Derek & Jenny

dion seminara architecture

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Read more about Derek and Jenny’s situation in regards to their project in Carina below.

Derek & Jenny

Renovation, Extension and External Works, Carina

You really do get what you pay for. In the case of Derek and Jenny, they fortunately took the route of investing in a quality design that will continue to repay them for years in terms of lifestyle outcomes and return on investment.

Derek, a contract project manager for a civil contracting company and Jenny, a nurse both migrated to Australia from the UK about 13 years ago. Their family also includes a large, beautifully natured dog.

Prior to approaching me they had been working with a building design company. But after 15 months of frustration, they felt they were no closer to getting a suitable renovation outcome for their 1960’s Carina home.

So they turned to us, initially for our Step 1 Design Advice service, which is our initial pre-design discover service.

I intentionally asked not to see any of the previous design work that had been put together by the building designer. I simply wanted to get to know more about Derek and Jenny and their lifestyle needs and then explore the options with them as if it were a clean slate.

The meeting was very productive. I got to understand their needs in great detail and then provided them with a host of answers, giving them a greater understanding of lifestyle oriented design outcomes. Something that the building designer had failed to deliver.

For Derek and Jenny, the differences between our approach and that of the building designer were stark. Whereas we took the time to get to understand their needs, the building designer has simply asked what they wanted, adding little if any design input. In addition to this, they offered little feedback on budget, leading Derek and Jenny to question their understanding of costs. This doubt was further cemented when Derek spoke with a number of builders who had stated that based on the building design work they had been given, the cost of the build vs value for money was essentially non-existent. In other words, the design they had been given added no real value to their property.

Derek went on to say that the building designer’s design was many, many, hundreds of thousands of dollars. When I was finally shown the plan created by the building designer, it was dreadful. There were literally no redeeming features; poor flow, terrible space planning, no response to climate, no zoning and poor indoor/outdoor connections. Sure, their fee was less, however the low fee was like throwing the money into the bin, it added little and would have resulted in a hugely expensive renovation with poor design outcomes!

Fortunately, Derek and Jenny had wisely decided not to proceed with the building designers work and had instead come to us.

We prepared 2 masterplan concept options along with a costing from our quantity surveyor. To say that they were delighted with the outcome was an understatement as they quickly engaged us to proceed with our concept revisions to plans service option, which included internal 3D vision and building application drawings along with co-ordination with our structural engineer and a proposal from our certifier. Derek was happy to supplement the approval package with what would be needed from the builder. They will now source their own builder quotes based on our designs.

Derek and Jenny have just started this process at the time of writing, so we are looking forward to see the final building come to life and for our clients to finally have a great lifestyle orientated space.