The Indicative Design Process of Designing and Building A Custom Home​

Every design process is unique; the number of steps varies depending on the complexity of the project. This guide to the design process is indicative only. For an overview of the design process of designing and building a home, hope this article help to customize your design to some extent.


1. Check if your home is in an architecturally restricted area


Some residential developments are architecturally restricted to maintain the character and property values of the neighborhood. If your new home is in such a development, it’s important to get the board’s design criteria before you start the design process as your designer needs to know all criteria and restrictions to incorporate into the design.


2. Choose your architect


When hiring an architect, you should already have an understanding of what is important to you, the relationship of the living spaces, and general concepts. The architect will help you sort through what is and isn’t possible based on your land, budget, and timeframe. Thus, it’s important for you to be able to work well with whomever you hire.


3. Brief development, fee proposal and design


It is usually signed at this step if your design contract was not signed earlier. After discussing the designer’s site analysis and fee proposal, review your preliminary budget and your brief with your designer to identify and deal with potential problems.


4. Concept designs


Designers prepare several concept designs to communicate their thinking and allow you to assess them. Concept designs should consider construction systems but not lock them in unless they are a fundamental component of your brief. Concept designs can help make initial sustainability choices as input from a building sustainability consultant can be very useful at this stage.


5. Design development


Through discussion with your designer, choose the concept design that best suits your needs. Then the designer develops the concept into a preliminary layout. This important stage usually includes preliminary room arrangements such as indication of indoor–outdoor flow, furniture layouts and preliminary choice of construction systems. Also, consider the decision-making for materials selection to identify sustainably sourced materials with low life cycle environmental impact.


6. Final design


Make your final design and selection decisions of the following matters:


• floor plan and building form

• construction systems 

• window detail schedules 

• external finishes 

• heating/cooling system 

• electrical and mechanical systems

• landscape design

• interior design and finishes


7. Planning and construction approval


Straightforward designs on sites are commonly submitted to council for simultaneous planning and construction approval. One set of plans can cover both planning and construction detailing. For more complex designs, separate submissions can be advantageous because of the standard approval process challenges.


8. Design detailing


In this stage, the documents of design and construction details are finalized and typically include:


• working drawings 

• a specification of the materials, standards, finishes and products to be used

• Engineering design and certification.


They are also given to builders when they are invited to tender for the work and form the basis of your contract with your builder.






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