The Design Process
The Design Process
How long this process takes is really up to YOU.
A simple design, with no input from 'other' professionals can see your plans ready to go to council within weeks.
A complex plan will take many months, & sometimes more than a year to get to the BC stage!
STEP 1:- PRE-DESIGN
Initially, the 'Pre-Design List' and the 'Affordable Plans Fee Schedule' are emailed to the prospective client.
Client emails me information about their proposed project...Client notes, desired floor plan sketches, property information.
A Fee Estimate is sent to the client, along with the Contract of Engagement that highlights parties responsibility for each Design Step.
I also provide an extensive on-line Design Brief questionnaire for the client to complete....
My contractual fee is determined by how much information the client returns to me.....my Fee Estimate maybe revised accordingly.
Simply, the more detailed the information, the less is my fee - the design process is also faster.
STEP 2:- CONCEPT PLAN
The client contractually engages me to prepare a Concept Plan. I also require the Design Brief...not all information is needed at this stage.
A check of Council Planning issues, Site specific information and any covenants.
Concept Plan design is commenced. The Concept Plan includes the Floor Plan as well as the Elevations.
During this design stage I will also send 3D views of the exterior, & the interior if special features are required.
DESIGN LOCKED IN -
When the client is happy with the Concept Plan, the design is 'locked in'.
Any changes after this point MAY be charged at an hourly rate.
STEP 2a:- COSTING PLAN
The Concept Plan is taken a step further towards completion: providing just enough information for the trades to provide a quote.
These are the Costing Plans.
I require a more complete Design Brief for Step 2a & Step 3.
Typically, clients elect to skip this stage & request that full BC Plans are completed.
STEP 3:- BUILDING CONSENT (BC) PLAN
The plans are developed to provide compliance to the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC)
- Site & Location Plan - earthworks if required
- Floor Plans - including dimensioned framing, openings, foundations, roof, drainage & bracing
- Elevations including 'Risk Assessment Matrix' & exterior joinery Schedules
- Cross sections including energy efficiency H1 compliance
- Construction details - incorporating 'other professional' documentation.
- Supportive Information documentation (can easily be over 100 A4 pages)
- Project Specification (can easily be up to 100 A4 pages)
In most situations I prepare the BC plans formatted for A3 scaled printing (pdf). Note; my plans are in colour, but printing to grey scale still keeps some emphasis on highlighting the design - information in black & white A3 plans are often more obscure.
Plans for a simple design will involve ~20 A3 sheets - complex designs can approach 60 A3 sheets!!!!
My fee also includes time taken to lodge the BC application with Council. Clients sometimes elect to do this - I can offer guidance.
Council then has 20 working days to respond - typically they do this in a 5~10 days after lodgement.
BUT - then the RFI's come (Request for Information). It is rare for a complete BC application to be processed without challenge.
It is my responsibility to address these RFI's &, when necessary, get answers from 'other professionals'.
BUILDING CONSENT IS THEN APPROVED & THE GROUND 'CAN BE BROKEN'
My role doesn't stop here:- there are often queries from the trades - most are addressed at no cost to the client, but occasionally amendments are necessary, & the drafting costs MAY be passed onto the client.
FINALLY, THE NEW HOUSE ACHIEVES 'CODE COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE' (CCC) & YOU CAN FINALLY ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME.....HAPPY DAYS!