Useful Information

Do you need an architect or building designer?

  • It is almost certain if you are planning to renovate or build just about any type of building you will need either a Building Designer or an Architect.
  • What is the difference between a Draftsman, Building Designer or an Architect


  • Usually TAFE qualified
  • Work under supervision of a licensed Builder
  • Work under supervision of an Architect
  • Work under supervision of a Building designer
  • Not licensed to contract or work directly with the public in Queensland

Building Designers

  • Usually TAFE or Tertiary qualified
  • To contract or work directly with the public in Queensland – Must be Licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC)
  • Licensed under the same scheme as Building Contractors and Building Trades
  • Must have professional indemnity insurance
  • Can design a wide range of building class, size and height
  • No difference between Building Designer and Architect for design work undertaken in Queensland. Dependant on Licence class of the Building Designer


  • Successfully completed a full course of university studies in the field of architecture
  • To contract or work directly with the public in Queensland – Must be accepted by and paid fees to the Queensland Board of Architects
  • Must have professional indemnity insurance
  • Can design a wide range of building class, size and height
  • Engineers are not licensed to perform building design in Queensland. They are limited to the structural design of buildings only.
  • Architects and Building Designers should be considered professional equals
  • Your best choice between a Building Designer or Architect is which one will give you value for money and who you feel most comfortable to work with.
  • Talk to both a Building Designer and Architect – you will gain an insight into their competency level by speaking with them.


What is the process of the design phase?

Step 1. Initial Client Consultation

  • Client’s needs, wish list etc are discussed
  • Project specific potential challenges are highlighted
  • Budget for the project is confirmed

Step 2. Fee proposal is presented and agreed and accepted by the client. The Fee proposal clearly defines what you can expect for your money

  • Total cost of professional services
  • An outline of the design brief
  • Scope of works
  • A list of other consultants that may be required
  • The number of reviews allowed for in the fee

Step 3. Pre- Design Meeting if required

  • Usually on site in our office or at our client’s project particularly if the project is a renovation or alteration to an existing building.
  • Confirm the Client’s budget and develop the design brief by going over more thoroughly the client’s requirements to ensure the desired outcome.

Step 4. Concept Stage

  • Concept drawings are prepared and submitted to client for review
  • 3D interactive PDF file provided
  • Any required amendments are made

Step 5. Preliminary Stage

  • Preliminary drawings are prepared and submitted to client for review
  • 3D interactive PDF file provided
  • Cost review by your builder, or one of our preferred builders
  • Any required amendments are made

Step 6. Working Drawings (final) Stage

  • Working drawings are prepared and submitted to client for final review, minor tweaks
  • 3D interactive PDF file provided
  • Any minor tweaks are made to drawings
  • Drawings now ready for:
    • Engineer to complete structural design
    • Builder/s final price
    • Submit for covenant approval if required
    • Submit for building approval
    • Tender Phase
    • Construction Phase


How can a building designer successfully navigate you through the construction phase?

Design Phase

  • As already outlined in “What is the process of the Design phase” a building designer can produce the Working Drawings used as the basis for your building project. There are further services that a building designer can offer at an extra cost to improve the most desirable outcome.
  • Obtain fee proposal from other required consultants, i.e. surveyor, soil test, engineer, building certifier or colour consultant
  • Co-ordinate above consultants – giving you the peace of mind that everything is as it should be for the best outcome.

For even further peace of mind and an extra fee you can engage your building designer to Contract Manage your building through either or both the next two phases.

Tender Phase

  • Prepare specifications and collate all documentation required for tendering
  • Provide a list of prospective tenderers (Builders)
  • Call “Selective” tenders for the project
  • Provide additional information to tenderers as required
  • Analyse tenders on your behalf and provide advice on the merits of each Tender received

Construction Phase

  • Contract Administration
  • Prepare Contract Documents between Builder and Owner subject to approval of all documents by Owner
  • Check: the Building Certifications, Payment of Fees and Charges to Statutory and Local Authorities, service of Notices, Insurance covers [Whole of the Work (material and workmanship), Public Liability, Common Law Liability, Third Party (damage to property), Death or Bodily Injury including Illness etc.], WorkCover, etc. The aforementioned fees would be the responsibility of the Principal Contractor (The Builder)
  • Demonstrate a Duty of Care to the public and employees regarding on-site Safety (WH&S).
  • Ensure that all Contractors are licensed with QBCC.
  • Conduct site meetings with the Builder, Consultants and others as required, ensuring the smooth running of the project.
  • Negotiate as necessary with Principal Contractor (The Builder), Consultants and Owner/Client.
  • Control Contingency Sums, Provisional Sums (PS) and Prime Costs (PC)
  • Control Deposits, Cost Adjustments, Prolongation Costs (Liquidated Damages), Securities and Retention Money as required under the contract
  • Check Construction Progress, Quality and Costs
  • Check and process Contract Variations, Extensions of Time and keep the Owner/Client advised on the need and providing justification of same. (It is the Client who must approve and sign Variations, Extensions of Time, etc.)
  • Check Claims for Progress Payments on behalf of the Owner/Client and advise the Principal in writing using proper accounting procedures as set out in the signed Contract/Conditions of Contract
  • Keep Accurate Records of Contract Sum, Retentions, Securities, Variations, Progress Payments made and Amounts Owing
  • Provide Certification of Payments to the Principal Contractor
  • Take action on Defects and Departures from the plans or specification and advise the Owner/Client accordingly
  • Ensure that all Inspections by Statutory / Local Authorities
  • Compile a Defects List  ensure that all defects are put right
  • Ensure Practical completion is achieved