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Our Design Process

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is “What is your design process?” This is such an important question, especially for those who have no prior build experience. Below is a brief description about each of the main stages of our design process, as well as our fee structure.

Design Brief

The design brief is the first main step in our design process. This will be scheduled following our first initial meeting and it is an exciting step for both our designers and the clients. During this stage we will clearly define your needs by discussing what you want in the home, how you live/use your home, the styles you like and dislike, and also your budget. It’s important to note that the discussion regarding your budget is not to discuss a target, but rather to get an understanding of what our team will be designing to. We will also have a meeting on site to discuss your ideas further.

The design brief stage will be concluded once the site has been surveyed for contours and boundaries.

Concept Design

During the concept design stage, you will be presented with an initial concept of the floor and site plan. During this presentation, we will discuss any changes that you would like made. The point of this stage is to encourage discussion, even if it may result in a complete change of direction.

Clients are more than welcome to take their plans home with them and schedule another meeting with us to discuss the plans further. The concept design stage is also where we will also start to develop a 3D model of the design.

Pricing Plans

The next stage is where we will go through everything with you in detail and provide you with a tailor-made building addendum. It is at this stage that we will also organise for you to meet with the builder, the kitchen designer, the engineer (if required), and you will also pick the plumbing fittings and floor coverings.

Your plans will then be sent out for pricing and you will receive a realistic photo render of the design. We will also discuss a breakdown of the price and make any required changes. We recommend that a landscape architect is also consulted during this stage, as the landscape design can be crucial to the overall design.

Working Drawings

The working drawings stage is the next step in our design process. This stage is where your plans will be fully detailed and then submitted to the council and for construction. The information within the supplied plans will include construction details, specification of materials and workmanship, engineering and services details, as well as some additional reports which may be required.


Construction is the most exciting stage for our clients to see their design be brought to life. We will still be involved during the process of the build, and will often meet our clients on-site at crucial times during the build. During these on-site meetings we will walk through the build with our clients and check the quality of finishes. When construction is complete, we love to visit our client’s new home to celebrate.

Fee Structure

Although fee structure is not a specific step, it is still important to discuss as part of the design process. Our preference is to cater to what our clients would like in regard to a fee structure, and most clients prefer an hourly rate (open book). Invoicing frequency is also tailored to each client.

Each commission is unique, and we will tailor our free structure, including invoicing frequency, to each client accordingly. We do not require a deposit and we do not charge for travel outside of Marlborough.

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