What should I do with my design brief?

Once you have put together your complete design brief, what do you do with it? The simple answer is that it is time to put your ideas and thoughts into action by engaging a designer or architect and working towards the build stage. After all, that is the end goal. However, unless you do the proper research and legwork, finding a support team that has your best interests at heart can be difficult.

Here are some great tips that will enable you to feel 100% confident with your choices, and ultimately, your completed home build or upgrade.

1. Engage a building designer/architect

Building or upgrading your home is a very exciting period in your life, and you don’t want this feeling of excitement diminished by problems with your designer. Finding the right building designer or architect to bring your ideas to fruition can be a challenge. Some architects or designers have special skills or talents, so you need to find one that will be able to work with your specific design brief.

Seek quality referrals

Referrals are one of the best ways to find someone to work with. Your friends will be only too happy to share the positives and negatives of working with someone. It is always best to enter into an agreement fully armed with the facts. Check in with your inner circle starting with family, close friends and work colleagues. Let everyone you come across know you are seeking to find a building designer/architect and even put it out there on social media. You never know who may be in contact with someone who just completed a build. It never hurts to ask the question!

Send out your brief

Once you have reached out to a designer, it is time to forward them your brief. Always call first to let them know you are going to be sending it to them as it will give you a better idea of who you are dealing with. You need to know how they are going to approach your project and what it is going to cost. You may like their ideas but find that the cost is way over your budget, or vice versa. Do they foresee any issues with your design brief? Do they have any recommendations? Ask well thought out questions to determine if they are on the same page as you.

Request references and read reviews

You should never sign up with anyone until you have read at least a handful of their references. Ask to see a sample of their work followed up with a few contact numbers or references for work completed. You want to make sure that your final choice of designer or architect has the capacity to see your project through to the end. For a more balanced perspective, it always pays to seek out online reviews. This will provide a more complete overview of their work. While not everyone may see eye to eye on all jobs, if there are more negative online reviews than positive ones, you must proceed with caution. Researching your choice of designer is imperative, so you don’t waste your time, energy or money.

Once you have a designer on board, it is prudent to see if they can recommend a builder. This will reduce your research hours and ensure the compatibility between your design team and build team.

2. Engage a builder on a design/construct contract

Many builders have an in-house design team or have established close relations with specific designers. This makes total sense from their perspective and brings much confidence to the homeowner when it comes to choosing a reliable design and build team.

In-house design team

Quite a few builders actually have an in-house design team to make it easier for the homeowner. If there is an issue with a particular aspect of the design, then it makes it simpler for the two departments to liaise together about the problem. Generally, however, an in-house design team will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them by the builders and any issues will be minimal or at the very least, easily solved.

Close relationship with designers

If you find that a builder does not have an in-house design team, chances are they have built up close working relationships with designers over time. You want to make sure that each cog in the wheel can methodically present their thoughts and ideas and that all work can be completed on time and on budget. Once the designer has shown that they have a general understanding of your ideas, ask them for builder recommendations so you can move your project forward.

At planland, we believe in the importance of nurturing our relationship with professional builders. Please contact us for direclty for builder recommendations.