Unique contemporary designs to suit your lifestyle

20-gear2@2xwhite THE DESIGN PROCESS

PQ Architects believes that establishing an open personal dialog and strong working relationship with the client is essential to achieving a successful outcome.

We encourage you to contribute as much or as little as you feel comfortable to the design process. Remember, the better prepared you are and the more that you understand about the design process the less chance there is of misunderstanding, unintended results and unexpected costs.

The design process is broken down into easily understandable stages with inputs and approvals from the client at each stage.

Follow our step-by-step design process by clicking on a heading below to explore that topic:
The first stage of the process is an obligation free introductory meeting to get to know each other in general terms and to discuss the design build process and the design services provided by PQ Architects. The meeting can be at your site or our office in Noosa.

The Design Brief

We prepare a written design brief based upon information provided by you, for instance – accommodation requirements, budget, your preferred style of design. Any information you can provide at this stage could be useful in the form of a scrapbook of your ideas etc.

Client Architect Agreement

Provided you are comfortable with the services being offered you would normally sign an Architect Client Agreement at this stage which clearly outlines our responsibilities as architects and describes the associated fees.

Site Analysis

We gather detailed information about your site from statutory authorities. We analyse the site in terms of orientation, views boundaries easements, levels etc. We obtain a registered plan of the site and require that detailed levels and a boundary survey is carried out.

Concept Design

We prepare concept designs based upon the brief and site analysis. We would expect concept designs would be discussed and amended as required until you have fully approved the proposals. To encourage flexibility and imagination our concept design drawings, plans and elevations are hand drawn to scale and include proposals for landscaping and pool design.

Cost Control

Whilst PQ Architects are not cost consultants we endeavour to ensure that the client approved concept plans will meet with the owners budget by obtaining- a. Three independent builders estimates, or b. coordinating a client appointed cost consultant or quantity surveyor.

Instructions to Proceed

When you have approved the concept plans and have determined that the independent construction estimates are within your budget PQ Architects will accept your written instructions to proceed to Stage 2 – Design Development and Detailed Working Drawings.

Appointment of the Consultants

If required PQ Architects will make recommendations of other necessary consultants and coordinate their work. Usually a structural engineer, surveyor is required.
Stage 1 client approved concept drawings are checked and prepared on CAD Format (Computer Aided Design). Amendments and refinement are carried out following feedback from you and the consultants. CAD Format plans elevations and 3D perspectives are issued to you for approval.

Construction Documentation

A. Planning Approval:

If required PQ Architects will prepare plans diagrams studies and reports necessary for applications that maybe constrained by Town Planning or Development Application requirements. These constraints can apply if you are building on a small block, or in a heritage area, or a block with planning overlays, or intending to subdivide the land or build multi units.

B. Building Certification:

PQ Architects prepare and submit a comprehensive set of documentation and drawings for the Building Certifiers.

C. Builders Working Drawings & Specifications:

In essence, these drawings are the 'instruction sheets' that detail exactly what you are ‘buying’ from the builder and how the project is to be built. They detail dimensions or sizes for all matters and materials associated with the building and cover such items as the standard of materials, the workmanship required, and more detailed construction requirements such as lay-out dimensions, set-backs from adjoining properties, window and door locations as well as structural details that conform to the Building Code of Australia and any mechanical installations. Precise working drawings create more certainty about the building contract and enable comparison of different project prices knowing that all potential contractors are quoting on the same finished product.

Specifications define the materials to be used and the standard of workmanship required of each trade. PQ Architects uses customised NATSPEC Specification documents that precisely detail the stages of building project and the tasks of each tradesperson, such as what is required of the excavator, bricklayer, carpenter and so on and the materials that they must use.

Building Tenders

PQ Architects prepare the tender documentation for issue to the builders . We can generally suggest a number of builders whose work is of a good standard so that you can be more confident that the work will be carried out in a professional manner, and advise on the most effective way for you to select a builder that can complete the construction within the brief. PQ Architects normally advises a minimum of 3 builders submit tenders in order to obtain a competitive quotation. Should you wish, we can assist coordinate and assess the builders quotation and negotiate the best outcome for your building contract.

Building Contract

There are a number of "standard" contracts that are in common use in Australia, like those drawn up by the Housing Industry Association or Master Builders Association, but none should be entered into without being scrutinised and amended where necessary to ensure your legal interests and those of the project are fully detailed and protected. In this regard, any proposed contract and all supporting documentation like building specifications should be checked by your legal advisor and PQ Architects before you sign it. Contract deficiencies or ambiguities are a regular source of dispute and emotional and financial costs.
PQ Architects can be retained to provide the following post contract services:

Building Commencement & Ongoing Site Works

PQ Architects can carry out regular site visits to observe the progress of the works in accordance with the architectural documentation, organise regular site meetings and issue minutes to you with regular progress photographs, liaise with consultants and statutory authorities on your behalf.

Progress Payments

Building contracts generally stipulate that the builder is paid progressively throughout the contract works in accordance with reaching pre-defined milestones. In some states, this is regulated by law. We will assess the progress of the work against the builder’s claims to make sure you are receiving what you are being asked to pay for according to the Contract.


Remembering that you have a contract with the builder that specifies the nature of the work, if you wish to change any of the work part-way through, a contract variation will usually need to be documented. PQ Architects can assist you negotiate the change with your builder and help avoid any on-site tension. We can advise whether the variation is able to be done, is fair and reasonable and we can help you assess a fair variation sum.


Once your building is completed, the builder will issue a 'Notice of Practical Completion'. This notice defines the date the building is handed over to you for your use and defines the start of the 'defects liability period'. Depending on your contract, a portion of the contract price may have been retained by you to help protect against the cost of rectifying any defects that arise after the building work is completed. It also specifies the date the builder ceases to have responsibility of the works for insurance purposes. Of course, any statutory defect and warranty period, like those regulated by Queensland's Building Services Authority, remains in force.