FAQs about our Architects

Why do I need Think Architects?

We can bring your vision alive and customise a design to your needs, wants and desires. We are skilled professionals in the art of creating a useful and delightful space.

What are the benefits of using an architect?

An architect is a fully-qualified professional trained in all aspects of design and construction with the ability to design, problem solve, create and bring to life your project.
With 5 years+ of academic studies, added years of hands on experience required to achieve registration and continued professional learning, hiring an architect will ensure you receive a service at the highest standard, also covered by a significant professional indemnity insurance.

Hiring an architect is the best choice if you are planning to build a unique, customised property, tailored to your site and taking into account the natural and built surroundings. This will allow to enjoy your build to its fullest and to explore energy efficient solutions that optimise natural light, ventilation and shading to minimise future costs of running your home.

A customised, unique and trending design will also add significant resale value to your property, giving you the greatest return on investment should you choose to resell it. If building in an estate with heritage restraints, our studio can assist you navigating specific laws and building guidelines and guide you through your council’s planning approval process.

Can you work with long distance clients?

Yes. We can work with you through virtual meeting and share our designs with you via various online tools. We communicate and engage with clients locally and abroad. Think Architects is already registered in South Australia and Victoria and is able to register and operate in any other Australian State.

Will you be able to design the style of building I want?

Of course! We custom design to your needs and wants, listen to your concerns and help guide you through the process until we achieve your desired outcome.

FAQs about The Process

Where do I begin?

We begin your project with an initial phone consult followed by an in person (if possible) brief meeting.

What happens during our initial meeting?

At first, we show you who Think Architects are and outline the services we can provide for you. We discuss your project and your needs and goals you want to achieve.

What if I’m not sure what I want?

If you don’t have a direction, don’t fret. Free your mind and let us take you on a journey of realisation and inspiration. We piece together your likes and dislikes and how we can bring this vision to fruition.

How involved will I be?

We involve our clients as much or as little as they like. We tailor your experience based on your expectation and work to make the architectural process as simple and pain free as possible.

What other professionals or contractors might I need on our project?

Each project is different and will require a range of consultants at various times. We will advise you on which consultants may be relevant to your particular project, ranging from engineers, surveyors, specialist town planners and cost consultants.

How many changes will I be able to make to plans?

Changes may vary from minor to major depending what is involved. We allow a certain allocation of hours per stage, which are outlined in our fee agreement. If you exceed this allocation, we will give you a quote to complete the extra work outside the original scope of work quoted.

Will you design the interiors of my project?

Yes, we can provide an interior design service should you require us to do so. Our in-house experienced team can take care of every detail from the taps, tiles and flooring down to the tiny detail of hinges in your pantry cupboard. And they work closely with our design team to ensure that the integrity of your exterior design is reflected in the inside of your build. 

What are the timeframes for each stage?

The timeframes vary depending on the size and complexity of each project. A typical house could take between three and six months to develop concepts, obtain council approval and develop working drawings (site ready). Some complex projects with more difficult approval conditions can take much longer depending on the design and how nosey your neighbours are. Our advice is – start early!

FAQs about Services

What type of projects do you take on?

We specialise in all built forms from luxurious custom residences, multi dwelling developments, commercial fit-outs with interior design, warehouse, multi-story commercial, civic and health care facilities.

Do you work with external interior designers?

Yes, we can work with external professionals if your preference is to use them. As part of our quality control process, we will need to vet their experience to ensure they will meet our high standards and are on the same page as our design philosophy.

Do you work on heritage listed buildings?

Yes, we have past experience with all types of heritage-listed properties. We can also collaborate with specific external professionals specialising in heritage advice to aid in our proposals. We will advise if we think it’s necessary to engage one of these consultants on a case-by-case basis.

Can you manage the project?

We manage your project from initial conception to full development approvals. We can tender the project out to appoint a builder, and can oversee the build. By being involved in a superintendent role we can ensure the building is built to the quality and standards we had documented, and that you expect.

How can I manage the project myself?

If you feel comfortable in researching what is required and who needs to be involved – and have the experience of managing projects that match the size of your build – you can manage your project yourself. We do advise that a professional might be better suited to do this job.

FAQs about Rules and Regulations

What is the difference between planning approval and building approvals?

Planning Approval (development plan consent or DPC) refers to your council acknowledging the overall concept and plan and how it relates to the site, what the built form looks like, its over shadowing effects and how it relates to the street it sits in.
Building approvals (development approval or DA) relate to the review and approval of the construction type, its engineering and ensuring the documentation meets all the various building codes and Australian standards relevant to that construction project. You require development approval before you can start construction.

How long does it usually take to get planning approval?

This varies depending on council areas, the complexity of your design and how the design meets your council’s guidelines. Approval for a typical residential project could take four to eight weeks.

Will you deal with the planning and building approval from my local Council?

Yes, as part of our services we lodge and manage your applications until full development approval is granted.

What’s involved in getting my project approved?

We research your site and check all the council’s regulations first, then design your proposal to fit both those regulations and your brief. If you wish to push the boundaries we can do so by informing you of the hurdles we may face to achieve the approvals. We may have to engage specialise town planners to assist with your application in this case. Generally, we can achieve an approval with most proposals with enough time and budget.

Does my extension need planning approval?

Yes, any built form in South Australia requires planning approval.

Can you guarantee you’ll get planning permission for us?

Unfortunately, there are only two guarantees in life, death and taxes. We will work closely with your council to achieve your approval. We have great relationships with most councils and have a great track record to getting approvals for our clients.

Can I use a private certifier to get building approval?

Yes you can, providing the application needs to go through a private certifier. We will advise you on the necessity of using one, and we can also work with private certifiers who are independent from councils and are generally faster assessing and responding to our applications.

Do I need a private town planner?

In some instances this may be required, depending on the complexity of your project, representations from neighbours against the proposal, councils concerns or other agendas. We will advise if we believe your project would benefit from engaging them.

FAQs about Fees

What exactly is included in your fees?

We detail all fees in your fee agreement, which outlines each stage of work. Each job is unique, so we will provide detail that is relevant to your project.

When I will be charged?

We require a 50% deposit prior to commencement of each stage and 50% upon completion of each stage.

Will I be charged for amendments?

We outline a set number of hours of amendments per stage in our fee agreement. If you need more amendments than this allocation, we will advise of any additional charges before undertaking them.

FAQs about Copyrights

Will I own the copyright of my plans?

We will provide a licence to use your plans for your site once all outstanding fees are paid. This also will be detailed in your fee agreement.

Can I shop my plans to multiple builders?

Yes you can. You may shop your plans to builders as you own that design on that particular site. We can assist in providing a competitive tender process, saving you time and potentially money.

Will I get the CAD files?

Generally, CAD files contain an architect’s intellectual property, so it is not common industry practice to hand them to clients. We can, however, negotiate these terms if you have need for them.

Other FAQS

How detailed are your drawings?

Our drawings are as detailed as they need to be, and this takes into consideration what you require, the complexity of the project and the level of detail you would like. They also have the right level of detail to obtain development approval and guide the building process.

Will you provide all necessary structural information?

No, the structural engineer you engage will provide this information.

Can you ensure my project is environmentally sustainable?

Yes! In early discussions about your project, talk to us about your level of expectation around sustainability. We are trained to design passively and can provide many material and design options to provide green and sustainable design solutions.

Will I see my house in 3D?

We have the ability to model your design in 3D if you wish. We offer 3D “Revit Software” drawings with high resolution 3D renders and can also provide animated videos and flythrough camera videos to give you a glimpse of what your build will look like while we are designing it.

Can I see my house in virtual reality?

Yes, we can provide a Virtual Reality walkthrough experience.

What are the differences between an architect and a draft person?

An architect is a fully-qualified professional with a Bachelor or Masters of Architecture degree. They have also added years of experience to achieve registration, which is vigorous process to ensure they provide their service at the highest standard. Ours is a highly-regulated profession with specific requirements such as continued professional learning and significant professional indemnity insurance.

A draftsperson does not need to be registered, therefore does not need to have any minimum requirement of education, training or insurance. While they may be able to deliver part of the service your build requires, they may not have the sufficient knowledge or training to provide the expertise needed for the whole job.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us.