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Our Process

Thinking of altering you existing home or building a new one can be a daunting process, but when you collaborate with us, we break it down into easy steps and help manage the process for you. Below is the design process we use to work with you in order to bring your ideas and dreams into fruition. Depending on the size of your project some of the steps can be merged together, removed altogether or expanded to create smaller and more manageable steps.

Initial Consultation

The first step in the journey is to meet you either on-site or at your home to discuss your project and the services we can provide to you. This is a free of charge meeting where we get more information on what your ideas and hopes for the project are and we can advise you on any council requirements.

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The Brief


After the initial consult you will need to form a brief so we can fully understand what you would like to achieve within the project. The more information you give us at this stage the more we will be able to design to your needs and expectations.

When forming your brief think about:

  • What rooms are required/how many?

  • Design ideas, what you like and what you dislike

  • Future use of the building. Will you need a home office? Is your family expanding? 

  • What is your budget?

Once you have given us you design brief, we will put together a fee’s proposal. This will have a breakdown of the various stages of the process and the fees related to each stage. At the design stage we may require the services of a surveyor or other independent consultants. We will advise you if these services are required and obtain a quote for you during this stage.




Once you have accepted our quote, we will set up your project file. This includes inspecting the site and assessing any conditions and constraints, assessing regulations and territorial authority rules as well as selecting any secondary consultants likely to be required (these will be engaged by you). We will confirm your brief and prepare 'as built' drawings of the existing structure which will require us to come and measure and photograph your house (this will be needed for any work on an existing building). We will also obtain any existing documents from the Territorial Authority.


Concept Design


During this stage we will use the brief provided by you and the information that has been gathered to produce a concept design. This will include all relevant information of your site/property and any council requirements/restrictions. We will produce proposed plans which show possible options as well as elevations and 3D perspectives which help give a clear depiction of where the design is heading. We will then meet again to go through the concept design, what you like and what you would like to be changed can all be discussed at this time.


Developed Design


After reviewing the preliminary design with your input, we will make the changes which were discussed and develop the design to a more enhanced level. In this process there may be some back and forth between the designer and yourself to confirm the design. We will produce a final set of design drawings which will be confirmed by you before moving onto the next stage of the process.

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Resource Consent Application


If a resource consent is required this will be identified at the Initial Consultation or at the Concept Design stage. A resource consent is required if the proposed design does not comply with the council rules. Sometimes with careful design this process can be avoided but from time to time it is necessary. If a resource consent is required the developed design drawings will be added to. This will be to develop a set of drawings which shows the non-complying areas for council. An Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) will be completed in accordance with the Resource Management Act and any other relevant information required for the application will be gathered. On larger development projects we advise engaging an independent Town Planning Consultant to write the AEE and manage the resource consent application. We would obtain a quote for these services.


Working drawings and Documentation


Once the developed design is confirmed and a resource consent has been approved, if needed, the next stage is to complete a working drawing set of the design and associated documentation for the project.  These plans can also be used for the tendering process in which the builder will price from to get an approximate price for your project. At this stage we may also engage an engineer for some structural elements, you will be informed if this is needed during the developed design stage.

The drawings and documentation typically include:

  • A Site Plan

  • Existing and Proposed Floor Plans

  • Foundation Plans

  • Floor Framing Plans

  • Roof Framing Plans

  • Cross and Long Sections

  • Elevations

  • Interior Elevations (bathroom, kitchen and laundry)

  • Services Plans (including bracing, lintels, sewer and stormwater)

  • Window and Door Schedules

  • Construction Details

  • Construction Specifications

  • Weathertight Risk Matrix

  • H1 Compliance Report or H1 Compliance Calculations

  • Structural Drawings and Calculations from the Engineer

Services we can provide during this process include:

  • Electrical Layout Plans which include interior and exterior lighting plans

  • Hard Landscaping Plans and Details

  • Finishes, Hardware and Fixture Schedules


We present and review the working drawings with you prior to submitting them to council.

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Building Consent


Once all parties are happy with the design and documentation, the drawing set is ready to submit to council. We do this on your behalf and liaise with the council during the consent process and supply them with any additional information that may be requested by council during this time. Council can take up to 5 working days to vet and accept a consent, 20 working days to process the consent (or longer if additional information is required) and then up to 5 days to release the final stamped consent. Getting your consent through council can take around 6 working weeks.

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We don’t provide tendering services but can recommend contractors that will be most suitable for your project. We can help you review the tenders and help coordinate the signing of contractual documents between yourself and the successful contractor.

Construction/Site Observation

Your builder will be in constant contact with the council to complete any site inspections which may be needed. We are on hand if you or your builder need us for any additional construction details or if an issue arises on site that needs a designers advice. This is done on a project-by-project basis but we will always be a phone call away!

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