Step 1… Preliminaries:
We ask that prospective clients make an appointment in our office, where we talk in “broad terms” what the clients wish to achieve, on their site for their budget. This meeting lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there is no fee for this meeting.
Typically the client may have a “wish list” of the number and type of rooms, number of cars to be accommodated, and ideally a contour plan of the site. At this meeting, the client will shown examples of the process that they will expect to go through, including examples of our 3d modelling and how the model is used in passive sun control design.
Jeff will refer back to his database of previous jobs to give a “ball park” estimate of what the building cost may be for the type of home the client is describing. A preliminary budget is calculated and an approximate target area of the home established.
From that meeting, a fee proposal is posted or emailed to the client for their consideration. See “Fees”
Step 2… Site Visit… (approximately 1 hour)
All parties involved in the design process to meet on site to discuss the design, views, solar access, prevailing breezes, privacy issues that may occur. Concept ideas are discussed.
Step 3… Design Brief… (approximately 3 to 4 hours)
All parties involved in the design process to attend this meeting. We will discuss every room in detail. Jeff will ask lots of questions on how you would like to live in the new home and the number of people occupying each space, any special furniture that needs to be considered in the design, etc Prior to this meeting a list of questions will be posted or email to the client to prepare for this meeting.
A “scrap book” of ideas is a good fast track to get inside the clients’ head, and is used a frequently by clients. Alternative ideas may be presented at the meeting to expand the thinking process. At the end of the meeting the clients are given a copy of the design brief, and are asked to confirm within a week that the information received is correct. If modification of the Design Brief is required, a further meeting will be called. Of all the meetings that occur this is the most important one.
Step 4… Concept Design
A meeting with Jeff will be arranged to discuss the concept design. The design will show the floor plan with approximate room sizes, window and door locations, front elevation and the approximate area of the home. An explanation of the design will be offered, and generally gravitates around passive solar design, cross and shared ventilation, and making the most out of the site, and its views, let those views be the existing natural views or created views.
Depending on the style of the home you have directed to be designed, we always strive to achieve that “wow” factor with the external and internal aesthetics.
As the name “concept” suggests, it’s the starting point for further design work and discussions.
From this meeting you will take the drawings home to discuss and make notes for our next meeting.
Step 5… Design Development and Cost Review No1:
A design meeting with Jeff will be arranged to discuss the concept design (produced from Stage 4,) and undertake any further design development work to your satisfaction.
Once this stage has been completed, we recommend that the design be given to your preferred builder to obtain an estimate. From that builder’s estimate, further decisions can be made to modify the design if required. If you do not have a preferred builder we can obtain an estimate from one of our builder clients.
Step 6… Final Design, 3D Modelling and Cost Review No 2:
Revised scaled drawings with the 3D computer model, will be presented to you. The 3D computer model is the ideal way to view your new home, from any external angle to confirm and appreciate the design.
As part of the presentation we rotate the 3D computer model for you to view the home. We can set the sun for at anytime of the year. (e.g. 4.00 pm Summer solstice 22nd Dec, and 7.00 am Winter solstice 21st June). This is great design and presentation tool to confirm that the proposed home will be comfortable in summer and in winter.
An animation of flying around the home will be produced, along with snap shot images from each corner of the home. A CD of these images and animation will be copied onto a CD for you view on your home PC computer. No special software is required to view the animation or snap shots.
We recommend that an estimate be obtained from your preferred builder at this stage. If you do not have a preferred builder we can assist to obtain this estimate from our builder clients who specialise in new homes.
Final modifications are made to the design before we progress to the next part of the stage of documentation.
Step 6 ….Working Drawings, Co-ordination and Building Approval:
These drawings are the detailed drawings that are submitted for building approval. They show which walls are to be removed, and where the new walls are to be located. These drawings also document the structural and bracing components of the project.
In this stage of work, we will also obtain quotes from other consultants who are involved in the project. (i.e. Surveyor to provide a contour plan of the site, the Structural Engineer to provide a laboratory soil test as well as the design of the concrete footings, slabs, retaining walls, beam strengthening etc, Energy Assessor to assess the drawings and provide a energy star rating (which is mandatory for a building approval), the Private Certifier who grants the final building approval and undertakes inspections.) You are under no obligation to use our regular consultants. If you wish to use your own consultants for a comparable quote, we will provide to you a copy of the “scope of work” we provided to our regular consultants for you to obtain an alternative fee proposal(s).
If Town Planning is required we will co-ordinate the services of a private Town Planner.
Whoever are the final consultants, we will co-ordinate their services and documentations, and lodge all the necessary building and drainage applications.
In all instances, our name appears on all building and drainage application forms, If there are any queries, those queries are direct back to us to resolve.
We will also provide to you blank floor plans with an “electrical” and “floor finishes” legends. These plans are for you to design your own electrical layout and for to locate your floor finishes locations. We can also complete these plans for a fee, but we have found that clients can easily do these themselves.
Post Building Approval Services:
On all of our drawings, we have bold note on every sheet of our drawings and it reads “IF IN DOUBT ASK.. DO NOT ASSUME”. This note not only applies to the builder, but also to the client. There is no fee to answer questions, as we too want the project to turn out just right.
There are two major inspections that we recommend to be undertaken. The first being the footings and slab inspections. This should be undertaken by the person who designed them, the structural engineer.
The other major inspection being the Wall, Floor and Roof Frame, Bracing and Tie Down inspections. These are nominally inspected for compliance by the private certifier as part of their services, but we recommend that these items to be inspected in far greater detail by the person who designed them in the first place, and that being us. Alternatively a structural engineer can also undertake these inspections if you wish.
Selection of Fittings and Finishes: (commonly termed the Specification)
We have developed a free on line product www.myselections.com.au. This product was developed by our principal Jeff Osman for design professionals to complete a schedule of fittings and finishes for tendering purposes.
If you are intending to have a number of builders, and you wish to compare all the quotes on the same level playing field, this is the product for you. Unless you are experienced in evaluating tenders, the only way to compare quotes is to have all the builders quoting on the same items.
Some clients may require some assistance to complete the schedule, and we also provide that service for a fee. All the fittings and fixtures in “My Selections” have been preselected, and the program shows other cost effective alternatives, all are colour co-ordinated. All of the fittings and fixtures listed are of good quality mid-range items, so you can feel confident that you won’t blow the budget. If you wish to change the level of fittings and finishes this can be easily accommodated within the program. Jeff can explain how to use the program if your desire.
We have a number of landscape architects / designers we can refer you to, who can colour co-ordinate the planting and hardstand areas to your home to make a complete package. We will co-ordinate their services and provide the appropriate CAD drawing files to the landscape architect / designer to assist with their documentations.
All of the shapes and forms will be documented on our plans, but you may wish to have assistance with colour, textures and furnishings etc. We have a number of Interior Designers we work with who can give you that final touch. We will co-ordinate their services and provide the appropriate CAD drawing files to assist with their documentations.
We work with a number of regular builders who specialise in new homes, and are accustomed with our drawings and intent. If you require contact names / phone numbers we can assist.
We act in good faith when we refer our clients to consultants and or builders to assist our clients. For legal reasons, we take no responsibility for their performance(s).
If you wish to use one of our builder clients to assist with the estimates in the design stages, you are under no obligation to use that builder, but we ask that you limit the tender to 3 builders, and that our nominated builder is one of those 3 builders.