Sketch design

Sketch design is also called preliminary design or concept design.
It is the time to define your goals and aspirations, analyse the design constraints and review design options.
It is an interactive process between you and your designer, requiring a lot of discussion, thought and feedback by both parties.

What you need to do

  • Read our Design Guide publication to give you an insight into the Design Process and understanding of good design principles for the different rooms of your home.
  • Establish the kind of house you want and the styles you like. Try to think through things before you sit down and prepare the brief for your designer. Work done here will save you time and money throughout the construction process.
  • Provide a brief, including budget and time frames.
  • Order a LIM from the council where you are building.
  • Supply a recent certificate of title and any other legal information you have on your site.
  • Attend design meetings, take notes, consider the design options presented and provide clear and timely feedback in person or in writing.
  • Approve the final sketch design and cost estimate.
  • Pay the designer’s sketch design fee.

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What your designer will do

  • Confirm conditions of engagement before they start work.
  • Investigate the site (access, orientation, sun angles, neighbours, views, etc), existing services and buildings.
  • Confirm whether sub-consultants are required. For example: land surveyor; quantity surveyor; structural or geotechnical engineers; town planner etc.
  • Investigate district plan rules and requirements that affect your site.
  • Analyse your brief against the design constraints.
  • Prepare design options in sketches, site plans, floor plans, elevations, sections and perhaps a three-dimensional model.
  • Present design options to you in person.
  • Refine your preferred option based on your formal feedback.
  • Define the primary elements of the design: driveways and paths, building size, form, materials, openings and outdoor spaces.
  • Provide a square metre rate cost estimate on the selection option.
  • Apply for a PIM to identify any Resource Consent issues and get information the council holds on your site.
  • Apply for a Resource Consent on your behalf (unless this is not part of the conditions of engagement).