Working with a designer
Using a consultant on environmental performance or a ‘green' architect is often worth the expense because they can help to determine costs, recommend reliable products and reputable building contractors, and help you through the planning and building approvals process.
You can use a designer to:
- develop the design and any modifications required from the building and planning approvals process;
- additionally assist in the sourcing of contractors and products;
- develop more detailed drawings for the construction process, including interior details such as cabinetry and joinery or outdoor spaces such as patios; and
- manage the construction process, including the builder.
Selecting a designer
- Seek an initial appointment (usually free) with designers who come recommended or whose work you have seen and like. Always plan to seek at least three quotes.
- Use your wish list at the initial appointment to assess how you get along and whether you feel the designer understands and appreciates your eco-ideas.
- If you are comfortable and think you may be interested in engaging the designer, seek from them:
- a ball-park quote for the cost of their services,
- examples of their work, and
- contact details of former clients with whom they would be happy for you to speak.
- Once you have seen their work, spoken to former clients about potential issues, and compared quotes, select the designer you think will work most effectively and honestly with you.
Briefing a designer
Regardless of the size of your project or the elements for which you choose to use a designer, your brief to the designer is of critical importance. Check out our Design Specifications pages for further information on how to create the best brief.