The first steps to successfully creating your dream home

Discovery + Direction

Do you want to know if your renovation or new home ideas are feasible before committing to a full blown design commission?

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If the answer is yes, like many of our customers this is what held them back from taking the first step.
We understand that renovating or building a new home is a significant time and financial commitment.
We designed our unique Discovery & Direction Package to give customers a stand alone product which is at low entry point to gain the clarity, direction and assistance navigating the regulatory pathway pertaining to your property and individual project.

Get Started Today with our unique Discovery Consultation

  • Discovery + Directions Discovery + Directions
  • Discovery + Directions Discovery + Directions

6 Common Traps when "Getting Started" with your project...

  • 1 / Procrastinating vs Planning

    Are you Procrastinating or Planning? Most clients who come through our office have been thinking &/or talking about starting the project for months, if not years. In this amount of time the project could have been built, so it’s clear than a nice mix of both has been going on & we call it “Procrasta-Planning”… This is where researching & collecting pictures on google & pinterest have ended with you in a fog of too-much-information & still no-better-direction. This along with reading endless amounts of council websites in search of which rules & regulations are applicable to you, can leave you in a state of overwhelm.

  • 2 / Thinking you can do it yourself

    If you had thoughts you could do it all yourself, you had better think again. The saying “A little bit of experience can be dangerous” is no truer in building a home than in dentistry or surgery. The skills & knowledge built up by experienced designers, architects & builders come from hundreds or thousands of hours developing skills & learning on every other past client’s project they have undertaken. The kind of skills & experience you cant make useful from an “Idiots guide to…” book. A suitably skilled professional with relevant experience will help you get where you want to go faster, easier & cheaper than learning as you go.

  • 3 / Planning without adequate knowledge

    It is said that success in any venture is predominantly about “Doing the Right Things, in the Right Order & at the Right Time”. Designing & Building is a great example of that long string of hundreds of activities & potentially thousands of choices, which need to be organised into the right order. What happens if you miss a vital step, or decide on things out of sequence? What could you be missing out on & what could go wrong. This is where deep knowledge & experience can help develop a comprehensive Project Strategy which will keep all stakeholders on track from the start to completion.

  • 4 / Fear of making wrong choices

    “You don’t know what you don’t know”. This is a hard place to make choices from, especially when you don’t know their implications. We all fear making the wrong choices, in all parts of our lives. It doesn’t matter so much if you buy the wrong pair of socks for $5.50 but in a home, which is the single largest investment you will ever make, you may have to live with any of your wrong choices every morning for 20 years. With the correct guidance, this does not have to be the case.

  • 5 / Confusion about timing, costs & project-program

    “How much will this cost & how long will it take?” This is a common question & is hard to answer without the right experience & understanding. Designers know how to design, builders know how to build, but who is going to be the glue & keep all this information together is a useful way. Building size & complexity affect budget. Choice on finishes, products or custom inclusions can all affect project timeframe. Having a Project Plan, reviewing the Project Budget & keeping to Program can reduce stress & confusion by half, making for a streamlined delivery of your project.

  • 6 / Not asking for professional help

    Asking your Uncle Marty to help you with your project, because he had some experience 15 years ago, just to save a few dollars is not a sensible start, and deep down you know it. With a significant investment, you need to ” employ the right team to help you. An additional 5-8% on top of the expenses you will already spend for piece of mind…

Jumping in with no strategy…

Don’t Dive In Blindly – Plan for Success: When it comes to a building design project, jumping in without a clear strategy can lead to costly mistakes and unnecessary stress. At our firm, we emphasize the importance of thoughtful planning from the very beginning. We work closely with our clients to establish clear objectives, define budgets, and create realistic timelines. By taking the time to strategize and develop a comprehensive plan, we ensure that every step of the design process is purposeful and aligned with your vision. Avoid the trap of impulsive decisions and let us guide you through a well-structured and successful building design journey.

The 6 Benefits of the “Discovery + Direction” Process…

  1. You will have an experienced guide to help navigate the process, keep you focused
  2. You will have a Project Roadmap that’s clear & easy to follow
  3. You will not fall into any of the potential pitfalls
  4. You can start & finish the project earlier
  5. You will have got clear on your project and have the basic information to make good decisions with and no more guessing
  6. You won’t feel overwhelmed and you’ll have the confidence to move forward with the rest of your project

If you are asking the following 6 questions, you need the discovery + direction process…

  1. How do I know I am doing the right thing here & could it be done better
  2. Can I afford this project and what are the cost of drawings & permissions
  3. Is what I am thinking of doing the best thing for me & is it really possible
  4. What are the regulations & rules that apply to my property and how do they affect what I want to do
  5. How long will it take to complete this project
  6. How do I avoid making costly mistakes & wasting my time

3 steps to our unique Discovery & Direction Package

  • 1 / Client Consultation & Site Analysis

    This is an informal relaxed meeting with our design director at your property. It’s our chance to understand your property, your family’s needs, wants and dreams, view any initial design images and sketches you have and help develop an initial design-brief. It’s your chance to better understand the regulatory frameworks relating to your property and confirm if what you are thinking is possible.
    You will get to know us, see how we work, how we distil your ideas and adopt good design principles, and the sense of style in our other projects. You’ll leave that meeting feeling confident about your initial design brief and how the process works.

  • 2 / Research, Inspiration & Client Collaboration

    Once back at our studio, we’ll begin working up some Initial concept layouts ensuring we align with our initial discussions at your property and confirming the design direction of the project. We will review all of the local authority planning and building regulations relevant to your project. We immerse ourselves in extensive research and gather inspiration from a wide range of architectural styles, innovative design solutions and current trends.  Based on the information gathered from our discussions, the analysis and research, we start developing the initial design concepts.  We value your input and encourage active collaboration throughout the process, your feedback and active participation enable us to refine the design and make adjustments based on your prefrences.

  • 3 / Final presentation & roadmap

    At the end of this phase, we will present our findings to you including an initial sketch concept and any additional information necessary to communicate our proposed design clearly.  We encourage open dialogue and provide ample opportunity for discussion and finalisation before proceeding to the subsequent phases of your project.  We believe that the Discovery & Direction Package sets the stage for a successful collaboration and ensures that your design is tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

  • To get started with the Discovery & Direction process, either call us on 9571 0000 or log your details online. Once we have your details we’ll give you a quick call back in the next 24-hrs to get the process started.

    Get Started Today with our unique Discovery Consultation

What our Clients say

  • “Understanding what we could successfully achieve with our new home was paramount to us before moving forward.  The Discovery and Direction process was ideal to help us with that – it showed us what the possibilities for our block were, how our design ideas could be best incorporated into one unique concept and an indicative roadmap of process, milestones and likely costs.”

    Trish and Gerhard, Kew
  • “I would highly recommend anyone undertake the Discovery and Direction process with DCF to ensure you understand what is involved both from a financial and time perspective up front.  This relatively low cost exercise gave me a clear indication of where I was heading before jumping right in and possibly hitting some significant roadblocks.  The initial concept we worked up in the process incorporated all my ideas and I was clear on how to move forward to the next stage.  The finished design was amazing and just as per the initial concept.”

    Jim, Brighton East
  • “We are very grateful to have gone through the Discovery & Direction process with Darren and the DCF team.  It enabled us to understand what was possible with the significant renovation of our existing home.  At the conclusion of this process we decided it would be quicker, easier and we would get everything we wanted if we built new rather than renovated.  If we had not gone through this process we believe we would have possibly been very disappointed with a renovation that didn’t meet all of our family’s needs.  Thank you DCF for your professional insights, we really appreciate your hard work and love our new home!”

    Brett and Susanna, Malvern East