Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

WHAT IS THE USUAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESS?

1. OBTAIN A LAND SURVEY to determine Boundaries and Contours & levels of the Land – if required.

Check with your Building Designer or Architect whether their CAD Software packages are compatible.

2. ENGAGE A DRAFTSMAN, BUILDING DESIGNER OR ARCHITECT to prepare plans for submission to the Authorities.

3. OBTAIN DEVELOPMENT CONSENT

Development Applications need to be submitted to your Local Council (45+ days for approval*)

Complying Development Applications (CDC’s) can be submitted to your Local Council or a Private Certifier. (+14 days for approval*)

*IF all criteria is met. There are Authority fees associated with a Development Application or a Complying Development Application.

4. ENGAGE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER You will require Engineer Drawings / Reports for (but not limited to) footings, roof structure, openings in excess of 3m, retaining walls over 900mm, second storey additions and wind bracing. The Authorities may require you to submit the Engineers drawings at one of the following stages: Development Application, Complying Development Application or Construction Certificate Stage.

5. OBTAIN A CONSTRUCTION CERTIFICATE

A Construction Certificate can be obtained by means of submitting plans prepared for a Construction Certificate to your Local Council or a Private Certifier. (Construction Certificate Plans are more detailed than Development Application plans)

CDC plans are usually prepared to a level equivalent to that of "Construction Certificate" Plans.

6. COMMENCE BUILDING PROCESS as Owner Builder (Permit required) OR engage a Builder.

7. APPLY FOR OCCUPATION CERTIFICATE on completion of Building work.

 

Authorities Fees are based on the Cost of Building Work. Some Councils provide a Cost Estimate Calculator.

 

SHOULD I USE A 'DRAFTSMAN',  ‘BUILDING DESIGNER’ OR AN ‘ARCHITECT’?

The role of a Draftsman is to provide plans as per instructions provided to them.

A Draftsman will not necessarily assist with achieving a good layout, design, style, or orientation for solar access.

 

The role of a Building Designer is to assist the Client / Property Owner in obtaining Approval for Building Developments. Approvals can be obtained via your local Council or via a Private Certifier depending on the proposed development. A Building Designer does not necessarily get involved in Architectural Details and finer finishes ie: (but not limited to) details relating to interior design, fittings, skirtings, architraves, cabinetry, kitchen and bathroom details or other finishes. These kind of details are usually left to Architects or Interior Designers.

 

Our role as a Building Designer, is to provide Building Design Services to assist you in obtaining Building approval through your local Council or Private Certifier, along with good functionality, layout, design, style and orientation for solar access and to assist in meeting the Council Regulations, National Building Code, BASIX criteria or other criteria specific to your Site, such as Bushfire or Flood Planning.

 

SHOULD I SUBMIT PLANS AS A COMPLYING DEVELOPMENT (CDC) OR “DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION’ (DA)

The criteria for Complying Developments are stringent and is NOT flexible.

You may not be able to achieve the desired design outcome with a Complying Development, in which case you may have to process your application as a Development Application.

Complying Developments are prohibited on certain land, and the property owner can make an application to Council to determine whether a Complying Development is permissible for their Site by means of obtaining a 149 Planning Certificate from their local Council.

The design criteria for Complying Developments are different to the design criteria for Development Applications. Building Designers are not responsible for application approvals, and despite their best efforts to meet all the criteria, Council or a Private Certifier may request changes to be made to the plans to meet the required criteria. If Council or a Private Certifier determines that a Complying Development Application does not meet the criteria, it may be necessary to change the application to a Development Application and modifications may need to be made to the plans to match the required criteria. These changes may be included in the Building Designers fees depending on how much time has already been spent on the plans.

 

WHAT ABOUT BASIX?

Among other development types, BASIX is a requirement in NSW for new building work valued at $50 000 an over.

BASIX requirements need to be incorporated early in the process, as it will affect the overall outcome of the design.

BASIX criteria is (not limited to) but may require provisions for water tanks, clotheslines, hot water supply, insulation, lighting, shading devices, building orientation and layout, correct window positioning and criteria relating to swimming pools if they form part of the development. Our BASIX services (if included) are based on the Rapid / DIY assessment.  If this criteria can not be met under the Rapid / DIY assessment, a specialist in this field will be required to make the BASIX assessment.  It is up to the Client to make all the necessary investigations relating to the short term and long term costs related to heating & cooling appliances, available options, installation criteria, and whether all the services they require are available on their Site.

 

CONCEPT DESIGN OR WORKING PLANS?

Although a concept design is based on Council or Complying Development principles, it is to be considered as an idea or “possible development”, and the Client should be aware that the time spent on concept plans will be substantially less than time spent on full working plans. The Client should be aware that using concept plans for marketing purposes could be construed by a purchaser as misleading information as it may not be a true reflection of the eventual development, unless the research and time is put into the proposed development from the outset. It is important that the Property owner / Client understands that concept plans do not guarantee that the Proposed Development will be permissible or approved by the relevant authorities. Plans do not have approval until they have an approval stamped by the relevant authority. The Building Designer does not have the authority to approve plans, they can only assist you with the approval process. It is better to obtain submissible working plans from the outset.

 

TOWNHOUSE DEVELOPMENTS

Additional Criteria associated with Townhouses.

These are (not limited to), but will include: Provisions for Fire Separation, Party Walls, Private Open Space, Occupant Parking, Visitor Parking, Bin facilities, Traffic Flow & Road works and usually the provision for Disability Access and design if there are more than 4 Townhouses (depending on the Planning Rules). Other infrastructure may (not be limited to) but will include provisions for Telecommunications, Electricity (overhead or underground), Gas (if available in the area), Water Supply, Sewer & Stormwater provisions. These services will more than likely require specialist attention.

 

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Other factors that may have a bearing on costing or whether or the development is permissible or financially viable, may (not be limited to), but could include whether the land is situated in a Bushfire Zone, Flood Prone Land, Sloping Site, Site prone to landslip, whether the land has sewer or stormwater facilities, land sloping toward or away from the road. It is the responsibility of the Client / Property Owner to investigate all these factors prior to the purchase of the land or prior to deciding whether or not to develop the land.

 

FEES & CHARGES

The Plans and Documentation prepared by the Building Designer for submission to the relevant Authorities is based on a labour rate. They are subject to approval by Council or a Private Certifier. Approval is not automatic or guaranteed, and additional work may need to be done in order to gain approval. There may be other costs associated with obtaining plan approvals. These costs are (not limited to), but could include the services of a Land Surveyor, Structural Engineer, Town Planner, Storm water specialist, Bushfire consultant, Solar studies or other Specialists. Despite efforts made to determine all the costs or services required in advance, it is impossible for the Building Designer to anticipate or determine all the possible scenarios or costs associated with Proposed Development. It is the responsibility of the Client / Property owner to make their own investigations and make decisions based on their findings from the relevant authorities and other sources.

The price quoted on the invoice is based on a labour rate. A quote is based on a reasonable amount of time anticipated for the project.

The price quoted will usually cover modifications to the plans, but if modifications to the plans exceed the maximum hours quoted, these hours will become billable.

A 50% deposit is required prior to commencement of work, with the balance being due on completion, prior to release of printable plans. Plans will be provided in a PDF format for the Client to review & approve prior to the final payment becoming due, and final plans being released. Fees do not include any Specialist Services, Specialist advice or reports, Council Fees, Application fees.

 

STANDARD INCLUSIONS

 

Plans for (DA) Development Application

Plans for CC (construction Certificate) Application

Site Analysis Plan,

Site Setout Plan*

Shadow Diagram*

Floor plans

Elevations

Sections

3D Colour Views.

Safe Design Report

External Door & Window Schedule

BASIX Compliance & Certificate*

Statement of Environmental Effects Waste Management Plan

*if required by the relevant authority

 

 

OR

Plans for (CDC) Complying Development

Plans for CC (Complying Development Application)

Site Analysis

Plan Site Setout Plan*

Shadow Diagram*

Floor plans Elevations

Sections

3D Colour Views.

Safe Design Report

External Door & Window Schedule

BASIX Compliance & Certificate*

*if required by the relevant authority


 

NON STANDARD INCLUSIONS

Rendered Drawings, 3D Walk Throughs

 

HOW DO I PROCEED?

Advise the Building Designer or Architect that you would like to proceed with their services and they will guide you from there.

 

OBTAIN A SITE SURVEY?

Prior to obtaining a Site Survey, check with your Building Designer that the software package of the Land Surveyor is compatible with that of your Building Designer’s.

 

The following information should be included in a Site Survey.

  •  All relevant topographical and physical features located within the property

  • Cadastral Boundary Fixation together with encumbrance investigation

  • Connection to State Survey marks and AHD levels

  • Location, bearings & distances of boundaries

  •  Outline & location of existing building/s on site

  •  Location of any services on or passing through site, including those on the footpath or street

  •  Contours & spot levels of the site, extending for a distance of 5m outside the site boundary

       (confirm this distance with your local Council – some Councils require greater distances)

  • Location of adjacent buildings, including any windows or opening that face the subject site

  • RL's of eaves & ridge of subject building, and adjacent buildings

  • Location, height, girth & trunk diameter of any tree's on the subject site, or within 5m outside of the site

      (Confirm this distance with your local Council – some Councils require greater distances)

  • RL's of all floor levels

  • Provision of Electronic copies of the Survey plan in 3 dimensional (X, Y, & Z co-ordinate) CAD format, as well as full size PDF.

  • Import settings: Ground Floor, Scale set to mm.

 

OBTAIN A 149 PLANNING CERTIFICATE FROM YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL

(if you would intend submitting a Complying Development (CDC) application)

 

ADVISE THE BUILDING DESIGNER OF DETAILS THAT COULD AFFECT THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT

This can be found on your contract for the sale of Land

 

THE BUILDING DESIGNER WILL MEET YOU ON SITE TO DISCUSS YOUR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AND MEASURE UP ANY EXISTING BUILDINGS – Allow approx 2hrs during normal daylight business hours.

 

The information supplied in this document is Standard Information, and should not be considered as fully comprehensive,

as there is too much variation between site conditions and development types to include all possible scenarios.

© DeMont DeSign 2020

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