Our Design Process
We are specialists at integrating the three parts of your living environment.
building design + interior design + landscape design.
From initial advice to overseeing the entire project and everything in between. We offer a full range of services for you to choose from and we can help you with any or all stages of your building, interior or landscaping project.
Building or renovating can be a very involved process. There’s the planning, the design, the approvals and construction elements, not to mention inspection of the building work itself.
It can be very confusing to know exactly what you need and not everyone client, or every project, requires the same level of assistance; which is why we at dion seminara architecture offer 3 distinct service packages, to help remove the confusion and give you exactly what you need.
MEASURED DRAWINGS – IF YOU’RE RENOVATING
Please note that if renovating Detailed Measured Drawings will need to be prepared by dion seminara architecture. Deliverables include: site plan floor plan(s), elevations, (1) section, and electrical plan. All drawings will be provided in hardcopy format.
OUR 3 DISTINCT “DESIGN” SERVICE PACKAGES
Design Approval Ready
Schematic Design (Your Concept) & Design Development, Pre-Development /Pre-Building Application
Design Construction Ready
Schematic Design (Your Concept) & Design Development, Pre-Development/ Pre-Building Application & Construction ready Documents
Design Build Ready
Schematic Design (Your Concept) & Design Development, Pre- Development /Pre-Building Application, Construction + Specification, Tender & Contract administration
OPTION A.1 – DESIGN APPROVAL READY
Who does this package suit? This is the perfect option for smaller projects or clients with a high level of experience in building or renovating who don’t feel they need further assistance beyond the actual design.
What the package includes: This package includes everything that you need to get your project designs ready for approval. Read More
Following on from our initial meeting we create up to 2 Schematic Designs, also known as Concept Designs. You will receive a detailed summary of your requirements, covering everything that was discussed during our consultation. In addition to this you also receive a project report and an opinion of cost prepared by our independent Quantity Surveyor who is a professional cost planner.
Once a Schematic Design is approved we move onto Design Development where floorplans are further developed and greater detail added like fixtures, fittings and finishes. In this phase we also prepare 3D visuals giving you an understanding of how your home will look and feel.
At this point we make any required revisions and finalise the development of your design, including building design, interior design and landscape external work design if required. Interior and landscape selections and scheduling are also offered at this point as an optional addition.
Finally we will prepare your application drawings. This includes pre-development application drawings and pre-building application drawings. We will also obtain quotes from sub-consultant services where required.
OPTION B.1 – DESIGN CONSTRUCTION READY
Who does this package suit? Anyone who wants a detailed service but is confident of managing the tender and contract administration phases by themselves.
What the package includes: In this package you get everything from A.1 PLUS construction ready documentation with the option of interior design and landscape design included. Read More
In this package you will receive highly detailed drawings that your builder will use as a step by step guide for the construction of your project. The builder’s life is made easier as a result of the incredible amount of detail that we include in these drawings, while you get the peace of mind of knowing that everything has been spelt out in black and white.
As part of this package you also receive specifications and a schedule of works which outlines the exact tasks that need to be completed during the building process. Covering everything from material specifications to the scope and the order of work, this documentation leaves nothing to chance.
The optional interior design can include interior selections and scheduling as well as conceptual designs and documentation.
Landscape / external works design is included with the option of plant selection and with a garden planting plan available if desired.
OPTION C.1 – DESIGN BUILD READY
Who does this package suit? Anyone wanting a comprehensively managed design and building process that is high quality and stress free.
What the package includes: This package includes everything that you get in A.1 and B.1 including the option to choose interior and landscape design. But in addition to that we also handle the Tendering process and Building Contract Management on your behalf. Read more
Through our tried and proven tendering process you receive the most competitive quotes from quality builders that are best suited to your particular project. We start off by sourcing from our list who is the most suited and finding out their available arranging tenders from suitable builders and then negotiate the best deal with those builders on your behalf. From there we help you assess each tender before awarding the winning builder. And because we have no affiliation with any one building firm we act completely in your best interests to get the best possible deal for you.
Once a builder has been selected we then prepare tailor made contracts that are designed to protect your interests and arrange for these to be signed and executed by all parties.
Next is our optional but extremely important Building Contract Management service, where we keep an eye on the construction work to ensure that the correct materials and fittings are being used and that the quality of work is up to standard and being done on time.
Tasks here include onsite visits to confirm with the builder what has been completed. All work is then inspected to ensure there are no defects or shortcuts being taken and that everything is in line with your plans and specifications. If any defects are found we immediately relay this information to you and issue a Notice to Rectify to the builder. In addition to this we assess and verify any milestone claims and recommend releasing milestone payments upon verification of the work being completed to a satisfactory level.
Our Building Contract Management service continues throughout the build and beyond, including undertaking a final defects inspection within 6 months of the Practical Completion date to make sure that any defects are remedied under your warranty period.
In short, this package gives you the complete piece of mind that your project deserves.
PARTIAL SERVICE (DESIGN CONCEPT ONLY)
Who does this package suit? Anyone who is unsure of what they want or someone who initially only wants planning and costing work to help them make clearer long term decisions.
What the package includes: The schematic design only. Please note that whilst this may initially sound like an attractive option it is a design plan and costing only and doesn’t include any changes or 3D visuals and as such lacks the excitement of our other packages.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? HERE IS AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT EACH PACKAGE INCLUDES:
OUR 6 STEP PROCESS:
1 – ARCHITECT’S ADVICE & ASSESSMENT
We have three different pre-design services available, depending on your needs and the type of project.
- Design Options Advice
- Lifestyle Design Options Assessment
- Pre-Purchase Design Options Advice
The purpose of these services is to help you understand what you wish to achieve with your project and assist you in formulating a realistic budget. They will provide some verbally presented initial design ideas and concepts. These services include advice for building design, interior design and landscape design (as required). To work out which of our pre-design services is best for you, click here.
2 – SCHEMATIC DESIGN (SKETCH DESIGN CONCEPT)
Going forward into our design services will show you how, from the orally presented pre-design services, our design services will give your project new meaning. This stage is based upon the information from our pre-design meeting and includes:
- A detailed written summary of your requirements
- Concept floor plan
- Project report and opinion of cost
- Optional external works design
- Conceptual building design, interior design & landscape design (as required)
3 – DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
This is where we make any alterations of concept revisions to the initial sketch design. This stage includes:
- Development of your design at 1:100 of your building
- Material selection and review
- Interior design & landscape external work design
- Optional interior & landscape selections and scheduling, including plant selections
- Section drawings (for sloping sites)
- 3D visuals to show you the full picture
4 – PRE-DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL AND PRE-BUILDING APPROVAL
Development approval drawings will be required if your project requires town planning approval. Building approval drawings are required to obtain building approval and drafting of the detailed drawings and specifications that will be used by your builder.
This stage includes:
- Site plan
- Floor plans
- 1:100 sections as needed
- 1:100 elevations as needed
- Window and door schedule
5 – CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTATION
These are the detailed drawings that your builders will be using during construction of your project. They inform the builder how to construct the project to the desired quality. They form part of the contract with the builder. Construction documentation includes:
- Additional notations on:
- Site plan
- Floor plans
- 1:100 sections as needed
- 1:100 elevations as needed
- Window and door schedule
- External works plan (for large projects only)
- Floor finishes layout (for large projects only)
- Roof plan
- Reflected ceiling plan
- Electrical layout plan
- Detail 1:20 wall sections and particular non-standard details
CO-ORDINATION OF SUB-CONSULTANTS
We can co-ordinate all of your sub-consultants and submit paperwork on your behalf for approval. Potential sub-contractors may include:
- Building certifier
- Structural engineer
- Hydraulic consultant
INTERIOR DESIGN CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS & SCHEDULES
This is an optional service which we offer to ensure all parts of your home blend seamlessly together. With our qualified and experienced Interior Designer we can provide you with a complete Interior Design package or simply components of this service. Some of the areas to consider include:
- Consideration of storage needs
- Kitchen design
- Bathroom design
- Laundries, media rooms, entertainment units, studies, wardrobes, cellars
- Lighting scheme
- Electrical layout and fittings
- Colour scheme
EXTERNAL WORKS DESIGN CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS
This is an optional service which we offer that gives consideration of all areas within the boundary of the property. Elements that we consider include:
- Garden areas
- BBQ/Entertainment areas
- Garden edging
- Water storage units
- Solar collection units
- Water features
Our landscaping and garden design expert can advise you on landscaping designed to complement your project and in a way that will suit your lifestyle.
6 – TENDER AND BUILDING CONTRACT MANAGEMENT
Now that your designs are complete it’s time to find and hire a builder and get your project built. Step 6, which is divided into 2 key stages, is optional however it does offer a number of significant advantages.
The first stage involves tendering and contract negotiation. As part of our service we can:
• arrange for tenders from suitably qualified builders
• negotiate with builders on your behalf to get the best terms and pricing
• help you assess each tender and award the project to the winning builder
• prepare tailor made contracts on your behalf
• arrange for signing and execution of contracts by all parties
The next stage is contract administration, which is where we act on your behalf to ensure that the project is completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract. As part of this service we:
• visit the construction site periodically to ensure correct material selection, design integrity and quality of work
• report back to you regarding progress and standard of work
• answer any questions or address any concerns from our client, the builder or any specialist consultants or sub-contractors
• assess construction progress and issue progress certificates
• release progress payments upon satisfactory completion of stages
• liaise with the builder on your behalf on such things as variations, delays, material unavailability, etc.
• assess and report back to you regarding any requests by the builder for variations or time extensions
• make any required adjustments to monetary sums such as prime costs and provisional sums
• notify all parties regarding any defective or incomplete work
• assess practical completion and issue notice of practical completion
• carry out defect inspections