Step 1. Consultation & Acquire your design brief :
From this initial meeting and with knowledge of the property details before we have meet, we would be able to give you a good indication of what’s possible on your site.
It’s always better to meet onsite, but understand in some cases that’s not possible, this is so that we can walk through the opportunities you have with sight lines from your site, and also so that I can visually understand your site and any unique elements that will play a factor.
Also we like to bring drawings from previous jobs previously completed and possibly jobs that are similar to your proposal to show you the level of documentation that we provide, as this is where we believe our services are better than that of the majority of our competitors.
It can be of assistance if you have any sketches no matter how basic you may have done or plans of the existing house if a renovation, also if you have an images of other homes you may have collected or links on the internet that would help us get a better understand of the style or elements you would like to incorporate into your design, but none of these items are critical, merely an aid.
Step 2. Quotation > Engagement of Services
Once we have had a sight meeting we will need a day or so to formulate a detailed fee proposal that will outline the stages required and what will be produced from Vistalab at each of these stages, a typically broken down would be Design Development / Town Planning (if required) / Working Drawings / Building Permit stages, then the overall fee is broken down into these stages, in the circumstance where our services are no longer required the completion of any of the stages.
Up to this point there is no obligation or fee to be paid, until you sign the fee proposal and settle a deposit then we can proceed with your design.
Step 3. Site Measure and/or Survey
Once we have been engaged to commence we would recommend a qualified land survey be engaged (if required, we will advise) to prepared a land surveyor, as with all consultants we have a preferred and recommend consultant that we would obtain a fee proposal on your behalf, but happy to work with your preferred consultant should you have one. The land survey will pick up things like the level and features, adjoining properties and any windows they may have facing your property, the location of your fence relative to your title boundaries and any trees located with in or around your site that may impact on our future development.
If working with an existing building for a renovation, Vistalab will also need to conduct an onsite measure of the internal layout of the house, to assist with our concept drawing as this detailed existing plan will form the base plan and elevations that we will use to start formulating our concepts around.
If there’s existing vegetation that needs to be documented, we may also need to engage an Arborist to prepare a report of the condition of any significant trees on and on adjoining sites if in close proximity of the proposed works, this would be required if we need a Town Planning permit.
Step 4. Design Development
We will prepare around 2-3 varying concepts, based on your brief then make necessary tweaks to those layouts to get the design to your taste, once you’re happy with the plan direction we tackle the elevations and overall look of the development from the outside with combinations of deifferen roof styles or cladding choices and things like window sizes and locations.
Step5. Town Planning (when required)
Once the concept design is locked in, we move forward into getting ready for our Town Planning lodgement, Town Planning can be considered longest part of the process, as it can take anywhere from 4 months up to a year in some case to get a Planning Permit depending on the complexity of the development and councils views and the planning departments in house efficiency also dependant on your neighbours who could choose to object to your development.
Step 6. Working Drawings
These are the drawings that the builders will end up using for their pricing with a lot more information added to the drawings like dimensions and more details needed to help construct to all the relevant standards and regulations, these are also the drawings that the Engineering consultant will need to work out what structural components you need. So once the drawings are completed there issued to the engineer for them to be able to start there drawings and design work. Once the Engineer is completed then we can move forward with getting the getting quote from builders.
Step 7. Building Permit
While the drawings are out to tendering with builder’s we lodge all documentation and approvals to the Building Surveyor who review everything and inform us of any other items that need to address to achieve full compliance with all relevant regulations and to the VBA’s required standard. Once the Permit is issued the Builder is free to start and this is where our services end and the Builder who also becomes your project manager form here on takes over until your house is completed and ready to move in. Throughout the build the Building Surveyor will also inspect your construction site at various stages for example at pre-concrete pouring, and the timber framing stage and then lock up and at the completion for your occupancy certificate. However, Vistalab is still available through the build process should you have any questions.