The Design Process
The team at The Owner Builder Club LOVES this part of the process. It’s where creative juices really start to flow. Here’s an overview for you:
We recommend you have a dedicated ‘Design Ideas’ folder or box to store all the pages you’ll be ripping out of home magazines. And if you feel like being super organised, file by room e.g. kitchen, bathroom, main room etc.
It's time to start getting a feel for what you like and don't like.
Visit display homes, home building expos or note any design features you like about the homes of family or friends, perhaps even ideas from hotel rooms you’ve stayed in.
Whilst we’re all for gathering pretty pictures, you do need to eliminate. Of the 30 kitchen designs you love, narrow it down to 3 to 5 AND be sure to know exactly what it is you like about each.
With your beautifully compiled photos and Pinterest board, you’re now ready to put together your brief.
Why? Because the brief (done in advance) is what you’ll discuss when you meet your preferred professional i.e. architect/draftsperson.
Either you can keep reading or CLICK HERE to download our FREE Design Process Worksheet.
So get busy and start detailing things that are important to you and your lifestyle:
- think about your priorities and specific requirements
- what are your non-negotiables e.g. natural light, oversized family room
- preferences for products and finishes (think flooring)
- style of home (interior and exterior), certain features, look and feel, outdoor areas, natural light (think skylights), privacy, parking etc
- number and size of all rooms (please DO NOT forget storage!)
- the maximum price you can afford to spend on the build
Also include information about the building site:
- shape of the block, orientation/views
- parts of the land you can’t build on (and reason)
- privacy from neighbouring houses
- site access
If what you want is not included in the brief, it won’t be included in the design. Changes during or after construction will cost!
Now it’s time to take your brief to an Architect, Building Designer or Draftsperson and they will bring your dream to life.
You MUST be across what’s included in any costing and what’s not. Be sure to know what's included in the architects price. And understand what’s not included.
Think about whether or not you want an Architect to help you with the Development Application and Construction Certificate as well as the required surveyor and engineer plans. This will cost more but unless you're super confident in the building process, it could be well worth the $$’s.
When choosing any professional or tradesperson, make sure you feel at ease with them. This is a massive investment so you want to know you’re in the right hands.
Here, the architect/draftsperson will refine the concept designs into more detailed documentation, based on discussions with you.
We like to take a can of spray paint and draw an outline on the site (to scale). This gives a fantastic idea of size/layout as well as a feel for space and walking from one room to another.
Anything you don’t like can be changed prior to documents being finalised.
It’s really getting down to the pointy end as your vision is about to be locked and loaded.
If your Architect, Building Designer or Draftsperson is also carrying out the required approvals, these will happen at this stage.
You’re now ready to hand your plans to a builder for pricing!