STEP BY STEP
STEP 1 in our process is the Needs & Options Review
These are the steps that follow
STEP 2 – DESIGN
The design stage is a creative response to the project framework established during your Needs & Options Review. The design stage covers the clarification of client requirements, site investigation and preparation of a number of concept design options. When designing a project we consider:
- your brief – the physical space requirements, as well as the more emotional requirements that will make you feel at home
- the character of the existing house – the arrangement and quality of spaces, the circulation patterns and materials
- the character of the site and the neighbourhood – the scale, forms and materials
- the site topography and vegetation
- orientation of the sun for daylighting interior spaces
- over-shadowing – both on site and on adjacent sites
- your budget – how means and intentions can be brought closer together (what clients hope to spend on a project is often in conflict with the market cost of what they want to build)
- council’s design controls
We take these sometimes competing requirements and go through a number of variations – sketching, drawing and modelling – to come up with a single form. We usually present options to the client, and sometimes one or two revisions are needed before we can settle on a solution. In conjunction with the client a preferred design is selected, and checked against the cost-plan. In the broadest terms this is the solution that will guide the design process from this point on.
The design proposal is refined and drafted as plans, sections and elevations, usually in 3D with BIM (Vectorworks), sufficient for briefing the required consultants. Only after approval of the concept, extent and layout of the preferred design option do we proceed to the next stage.
The design Peter ultimately submitted to us was excellent – it reflected what we wanted and was both tasteful and refined.
Step 3 – Approve
In this stage the design proposal is further refined and documented for the Development Application to Council. Room layouts and the external design are finalised in this stage – sometimes called design development – but most details remain to be considered later. We liaise with consultants such as structural and hydraulic engineers, quantity surveyors and landscape architects, coordinate the information they prepare and incorporate it in the architectural drawings.
For the Council submission we prepare:
- architectural drawings
- shadow diagrams
- schedules of areas
- materials and finishes boards
For an outline of the Development Application process see here.
Peter ensured that the entire council approval process was speedy and stress-free.
Step 4 – Document
‘The details are not the details. They make the design.’ Charles Eames
This stage is the time for decisions, when we consider the design details and prepare tender documents:
- what kind of flooring, and what kind of ceilings?
- skirting boards and architraves or not?
- what kind of benchtop in the Kitchen, and how do the cupboards and drawers work?
- how does the Bathroom really work, with what fixtures, fittings, lighting and tiling?
- how do the cupboards and built-in furniture work, and what do they look like?
- how does the lighting work throughout the house?
- extent of heating and cooling equipment, electrical cabling for technology and security?
- what are the colours inside the house?
- what is the right kind of furniture for your new house?
- what is the right form of contract for the project?
- which building contractors are qualified, interested and available to tender for the work?
Many decisions are to be made – some you may already have answers for, but for others we will make suggestions to guide you through the process of selecting everything for your new home. We produce drawings, schedules and specifications suitable for the Construction Certificate Application, calling of tenders and construction. This stage includes incorporating any changes required by council conditions, co-ordinating the detailed information prepared by the consultants and preparing documentation to a level of detail sufficient for builders to tender and commence construction.
When showing Peter’s drawings to prospective builders and to council staff we have received numerous positive comments about how thorough and detailed Peter’s drawings are.
Step 5 – Construct
The provision of architectural services during the construction stage is the natural conclusion to the earlier design development and documentation stages. The architect’s involvement during this stage is critical to realising the documented design intent. We act as your agent to call for tenders from builders, and then administer the building contract agreed between you the client and your selected builder, ensuring that you get what you’ve paid for:
- the builder’s cost claims are checked and approved,
- provisional sums are correctly accounted for,
- work is proceeding according to the drawings, specification and the agreed timetable,
- clarification is provided when the contractor requires it,
- more information is provided when the contractor requires it,
- the design intent is followed.
Before work begins on site, and during construction, there will be numerous activities which require further architectural input. See here for more on the role of the architect during the construction stage.
We cannot speak highly enough of Peter’s professionalism and commitment to us and our house. We were not living in Sydney during this entire operation and he was always available by phone and email keeping us up to date with all stages and authorising progress payments to the builder.
Step 6 – Enjoy
On your own a building project can be a daunting undertaking. A successful project can best be achieved through a coordinated effort by the client, the architect and the builder. Architects solve problems creatively; we are trained to interpret and develop your ideas and transform them into reality. We look beyond your immediate requirements to create a home that you will enjoy now, and that is flexible enough to adapt to your changing needs.
The ultimate product of Peter’s hard work is a home that we are delighted to arrive at each and every day.