some of the “overall” key internal parts of the design. We will present you a suite of detailed 3D images to help you visualise the design concept and work with you to integrate your feedback until the design is locked in.


This stage involves translating the agreed design concept into a series of elevational drawings, sectional drawings, roof plans and a base level of documentation that would normally be expected if submitting to council for development approval. These drawings still need to be produced whether council approval is needed or not.


It is critical at this stage that we now engage with builders and by the end of this stage select a preferred builder who can become a part of the design team. In our experience, it is invaluable to have this involvement from the builder at this stage as they can assist with the development of the design and be involved in decision making from a cost perspective.


The Building Approval (BA) stage is the next round of approvals and specifically relates to resolving the design of the building and the engineering design to a level of detail that can be assessed by a private building certifier. It is during this stage that you would engage the services of a structural engineer and the building certifier (to be engaged by yourselves but managed by us). This is the most detailed part of the project and involves the most hours in drafting and co-ordination with the rest of the design team.


Option A: In-house service

This is the detailed stage of the internal drawing works and would involve the preparation of internal room elevations for wet areas, kitchens, cupboards, and all associated joinery design drawings. This would also include any additional miscellaneous project details such as feature ceiling treatments, screens, feature walls etc.

Option B: Engaging a professional Interior Designer

For larger, high-end projects where meticulous interior detailing is paramount, we highly recommend engaging a professional Interior Designer who will be able to specify and customise finishes and schedules tailored to the unique requirements for the project.


This is a very detailed stage of the project where we need to finalise all of the outstanding pieces of information and get everything in line to pull together the final building approvals and get a building contract signed. While we bounce back and forth with the building certifier, builder, engineer and town planner, the preferred builder would then prepare a final detailed pricing of the project now that all of the engineering design, interior design and project specifications have been finalised.


We pride ourselves in delivering exceptional-quality drawings and Architectural documents, so chances are our time will not be required too heavily during construction.

We offer this service on an ‘As Needed’ basis and will be available for contact by yourselves or your builder if design assistance or site time is required during the building process.

frequently asked questions

what is the role of an architect?

Qualified with five years of university, compulsory practical experience as well as a registration exam and ongoing continued professional development (CPD) requirements, Architects provide a service that goes far beyond producing drawings. Working with an architect ensures a unique design that warrants the time and effort that it demands, resulting in creative spaces that are well-planned, functional, spatially efficient and that meet your style and needs. When using an Architect:

- Your money is invested in well-designed homes with greater live-ability and increased

resale value.

- Your project is unique, interesting and customised to you & your site.

- Architects offer knowledge, expertise and peace-of-mind throughout the building


understanding your local council regulations

Before committing to any project it is important to understand your local city council planning scheme. These are readily available to the public, usually on your local councils webpage. City plans are complicated documents that are not always straightforward.

It is strongly advised to engage a town planner to understand the specific details of the town plan that are relevant to your site and project. Much like hiring a lawyer for legal interpretation, a town planner helps clarify the regulatory requirements of the city plan. They are able to assist in ensuring that, should you need to lodge a council application, this process goes as smoothly as possible. Applications to council can also cause lengthy time delays to projects. It is important to consider this when planning your build timeline.

what is client sign off?

This is a phrase used throughout the design process to denote a verbal agreement/ acceptance of a design at a particular stage of the design process. It is not necessarily a physical signing of a document.

When you "sign off" on a stage, you express satisfaction with the design and agree to proceed to the next phase. Any deviations from the agreed design after signing off result in a fee variation, although minor design adjustments are typically accommodated without extra charges. Sign-off serves to safeguard the Architect against substantial, unanticipated design changes not covered in the original quote.

how much will it cost to build my project?

There are several factors that will influence the construction cost of your home.

As a general rule it is safe to allow a budget of anywhere between $4000 - $6000/sqm. for the new parts of architecturally designed homes with quality mid range finishes. When estimating a project budget it is important to make sufficient allowances for other parts of the build outside of the house. Items such as pools, landscaping, driveways, fencing, covered decks, modifications to existing parts of the home and house raising also need to be considered. Sloped sites, difficult soils and access can also create additional costs to the project. Project home builders are able to deliver homes for lesser value as they work in economies of scale, with reduced levels of finishes and customisation. These homes are also usually constructed on flat ‘pads’ suitable for select new home sites only. When engaging the services of an Architect you are acknowledging your project is unique and customised for your site and lifestyle, making it inevitably more complex, yet far more interesting and unique.

what is the construction budget and why is the fee loosely based on this?

The construction budget reflects the total cost of the construction works as per the contract with the builder. This does not include the cost of Architectural services, consultants fees or relevant approval fees. Overall project budgets should make additional allowance for these fees. As a general rule it is safe to allow an additional 9-12% of the construction cost to cover the costs of consultancy and approval fees. Fees are relative to construction costs as the two are directly proportional. Larger projects have significantly more design work and detail drawings than smaller ones. Architectectural fees need to be adaptable to cover any additional design costs if a client decides to increase the project size.

other consultants (in addition to the Architect) - who to expect to be involved?
  • Structural engineer
  • Building Certifier (including drawing lodgement fees)
  • Surveyor
  • Geotechnical Engineer (Soil Tests)
  • Town Planner (if a development application is required with council)

Other consultants may be called on at the discretion of the building certifier or the council.