Architect Explains The Custom Home Building Process!

Architect Explains The Custom Home Building Process!

New Homes, Renovations, Services, Tips and Advice

If you hadn’t already noticed, at dion seminara architecture we are MASSIVE fans of custom home designs, and the lifestyle benefits they offer clients!

We believe that the tailored aesthetics and functionality of custom home designs enhance the lifestyle of those who live in them – in a way project homes simply cannot compete with.

We realised, however, that many people don’t have experience with custom home designs, and therefore might be intimidated by the process that goes into creating a custom home.

That is why in this blog post, we have decided to break down the process, explaining what goes into a custom home project from start to finish!

Architect Explains The Custom Home Building Process!

Defining Your Dream Home Vision

This is one of the earliest steps in the custom home process, and for some people – one of the hardest!

It can be difficult to decide exactly what your priorities should be when designing your home, and when it is necessary to make compromises.

For example – design styles which are more in trend right now, will likely look dated in a few decades time. It can be a fulfilling choice to pick a trendy aesthetic for your home, however if you don’t think you will have a renovation budget in the future – you might want to reconsider choosing a design which is too experimental!

Basically, the lesson here is that there will be pros and cons to nearly every choice you could make in regards to your custom home, the key is simply to understand this – and weigh up every decision you make.

At dion seminara architecture, we understand how difficult and overwhelming this initial step can be, which is why we created our Design “Ideas” Advice Service!

The first step in our 6 step process, the Design “Ideas” Advice Service is a way for you to get an experienced architect’s assistance when it comes to defining your project vision, understanding the pros and cons to various design choices, and assessing your project’s viability.

Want to learn more about our Design “Ideas” Advice Service?

Contact us today to learn how we can help you define your project vision!

architect design drawings

Setting Your Project Budget

This is another step in the process that can prove quite difficult!

We regularly get enquiries from motivated prospective clients whose budgets are, quite frankly, unworkable.

It is important to understand that building costs have gone up SIGNIFICANTLY in recent years – meaning that, unfortunately, budgets don’t stretch the way they used to!

Although this is an unfortunate fact, choosing a skilled architect to design your project can allow you to find some workarounds to this.

Whilst we can’t magically reduce the going rate for builders and suppliers, we do have a few tricks up our sleeve to help make your project a little friendlier to your wallet!

One such trick is our tendering process!

When a client signs with us for our full Platinum service, we include a tendering service as part of our process.

This competitive tendering process allows us to get quotes from 3 different builders (who have already been vetted to produce quality work).

Once we have received all 3 quotes, we provide these to our clients – along with any recommendations we may have to help the client choose.

Whilst you shouldn’t select a builder solely based on price, it is good to know that you have paid a competitive, fair rate for your project!

Our second way of helping clients turn their projects into reality is staging!

Staging is where we design the project in a way that allows for it to be built slowly, in sections, over time.

This means that clients can progress, or put a hold to, their project as their financial situation changes.

Whilst staging doesn’t inherently “save you money” all the time, it DOES provide a suitable solution for those who desperately want to get started building their forever home, but don’t have the spare cashflow available.

Want to learn more about our processes?

Contact us today!

Architect Explains The Custom Home Building Process!

Selecting a Site for Your Home

Selecting a site for your home, if you don’t already own land, is a highly personal but highly important stage of the design process!

The factors which are considered important will vary from person to person, based on your current and future lifestyle needs.

For example – do you plan to resell the home in the future? If so – you may want to pay more attention to the suburb’s resale values!

Do you have young kids? If so – what schools are located near your potential site, and are they suitable for your children’s education?

What is CRUCIAL in this stage is to make a mental note of all the things, both currently and in the future, that are important to you – and make sure these are all factored in to the decision making process.


I don’t blame you!

That is why we created our Pre Purchase Advice Sessions.

These sessions offer you a professional architect’s input as to the suitability of a site or house you are considering purchasing.

We will provide feedback on our opinion of the site, as well as it’s suitability to your current and future lifestyle needs.

To learn more about our pre purchase advice services, contact us today!

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Hiring an Architect

Hiring an architect is simple!

Simply click “contact us” on the dion seminara architecture website and fill out your details!

In all seriousness – the perfect architectural firm for your project will vary based on your project goals, budget, and the type of project you are trying to undertake.

Every firm will have their own process, specialties, and preferred project types.

For example – dion seminara architecture specialises in lifestyle-focused design.

We create homes with our client’s current and future lifestyle needs at the front of our mind.

We specialise in a range of styles, including character homes, renovation architecture, luxury new homes, and more!

Every firm will have their own strengths and weaknesses, so keep this in mind, and find a firm which has a process and portfolio that aligns with your project vision!

Brisbane based architect Dion Seminara - the founder of Dion Seminara architecture.

The Design Development Stage

I have covered this stage of the process COUNTLESS times in the past!

In order to ensure I am not repeating the same information over and over again to my repeated readers – I am just going to skip over the design stage in this article.

That being said, I want to help my new readers too!

You can learn about the Design Process we follow at dion seminara architecture here.

We have 3 different package options, which offer different levels of coverage across our 6 step process.

Feel free to learn more about our packages, our process, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance!

Architect Explains The Custom Home Building Process!

The Construction Phase

The construction phase of your project will look very differently depending on the firm, and design package, you select.

For the sake of continuity, I will be discussing what the construction phase looks like for those who choose dion seminara architecture’s Platinum Package.

Firstly, as I mentioned earlier in this article, we will put your project out to a competitive tender.

This tender will provide us with 3 different quotes from vouched architectural builders, allowing us to ensure you are getting a fair price as well as quality workmanship.

From there – the exciting part begins!

For Platinum Package clients, we take care of your project management.

As such, what this stage looks like is that you get to sit back and relax – simply admiring the progress of your project!

To give you some understanding of what goes on behind the scenes, we will conduct site visits every week, and provide the builders with direction to ensure your project is as smooth as possible.

In the rare event that any issues occur with your build – you can rest easy knowing that we will take care of them for you.

As mentioned earlier – your only job here is to admire the progress as your dream home starts to take shape!

timber house frame

The Move In Day

The easiest (and most satisfying) part of the process!

You arrive to see your completed dream home!

The keys are handed over, and you get to experience the lifestyle benefits that come with an architect designed home.


If you want to experience this for yourself, contact us today to discuss your project!

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Hawthorne Queenslander Renovation – Architecturally designed indoor and outdoor spaces providing ultimate air flow, natural light and comfort for all

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.