Frequently Asked Questions


We have listed some common questions on the design process. Whether it is a small or large project they are all highly unique and it is often difficult to provide answers that are detailed enough to for your specific project.  Please feel free to contact us with any addiontal questions you may have.

Our advertised pricing packages apply to clients who are going through a nominated/licensed Builder. If you are completing your project under an “Owner Builder Licence” we do offer a different tier of pricing and you are welcome to contact our team directly for an obligation free quote.

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 a number of different companies. Please contact our team for so we can give you the best recommendation for your specific project. 

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

No, however the structural integrity of your new home, house raise or extension is essential which is why we are more than happy to recommend reliable engineers who can suggest building products and methods which are both structurally sound and cost-effective while meeting Australian guidelines.

The engineers  role is to guide you on the most cost-effective structural engineering plans suired to your project. If you have house plans completed by another architect or building designer, then we can provide reccommendations for engineers regarding Structural Engineering Form 15’s for your private building certifier.


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 10-14 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 3 – 8 weeks.

As prices can vary depending upon the complexity of the design, however you can see out pricing list here. as a guide. 


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.