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Frequently asked questions: General

Is there a difference between a building designer and an architect?

In Australia architects are state-registered and regulated professionals. Legislation governing architects varies from state to state, but at a minimum they must have an architecture degree from an accredited university.

Building designers are not state-registered and regulated professionals. Most are qualified drafting professionals, but many also have architecture or design degrees. You should engage an architect or a building designer based on their education, portfolio, and references, not because they call themselves an architect (and you should make sure they are insured).

If you choose an architect there is no guarantee that your home will be better designed, or that the service you receive will be better. However, regardless of whom you choose to design your home, it is ultimately up to structural engineers, your local council and your builder to make sure a home is constructed safely and soundly.

What is the best way to choose a building design professional?

  • Look at their previous work - either built works or a portfolio of their work.
  • Ask them what their qualifications are and view the document if possible.
  • Also ask for references from builders and previous clients.
  • Ascertain from conversations if you feel comfortable communicating with the designer. Communication is essential to you realising your goals.

    Note: Fees can be a deciding factor for people when choosing a designer. Choosing a designer because they are cheap is the worst way to choose someone. You need to choose the designer you think will do the best job at the end of the day. You may save a couple of thousand dollars in design fees but will spend more fixing design problems during construction and end up with a house that you are not very happy with.

What will a building design professional offer me that a project home company will not?

Building Designers have been educated to specialise in design not drafting and will design a ‘one-off’ home that is very site specific - with all your individual needs factored into the design. Project builders start with a home already designed for the mass market and is not site specific - these designs will require some changes before you are totally happy.

One-off homes are generally more cleverly designed and visually more interesting as they are not appealing to the mass housing market. They are typically more expensive but not always - it depends on the design complexity.

When is the best time to build a home?

Generally during a ‘building slump’ is the best time to build as labour and construction items become more competitive.

Where do I start?

Each project, circumstance, and nature of commission is different. That is why our process begins with our Discovery & Assessment Pack. This will enable us to better understand the opportunity and constraints of your property. Click here to find out more.

What is a ‘brief’ ?

A brief should be as comprehensive as possible and it needs to detail your wants, needs, and requirements. It could include sizings, budget, images of appealing products or buildings, functions and lifestyle, requirements for furniture/art etc. Really it is as much information as possible to convey your project to us. Sometimes the brief may not be resolved and evolves with the project, but there is always a start or reason for the project.

How will you resolve information transfer between client and design professional?

Phone, e-mail and snail mail generally resolve the issue of information transfer quite well, after all it is the information (drawings, images, lists and specifications) that you employ us to provide. In our client login area we provide steps on how each section of information transfer is handled between client and designer.

How will you resolve Consultants issues during the design or construction process?

Generally consultants are appointed by the client in consultation with the design professional, so consultants such as Land surveyors, Engineers and others are generally local to the area and thus readily available to the client.