Architects draw up plans...right?

It is a widely held belief that Architects simply draw up plans, but the truth is that although drawing plans is an important part of what we do, it is only a part.

The following summary of an architect's services is not intended to be exhaustive but is intended as a brief guide, and for convenience is separated into sequential stages:

Stage A - Briefing & Preliminary services

Gathering information on user requirements, obtaining comprehensive site information, measuring up existing structures, obtaining copies of titles and as built information. Soil testing and site classification (when required) are undertaken by separate consultants. Additional services may include: Pre-purchase inspections for land or buildings - we can prepare condition reports on existing buildings, and assist by obtaining and providing information on zoning, service utilities and environmental factors such as solar access and orientation. 

Stage B - Conceptual and Schematic Design

We prepare initial concept designs exploring ideas and options that might be applicable to help find the best design approach to your project. The concept design then develops into the schematic design The schematic design is a response to the briefed information. Drawings may be free hand drawn to scale and will generally comprise plans and elevation / section information sufficient to convey an understanding of the concept for client approval and for briefing of other consultants.

Stage C - Design Development

This is an expansion of the schematic design and is the completion of design process, It involves consideration of construction detailing, particular joinery requirements, and selection of colours and materials. It is also an important stage that integrates advice from other consultants into the design in preparation for the next stage. Projects will often need to advance partly into this stage in order to have sufficiently well developed information to support applications for Planning Permits.

Stage D - Tender Documentation

Completion of detailed drawings and specification notes sufficient for calling tenders and lodgement for building and plumbing permits

Stage E - Contract Administration

Reporting on tenders, assistance with letting the contract. Liaison with builder and administration of the contract between you and the builder. Regular site visits and meetings with builder; assessment and certification of progress claims; issuing of architectural instructions; assessment, negotiation and certification of contract variations. Detailed inspections and report upon Practical Completion and upon Final Completion.

Stage F - Post Contract services

Building contracts in common use have provisions for a Defects Liability Period following completion of construction. We continue to administer the contract during this period and perform inspections and reports as required by the contract.


An architect may be engaged to perform all or some of the roles described. We will be happy to discuss our role in more detail upon request.    

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