Total Design & Drafting

Building Design Process

Total Design & Drafting are here to support and advise you throughout every stage of designing your new building project.

In this page we outline the main phases of the design process from your initial consultation through to construction and outline how we can help you achieve your vision.

This is only a guide, as the various stages described may vary depending on the nature of your proposed development.


During your initial free consultation, our team will discuss your requirements in detail, offering professional advice to assist you in the preparation of a design brief.

We have extensive experience designing in a wide range of building styles and materials and will take you through all the options to ensure you make an informed decision.

At this stage we will discuss options available for us to undertake the building design process.

Typically the options can be either to;

  • Prepare a firm quotation for the design based on a fixed brief with full specifications decided upon before commencement
  • Or, prepare a concept sketch based on an estimate and an hourly rate

Concept sketch

Before a concept sketch is commenced our Building Designer may :-

  • Undertake a site inspection to establish any particular site features likely to impact your design and the surrounding area.
  • Carry out a Land Title search to obtain actual boundary dimensions and view any encumbrances or easements exist.
  • Determine if any local Council guidelines will impact on the building design.

Having the relevant information we are now ready to formalise your ideas.

Using your design brief and the building software we will develop a concept sketch which usually includes a floor plan, a typical elevation and a site plan. This concept will give you the client a look & feel on how your project could look.

We then submit our preliminary design for your comment and approval.

Design Development & Working Drawings

At Total Design & Drafting we understand that reaching the perfect building design is a process and gaining your approval of the concepts is a major step in the process.

We highly recommend that any major changes are made at this early stage, as later amendments necessitate complex adjustment of the working drawings. This can impact upon design calculations and can conflict with Council guidelines. However it is much easier to make changes now rather than during the construction phase.

Once the concept design has been finalised, we are ready to produce the final working drawings from which your project will be constructed.

These fully dimensioned plans and elevations are more detailed than the concept plans and specify how the structure is assembled. Aspects associated with Energy Rating & Sustainability are incorporated into the design at this stage.

In this phase of the process it may be necessary to utilise the services of other design professionals/consultants such as;

  • Structural Engineers (beam & column design)
  • Civil Engineers (soil sampling and footing design)
  • Land Surveyors (ground levels & contours)

We have an excellent working relationship with these professionals and naturally would seek your approval & costs before engaging anyone on your behalf.

Typically these drawings feature:

  • Site Plans, set-out details, including foundations, floor slabs and drainage design.
  • Building materials, for determination of quantities.
  • Dimensions of components such as timber frames, trusses and windows etc. (we provide plans to the Timber Truss manufacturers of your choice to allow them to undertake design as required by Council guidelines.)
  • Internal fitout layouts for kitchen, bathroom & cupboard design.
  • If necessary we can supply a Schedule of Finishes if required.

Energy Rating Assessment

Total Design & Drafting are accredited to undertake Energy Rating Assessment of your project.

We integrate our knowledge of energy efficiency from the very start of the design process, using the latest First Rate Energy software to establish the most cost effective way to achieve a sustainable and environmentally friendly outcome.

Council Approvals & Permits

Prior to construction commencing, a building permit must first be obtained from your local Council or private Building Surveyor. Total Design & Drafting produces all the necessary documentation so this process can progress as fast as possible.

Documentation submitted to the building surveyor includes the full set of working drawings, your energy rating report and structural engineering reports and certification.

In preparation for your Building Permit application, Total Design & Drafting conducts a thorough Energy Rating Assessment of your project.

We can work with you in this process or you are welcome to undertake this step on your own. Just let us know at the start of the process so that we are aware of this requirement.


If agreed at the commencement of the design process we can work hand in hand with your building contractor to ensure that construction proceeds without delay. Although we are on hand to answer any questions that may arise and to make any design adjustments that may be needed. It is important that your project proceeds smoothly.

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