The essential first step in any extension or renovation is for us to meet you on site. An informal, obligation-free consultation lets both parties decide whether we will be a good fit to work together. It also lets us physically inspect the site, note any unique features which will affect the build and discuss our availability and whether we can do the work in a timeframe that suits you.
If you are supplying your own plans, we will go through these during the meeting and make notes specific to your site. We will need all drawings forwarded to us prior to our meeting. It is important to provide all documentation relating to the build, as costly and avoidable situations can occur If the documents supplied are incomplete or superseded.
Design & Build service
If you are using our Design and Build service from the early stages of planning your project, we will use this first meeting to discuss design scenarios for your home extension and the likely build costs. Other things we will cover in our initial consultation are:
- Noting down which parts of the home you want to keep, and which need to be renewed
- Doing a visual check for existing water damage, termite and insect damage, footing movement, cracking, and anything else that will require remedial work
- Discussing the structural ramifications of proposed designs and the likely impacts on your existing home
- Finally we will explain the pricing structure of our Design and Build package. Pricing is job-specific and will include a full feature survey (land survey) of your block, arborist’s report (if necessary), soil testing, engineering, working drawings, town planning (if applicable), building permit fees and Victorian Building Authority (VBA) levies. This pricing will then be formalised in a fee proposal which will be sent to you. Once the fee proposal has been accepted, we will have a second meeting with our registered building designer at your home to take your design brief for the initial concept sketches
We find initial consultations are most productive when clients have written out a list of what they want to achieve in the build. A useful format for this is to break the list into columns such as:
- ‘must haves’ – a second bathroom for an expanding family, air conditioning, an alarm system
- ‘wants’ – hydronic heating, natural stone benchtops
- ‘can’t decides’ – to extend upstairs or into the backyard? Weatherboards or an architectural cladding product?
Every home extension is unique and personal. We find the design process works best when allowed to grow organically as the client, designer and builder develop and discuss ideas. We also know that circumstances change, budgets need adjusting, and design goals evolve. For this reason, we include three sets of major changes to the plans as part of our service.