Services offered


I am available to consult either on-site or in the office regarding almost anything to do with building.   This can include advice on building costs, use of materials, Council planning codes and the impact of neighbouring developments.  This doesn’t include pre-purchase building inspections, for which I recommend Archicentre – the Institute of Architects’ building inspection service.


The services I offer can be broken down as follows:

Initial consultation

Feasibility study

Sketch plans

Development Application

Construction Certificate

Tenders and contract documents

Contract administration

Initial Consultation

This is a preliminary discussion to determine the client’s brief for the project and to discuss its feasibility and what information is required to get the project to the next stage.

Feasibility study and measured drawings

In most cases, before proceeding with any plans, I will consult with Council and determine how their planning controls impact on the project.  I will also take measurements of any existing structures and make a measured drawing of them. In some cases it may be necessary to commission a survey of the site at this stage, particularly if there is no survey information available.  A Sydney Water sewerage diagram will also be required.

Sketch Plans

After further discussions about the brief, and in the context of the feasibility study, I will prepare preliminary sketch plans and discuss the budget implications of what is proposed.  Before completing the sketch plans, it may be necessary to have preliminary consultations with other consultants such as the structural engineer.  If a more detailed estimate is required at this stage, I can arrange for a quantity surveyor to prepare this. At this stage it is often essential to have a preliminary consultation with Council prior to proceeding with the next stage of documentation, particularly if there are any problems with Council controls, heritage issues etc.    A number of revised schemes will generally be required before a final sketch plan is agreed on.

Development Application (DA)

When sketch plans are completed, the next stage is the Development Application documentation, which is then submitted to Council for development approval.   The level of documentation required is set out by Council and usually includes the following:

Architectural drawings (plans, elevations and sections to a scale of 1:100),

A statement of environmental effect,

A survey prepared by a licensed surveyor with levels and the location of adjoining properties and existing trees,

A Basix certificate, which commits the proposal to levels of water recycling and energy efficiency, (for new houses and alterations and additions over $50,000).  For more information on Basix, visit their website at

Shadow diagrams for work above single-storey,

A heritage statement for heritage listed items or work in a conservation zone.

In preparing the DA documentation it may also be necessary to:

Have further consultations with Council,

Prepare additional information for Council (eg additional reports or a model),

Employ a heritage consultant to prepare the heritage statement,

Consult with the structural engineer and employ them to prepare preliminary designs,

Consult with the Certifier regarding BCA compliance.

I will arrange for consultants to prepare the survey, heritage impact statement, structural design and other reports as required.   The consultants' fees are in addition to my fees and will be paid directly to them by the client.  Similarly, the client pays for all Council fees.

The Development Approval can take time, sometimes months, and may also involve additional work, including meetings with Council committees, erecting height poles on site and addressing any objections from neighbours. 

Construction Certificate (CC)

Following the granting of Development Approval, a Construction Certificate is required to be lodged with Council.  Additional documentation is required for the Construction Certificate, which may include:

Working drawings, which will include additional information over and above what is shown on the DA drawings.

A building specification, which describes the extent of work, building standards etc.

Engineer’s details.

Further information required by the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

The level of documentation for the CC depends on whether the client wishes to use these documents for tender purposes.  Clients who are owner-builders or who do not want architectural services for contract administration may not want a set of CC documents with the level of detail required for tender documents.

The CC documents describe in detail how the building is to be constructed and include all the information required for the issuing of the Construction Certificate.   During the preparation of the CC drawings, the structural engineer will prepare structural details for various elements in the building, such as reinforced concrete slabs, footings and beams, or any structural steel work.  Other consultants may also be involved, such as hydraulic engineers, fire or acoustic consultants.

The CC certifies that the proposal complies with the Building Code of Australia, conforms to the Development Approval granted by Council and satisfies a number of other statutory requirements, for example, Home Owners’ Warranty Insurance and Builders’ Licensing regulations. 

Council requires the CC to be lodged with them before building can start.  Council or a private certifier can issue the CC and the client nominates their choice of certifier.

The nominated certifier, as well as issuing the Construction Certificate, will make progress inspections of the job at various stages of construction and certify that the work complies with the BCA and with the approved DA.   The certifier (whether Council or private) will charge a fee for the Construction Certificate and for site inspections.  The fee is paid directly by the client.


The CC Drawings, specification etc can also form the basis of the tender documents.  These are then sent to a number of builders (usually 3) for their prices.   The client may also have a particular builder that they wish to submit a tender, in addition to builders I recommend.  The opportunity to ask for competitive tenders for the work is one of the advantages in using the services of an architect.

Contract Documents

When a builder has been selected to complete the work, I will arrange for Contract Documents to be prepared.   These consist of a standard contract form, the working drawings, specification and engineer's drawings.  The contract documents describe the scope of the works and their cost, the time of completion, the insurance cover required, and the method of handling delays, variations, disputes etc.

Contract Administration

This service involves the administration of the contract during the construction period and includes the following:

Visiting the works from time to time to confirm that they are being carried out in accordance with the contract,

Attending site meetings as required,

Issuing job instructions to the builder,

Preparing additional detail drawings as required,

Assessing progress claims made by the builder for payment,

Issuing progress certificates for those claims,

Issuing the final certificate on completion. 

Please note:  Contract Administration is not supervision, which is the builder's responsibility, and it is not certification, which is the responsibility of the nominated certifier.


Full service is everything from the initial consultation through to the issue of the final certificate for the completed project.   Partial service will include one or more of those stages set out above.  The client determines what level of service they require.


Please contact me for full details of my current scale of fees.

Generally all my work is done on an hourly rate.  However, for larger jobs a percentage fee can be charged.  The details of the percentage fee are set out in the fee scale.

Consultants' fees

Consultants such as the structural engineer, surveyor, certifier, heritage consultant, landscape architect etc are contracted directly with the client and their fees are a separate agreement between the client and consultant.    My percentage fee includes time spent in consultations with consultants but does not include their fees for documentation etc.