The Design Process

When thinking about starting to renovate or design, it is not often that we really know what the process really entails. A lot of misconception comes from the simple fact that there are no true representations out there that show you all of the hard work that goes into building and designing. When our clients first come to us, they often ask for a rundown of what the different steps need to be taken in order to achieve their goals. So read on below, because we are going to break down our process for you in the simplest way possible.

The Process

Initial Research and Walk Through:

As architects, our first port of call is to research the property. By going this, a clearer understanding of opportunities and constraints can be achieved. It’s key to know what council the property falls under, because this is what will determine what is and isn’t allowed. Council compliance and research of controls are completed prior to visiting the site so that a realistic preliminary conversation can happen.

Sketch Design and Concept Feasibility:

This is the stage of design conception. After visiting the site, Alex will go away and complete ‘idea grams’ or sketch designs. These designs will show the potentials of the property, based on a preliminary brief from the clients. After initial feedback, a developed scheme will than be presented. If you are the client are happy with whats been designed, than we are ready to move onto the next step.

Planning, Coogee House

Development Application:

This is the stage where council really comes into play. The design that you have chosen to move forward with will be drawn up in accordance with councils controls. A more realistic plan and scheme will begin to take form and the client will get a better understanding on how the space will work. In collaboration with third party consultants, the Development Application is handed into council for determination. The time that this deliberation takes is unforeseeable, and can take a couple of months. However the studio works closely with council to achieve the best and quickest result for our clients.

Construction Certificate, Tender Documentation and Tendering:

Once the design has obtained council approval, its time to begin prepping for construction. A Construction Certificate issued by a Principle Certifying Authority is required for all construction in NSW. We work with the PCA and third party consultants to obtain this certificate for you. While doing this, we simultaneously complete works on Tender Documentation. Not to be confused with DA documentation, Tender Documents are detailed plans, elevations and sections showing everything from joinery, layouts etc.

Tendering is the opportunity to have a series of builders bid to build your job. Our detailed drawing package is submitted for pricing by all participating parties. Once received, we analyse the findings to inform you who is the better suit. Once a preference is chosen, our studio organises and finalises the signing of Contract’s and issues the Construction Certificate. Essentially, you are ready to begin building.

Construction Design Advice & Contract Administration:

Probably the most exciting stage of the process, is the construction. The design is finally brought to life. We offer two levels of service during this time. Contract Administration is the management of all aspects of the build contract. We will organise and review progress claims to the builder, maintain extensive records of the build and attend site visits to assist with any questions or RFI’s which may pop up. Along with this service, we liaison and co-ordinate a number of consultants who may be working on the project. The second type of service is Construction Design Advice. Basically we leave the management of the contracts up to you and provide design advice only. Details, set-outs, layouts etc are drawn in detail and issued to contractors during this stage, noting that they are a far more detailed version of the Tender Documentation set.

Practical Completion & Occupation Certificate:

While the build is coming to an end, Roth Architects begins organising final documentation for completion. This includes review of defects where we walk through the property and mark all issues and defects which will need to be fixed by the builder. During handover, we organise the issuing of the Occupation Certificate. This certificate will deem the property inhabitable, and is a requirement by the council and state law.


As you can see, the process is a long one. It can look very intimating, but our role as a studio is to guide you through this step by step. Our goal is to help you as our client, achieve your most desired outcome.

If you would like to find out more, or speak with our Principal architect, call or contact us today.