What is a Building Designer, are you an Architect?

A Building Designer is a licensed professional and registered as such with State Government Authorities, for example in Queensland Building Designers are registered with the Queensland Building Construction Commission and may also be a member of the Building Designers Association of Australia.

Building Designers are not Architects, there are some great blogs you can read on multiple websites about this topic, however, in simple terms, a Building Designer with an open license is qualified legally and insured accordingly to carry out Building Design services on any type of building in the same fashion as that of an Architect.

We are often described as a Building Designer who has a strong focus on design and planning solutions and understands the importance of how good design, form and function makes a difference to our lives!

How do I choose a Building Designer?

Often a client will seek to get free advice from a Building Designer or Architect during their initial discussion with a view to establishing if the Designer is the right fit for them.

Experience has repeatedly shown us that this method in choosing a Building Designer is not ideal, we have worked with several clients who have sadly sacked their previous Designer due to a poor working relationship.

Essentially, wanting to know what the design is going to be, how it will look, feel and how much it will cost in the initial meeting is not practical.

Our advice is to interview your designer about how they will work with you as a client, as an individual seeking professional advice.

A few questions to ask your Building Designer:

1. Are you legally qualified and insured to carry out residential and or commercial design and planning services?
2. How do you confirm my personal design brief, and how do we establish a working relationship?
3. How will we communicate throughout the project? Email, phone, site meetings?
4. How do you establish design fees, whats included and excluded?
5. Do you have a signature style as a Building Designer?
6. Could you clarify past examples of your work and outline your experience? Hint : don’t always believe photos, often, not always, photos are purchased as stock photos and placed on websites as examples of work, this can be misleading for clients so it pays to ask the question.
7. How do you manage the design process and confirm the design is in keeping with my design brief and budget?
8. When are you available to work on my project?
9. Who does the work on my project? Do you sub-contract the work to other professionals?
10. How do you recommend other required professionals for my project? Do you source several fee proposals (3) from Engineers, Building Certifiers etc or do you only work with your preferred consultants and why?

How do you charge for your services?

Generally speaking we base our professional fees on the complexity of the project, the project budget and the level of service requested by the client. Essentially we tailor our fee proposals to suit the needs of our clients, this way you can have confidence you are getting value for money with a tailored design service that is right for you.

How can you be sure our house design will be on budget?

This question is answered in more detail in our design brief, however below is a brief overview.

To ensure your project is a success, both from a design point of view but also from a construction point of view, we work alongside quality Builders throughout the design process and seek their input on construction pricing. This enables our clients to have confidence that their project will be delivered on budget.

As a Building Designer are you legally qualified and insured?

Yes we are legally qualified and fully insured. Our license number held with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission is 1185569, upon request we can also provide a copy of our current Certificate of Insurances for Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurances.

Why is it important that your Designer is insured and qualified?

Generally speaking the financial investment we make in our home often represents the biggest financial investment of our lives, therefore it pays to get it right!
At times we hear clients say that their family friend or relative is providing ‘free’ advice on how to design and build their home and they don’t need a Building Designer or Architect, it seems that when you start designing a home everyone suddenly becomes and expert!
Look at it this way, would you hand over your hard earned savings to a non qualified financial adviser with no insurance who just happens to be a friend or relative? We know the answer is a big fat NO! Well, it’s no different with the design and planning of your home, it pays to use a licenced practicing professional.

What role do you have during construction?

We understand that the design of your home is only part of the journey, we make ourselves available to offer our clients Project Support throughout the construction of their home. It is essential that as a Designer we stay connected to the construction proces. Construction is not an exact science and at times unknown items arise especially when renovating a pre-loved home. Design advice during construction is essential not only for clients but also for the Builder and other trades on site.

I have an old Queensland Workers Cottage, can you help?

Yes we can! We have gained extensive experience in the design and construction of older homes, one dating back to 1882 in the Brisbane suburb of Spring Hill. Our proven design process and attention to detail will ensure your renovation project will be a success.

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