No we are not architects. Building designers and architects have very similar responsibilities however there is one main difference. For an Architect to legally be allowed to use that title in Australia they must be registered with the ‘Board of Architects’ in their state and have studied 5 years of architecture followed by 2 years of practical work finishing off with an oral and written test.

Many people don’t know that building designers can perform a similar scope of work to an architect. A building designer still needs to fully comply with the state building and planning regulations. For example in Queensland all building designers are required to hold professional indemnity insurance in order to maintain a building design license with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). A Building Design company carrying out work in Queensland without the Building Design licence from the QBCC is doing so illegally.

You can find more information here.

Yes we can, we work closely with the following companies. 

Building Certifiers

Building Approval and Advice 

Town Planner 

Planning Insights  


Kevin Holt Surveying

(07) 3219 0400

Ian Davis Surveys



You can find a list builder we recommend on our website here. 

We have multiple builders who we recommend and work closely with. You can find a list builder on our website here. 

No, our design quotes do not include engineering. However we can provide you with an engineering quote once the design plans are fully completed. You can also get our design plans engineered elsewhere.

After your quote is accepted, a designer will be assigned to you and will be in contact within 48 hours to organise a site visit, usually within a week depending on our capacity. Once a site visit has been conducted, first draft floor plans are completed within 7 business days, the plans then go back and forth between the designer and client until the desired design is achieved. The design process can take anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks. Once the final design has been completed, engineering generally takes an additional 2 – 3 weeks.

As prices can vary depending upon the complexity of the design, in general for a ‘normal’ single storey home on a concrete slab or stumps we charge $2,310. However, for a double-story home, we charge $2970. There are certain aspects of a project that can drive the price up slightly. Then once the design plans are complete we can give you a quote for engineering. The quote is based on the design however structural engineering for a whole house generally ranges between $2,500-$4,000 including a soil test. 

See our price list here.

Elevations are a 2-dimensional drawing or render that show the front, back or side view of, in this case, a house. 

An elevation is created to give an idea of what the finished product will look like and give the construction team the specifications from which to create the building. They show the structural and architectural details of a building. This includes the heights ceilings and fenestrations as well as surface features, roof treatment etc.

Projects such as house raises and extensions require a BA or Building approval provided by a Building Certifier, however often when working on more complex jobs or some houses with a character overlay a development application is also required. This application is provided by a town planner and must be done prior to construction, your building designer can advise on whether a development application is required for your project. 

Town planning is the process of seeking council approval for residential developments or small commercial and industrial projects in the form of a planning permit

Not all developments need town planning such as areas that are not heritage listed however, it is vital to fully understand the local council planning rules and regulations.  Councils have specific and strict regulations and policies and a town planner is needed to navigate these obstacles. 

If your project requires a planning permit, Designer Planning will assist with the town planning process. The application fees themselves are relatively small. However, if your project requires additional drawings due to town planning there will be an additional charge of $550.

You can find more information here.

Costs to consider during the planning process for construction include: 

  • Design plans 
  • Engineering plans 
  • Site survey 
  • Building certification/council fees 
  • Town planning fees

We often recommend engaging a certifier earlier on in the design process to ensure a smooth as possible process. Engaging a Building Certifier prior to engineering helps us identify if there will be any potential future issues. Identifying these issues early gives us the ability to make adjustments without delays. 

We cannot guarantee anything will be approved by the council. However we will ensure we are following the rules and regulations. We do recommend you speak with a Building Certifier about relaxations, they may have some further advice relating to its chances of getting through council.  Also we would recommend speaking to a Town Planner to ensure it doesn’t trigger any Development Approval issues.