Design Process

Step-by-Step Architectural Design Process for a Successful New Home

Written by Bridget Puszka, BP Architects     Ι     3 minute read

Home Renovation designed by BP Architects
Live your ideal life. West St Kilda home

What Are the Steps in the Architectural Design Process?

There are five main stages in the architectural design process.  These Five Stages are:

Stage 1. Your New Home Brief & Budget
Stage 2. Concept, Sketch and Design Development
Stage 3. Permit and Construction Documents
Stage 4. Tendering and Your Builder Selection
Stage 5 Contract Administration and On-Site Inspection

Stage 1. Your New Home Brief & Budget

Your Wish List

The first step in your new home design and the start of the architectural design process starts with you.  The beginning of your new home process involves you putting together your Wish List for your new home.  Your Wish List prioritize what is essential in your future new house and what you would like to include.

your New home Brief

While your Wish List conveys your dreams and desires for your new home, your new home Brief moderates your Wish List with your budget, room sizes and room connections.  Your architect uses your Wish List to write a Brief for your new home.

Your new home Brief is essential as it ensures that your architect understands what is critical for you, and it lets you know how the architect interprets your ideal home desires.

Stage 2. Concept, Sketch and Design Development

Concept Plan

Completing your Brief leads you on to Stage 2, the design of your home.  Your new home design ideas come together in a Concept Plan.  The Concept Plan shows the layout of your house, room locations, room sizes and how your home connects with outdoor spaces.

Sketch Design

From the Concept Plan, your new home starts to take shape in Sketch Design drawings, where you begin to get an idea of the look and feel of your new home.  At each stage of your new home design, you can assess, discuss, analyze and have your home customized for your needs.

Design development

Design development is when your architect further improves the custom design of your home and details the construction.  It is a step often missed in house designs.

Detailed Design Development drawings of your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, and other parts of your home, ensure everything specified fits perfectly in your home.  Specialized joinery units are detailed so that your builder builds what you want.

Stage 3. Permit and Construction Documents

In Stage 3, with your architect’s advice, you start the process of choosing building materials, fixtures, appliances and finishes. Your choices are documented in schedules and specifications and on your construction documents.

Town Planning Approval

Depending on the conditions on your home site, Title and Council requirements, you may need Town Planning Documents.  The Town Planning documents go to Council for Council to approve your proposed new home.

Building Permit Approval

The Building Permit documents are different to Town Planning documents.  Building permit documents provide the information to the builder to build your new home.  The documents go to a Building Inspector for approval.

Building Permit documents form part of the contract between you and your builder.  It is essential to know everything in the contract documents is what the builder has agreed to build for the price quoted.

Stage 4. Tendering and Your Builder Selection

Stage 4 is Tendering for your home project, which involves organizing quotes from several builders.  You want quotes from several builders so that you know the price to build your home is competitive market pricing.  The final cost may require negotiation and changes to the scope of works.  From the tenders, you select the best builder to build your home.

Stage 5 Contract Administration and On-Site Inspection

Then, Stage 5 involves building your new home, where your architect can act as your representative on your home site.  Your architect ensures that the builder makes your home the way you want it and according to your contract documents.

Every architect design approach is different.  Choosing the right architect for your home project can make all the difference for your new home.

Planning to build your new home?

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This 5-minute video explains our architectural design process.  The video shows you the design process using one of our Client’s sustainable homes as a case study.