The Design Process
Free ½ Hour Consultation
Unlike firms who charge an hourly rate or a price based on percentages of the construction costs, at Belgraphik we provide a fixed price for our services before we proceed with your design. As prices can vary depending on the complexity of the design, it is not possible to be specific on pricing details until we have ascertained your particular requirements. This is why we offer a free ½ hour consultation in our office to have preliminary discussions regarding your project and then we will be able to give you a written estimate of our fees.
At this stage we should be able to advise of any other consultants (i.e. Soil report, bushfire assessment etc.) that may be required to be engaged to obtain your council and/or building permits. It is very important for us to check all your details against your local Council Guidelines, Zoning & Overlays to ensure the viability of your project and if a Town Planning permit will be required. Belgraphik staff has extensive experience of the town planning application process and can lead you through every step of the way.
Before commencing any drawings, one of our experienced design consultants will discuss in detail your design brief, your needs list and your wish list. For best results be prepared to share a bit about yourself and your family, the way you live and work. There will be many questions our designers will ask to ensure the results of the meeting suit your needs exactly. We are designing for you, not your best friend or your neighbours.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We find that many people find it difficult to read plans and elevations, but are uncomfortable admitting this. It is a great opportunity for the designer to explain the thought processes and reasoning behind the choices proposed.
The design is the single most important element in creating a building, whether it is a new home or a renovation. Building design is a complex task that is best entrusted to a professional. It is not simply a matter of ‘drawing a set of plans’. Every building project is unique and has its own complexities. It is the task of the designer to understand these complexities and maximise the potential of the site.
Try not to be too set in your idea of what the end result will be before you start. It is the designer’s job to push some ideas that you may not have anticipated. Allow yourself some time to think over them and consider them thoroughly.
Where to from here?
After the initial consultation, we will either meet again at our office or attend a site visit to your property to discuss in more detail your requirements, check measurements and take photo’s etc. We will need to take into account the topography of the land, solar orientation, proximity to nearby trees and shrubs, views, prevailing wind and position of neighbours homes and fences. We have extensive experience designing in a wide range of architectural styles and materials and will be able to help with options so that informed decisions can be made. We are happy to explore the use of new products and recycled ones.
We then prepare Preliminary Drawings, which consist of your Floor Plan(s), a minimum of two side Elevations and a basic Site Plan. These will be drawn to scale and with room sizes indicated, that would give you a good idea of what your project will look like. These presentation drawings will be coloured and laminated for you to take home and study in your own time.
We recommend you show them to your Builder at this early stage to get a “Ball Park” figure on construction costings. Once these ‘draft’ plans have been finalised and approved by you, your drawings can progress to the next stage, town planning and Building Permits.