What you should know when engaging an Architectural Designer Part 2

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3

The quotation process

Because we (John Gersteling & Associates) are Accredited Building Designers we will take you through the procedure of providing full architectural design services. When you contact a building designer either by phone or through a web site for a consultation, we outline the procedure and stages of architectural design. This procedure is accepted and used by most design professionals.

When contacting an architectural designer an appointment is arranged to visit the proposed construction site of a new home, new additions/extensions or any other construction project. The first consultation on-site or in the designer’s office will be a free consultation where we are receiving the client’s brief (wishes and directions of the project) lasting around 1 to 2 hours.

Building designers will ask the client questions regarding the family lifestyle and needs to live comfortably in their proposed new surroundings. We will ask the client if they have any sketches or drawings ideas of what the client propose to the new structure will look like from a floor plan to a front elevation. The idea of the first consultation is obtaining a lot of information. We would like to see existing building plans, site plans and other relevant documentation that the client has so that we can provide a proper quotation for the client.

Proposed design ketches are not provided during the initial consultation. We don’t provide drawn ideas or sketches until we have a legal agreement/contract and where the money for the deposit has been exchanged.

After visiting the client we start preparing the design quotation. Designers will go over the documentation that the client has provided like existing construction drawings, site plan, structural engineering details and surveyors certificate. From this information and the clients brief we can determine the scale of the proposed project.

It is important to apply to your local council a 149 Certificate. This certificate will state what the zoning is for the client’s property and what can be constructed on-site and what cannot be constructed on the client’s site. The 149 Certificate also state if the property is in a flood zone, bush fire zone, mining subsidence area, heritage and environmentally sensitive areas.

Building designers quote the architectural design, building specifications, structural engineering design and certification, documentation such as Basix, Statement of environmental effect, Sediment Control plan, Waste management Plan, Safety Notes; as well as the printing of drawings, documentation and GST for the design project.

After completing the quotation we send this document by e-mail to the client. This quotation is valid for a period of 14 days from the date on the quotation.

Be aware that it can take from paying the deposit for the design of your project to the final approval from Council about 15 to 20 weeks on average. That is a total of 4 + Months minimum before your new home project can get started by your builder. It will take 5 to 10 weeks on average for an average addition/extension from paying your deposit to approval from council.

That is why we at John Gersteling & Associates allow 14 days for this quotation to be valid because the longer it takes to complete this process the more your building costs can rise and it separates the genuine client from the time-wasters. Ask your builder or building products supplier regarding construction price increases during any 3 to 4 months period.

After 14 days some companies send you by email a reminder that they have provided you with a quotation but as yet have not received your reply. It would be reasonable to accept that clients respond after the 14 days reminder letter to notify of their decision not to accept the services or to go-a-head with the design services. After all, time and travel have been provided to the client as a free quoting service and a response would be appreciated and considered a personal curtsey.

We still have the client’s notes, existing architectural drawings, survey certificates etc. that we cannot keep so we notify the client to either pick them up or get them delivered before they will get shredded due to limited storage space.

Once you have accepted the design quotation we would revisit your property to take photo’s make and take the necessary measurements and levels. Pick up from the client any documentation required before we start with the project design.