5 Biggest Mistakes No 3.

I Know-itis………….

Or as we commonly call in the office the “I know Boats Syndrome“.

Case Study….

The family  are moving to a new home!! We’ve decided to build a new home.  We’ve purchased  the perfect block of land and this will be our  dream home. everything we always wanted. It will have everything we ever wanted.

OK so we’ve got   ?? $$ to spend  and  the ads in the paper  show we can build a house for  $750 per  square meter. Wow we can have   a really big house!!  The builder  we talked to wants us to give him some plans so he can work out a price.  Well we had better  start designing…………..

We ‘ll save heaps of  money by  doing the design ourselves and not waste money on and Architect or Designer.  We know what we want and we’ll just get a  draftsman to draw it up..After all  we KNOW what we want!! ” Those  designers charge a fortune!!! And how do they know more than me about what I want?”

Armed with their sketch plan drawn on graph paper the  family rings around  a few  drafting  offices to get the plans drawn up. Often looking  for the cheapest price possible  to “save some money”.  Adamant that they don’t want to pay extra for any design work they just want the plans drawn up  a draftsperson. Too often we hear the  family say “we’re not very good at drawing , we’ve never done this before”.  And “if you have any better ideas we’d like your input.”


“Oh we didn’t know that   you had to be  6m from the front”…..”What does it mean when there is an easement on the land?”…….. “How do we make the home  energy efficient?”……..”Can we just get a relaxation?”……..”Just put a retaining wall in there”………”What’s the QRDG??” ……. “the driveway won’t work and we didn’t know  it  had to be like that?”………………and so the  design needs some changes.  Often a change such as raising the driveway has a major impact on another aspect and therefore  changes keep going on and on. All e costing time and money. In the end the house doesn’t really look like what  the family had imagined their dream home to look like.  It’s just a box.

The builder who has looked at the original sketch starts to  price the  drawing sand  it comes back nearly $100 000 more than they expected.  “But why is it so expensive??  Well there is a lot of  wasted space in hallways, traffic areas, the  retaining walls needed are      $40 000 and the scaffolding required  etc…. “Oh we hadn’t thought of that. Looks like we’ll have to change it again”  sigh.

Designing a home  is not just drawing  a plan… There is a minefield of regulations, standards, planning schemes, Building Codes et that  must be adhered to and  mot of all considered while  designing the  home. If your like our  family above and  have spent  years in industries not related to the building industry then these regulations will probably be like a foreign language to them.


The Solution:

Our second family has written a list of all their  inclusions, ideas,  and must halves in their new home. They’ve taken some pictures and what they like and have  worked out  their budget  and how much they want to spend  at the end. They want to be sure they don’t over spend. They’ve also decided to make their home as energy-efficient and want to  have their home designed to be sustainable  for their family as it grows and  changes.

 One thing we  ask is that our clients  not to try to  draw the plans themselves. Our qualified, trained and very experienced designers and architects are EXPERTS in design and will incorporate EVERYTHING that is on that wish list into the design while taking into account  all the other criteria such as  regulations, site geography, passive solar design,  future use, materials, and the list goes on. 

The most common comment we here when our clients are presented with their first  sketch design is……...”Oh I would never have thought of that!!” 

We’re often asked  what type of CAD (Computer Aided Design) package we use…………”A pencil” !!

While it is  virtually impossible to take into account  all the costs involved at this stage your  design  SHOULD be within 10% of your budget.  We in fact guarantee it!! 

At this stage there may be a few changes required. This is  easy at this  point as these changes, often being minor, can be incorporated into the  preliminary  CAD drawings.  This is where  the   plans are then sent to our Architectural Technicians.  They’re the  team members who all the technical and  construction issues are nutted out. From here we can generate some  true and lifelike Rendered Images.  


Now we can start to get a good look at what your new home is going to look like and some choices in materials and colours can be made.

the final stage is to produce the   technical drawings for Building Approval. Or Working Drawings. These are  documents that will  form part of the Building Contract and will be the  Approved Plans.

 So our family has now a comprehensive set of drawings  and may now obtain quotations from their selected Building  Contractors.  As they have pid for  their  design and  all the documents they are free to use these.   (many companies who advertise “free plans” or at severely reduced rates  often retain copyright  so as to not have  competitors  give  quotes on the same plans) …..Apples for apples we say.

The quotes have  come back and there is a $60 000 variation in the  prices.  From now can  work out just exactly  where the  costs vary and  which builders  provide the best VALUE with their inclusions etc. Ultimately a builder is chosen who can start immediately and  our family has   saved themselves around $10 000 on what they had budgeted. They have a home that is energy-efficient and  now sell  power back to the  grid and  is water efficient. It’s cool in Summer and  warm as toast in Winter. So they have decided not to put in those air conditioners.


Conclusion: Your new home  is the biggest  monitary investment you’ll ever make. Why woulkd you want to “save money” by spending the least on the most important stage of the  process. Architects, Building designers, and Drafting Technicians are all  trained  professionals and  really know how to  Would you really want the cheapest, least experienced  mechanic working on your new Mercedes?. Or would you even contemplate  servicing your  new Mercedes yourself to save a few dollars.


An investment in the Design of your new home isn’t a cost but a  massive saving in the  medium and long-term, and every successful project starts with the right advice. 


Call us today for an obligation free assessment of your project and  lets start saving money from the very beginning!!



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