Cost of Works:

  • Construction Cost
  • Architect’s Fees (10%-15% of construction cost)
  • Consultant Fees (5%-15% of construction cost, depending on project complexity)
  • DA/CC Fees & Certification Fees (varies between Councils, and whether a private certifier is used)
  • Contingency Sum (10%-20% of construction cost)
  • Builder’s Margin
  • GST

Other costs to consider:

  • Furnishings
  • Loose Equipment & Electrical Items
  • Landscaping
  • Rental/Accommodation Costs during construction

Project Unknowns:

  • Archaeological finds
  • Contamination Issues
  • Structural problems with existing buildings
  • Geotech
  • Bushfire prone land

Issues affecting budget:

  • A building is the sum of its parts – size matters. The biggest impact on a project cost is the area.
  • Builder’s experience and type of building contract
  • Site conditions and access
  • New building vs. alterations & additions


  • The Client provides a design brief, budget and program.
  • GWA prepares a Return Brief listing specific project requirements;
  • The Client reviews and approves the Return Brief.
  • We talk about the process and estimate time required for the proposed works. Project fee is discussed.
  • GWA researches and assesses the development controls and authority requirements;
  • GWA prepares a DA checklist and Council Code Study;
  • GWA assesses conditions, constraints and opportunities of the site based on a site visit, survey and photos; (other consultants may need to be engaged depending on site conditions)
  • GWA assists the Client with the engagement of a building surveyor to undertake a site survey;
  • GWA prepares a set of ‘as existing’ drawings of any existing structures on the property, including plans and elevations;
  • Meetings with the Client as required.


  • GWA produces drawings that show the general planning and proposed style of the design options;
  • The Client reviews options and recommends updates. GWA incorporates changes or refinements based on this feedback;
  • GWA reviews the proposed design in relation to planning controls;
  • GWA may suggest a Pre-DA meeting with Council;
  • GWA provides preliminary sketch design documents, including basic materials and finishes, for costing by Quantity Surveyor or Builder if required;
  • Meetings with the Client as required;
  • The Client signs off approved concept design before proceeding to next phase of work.


  • Based on the approved Concept Design, GWA prepares documents to lodge an application for planning approval.  This may include:
  • ‘As existing’ drawings of the site and existing building(s), including Plans, Sections & Elevations;
  • CAD drawings of the proposed scheme; including detailed Plans, Sections and Elevations, suitable for submission to Council or other Authorities;
  • Site Analysis drawing;
  • Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE);
  • BASIX Certificate;
  • Waste Management Plan;
  • Shadow diagrams.
  • GWA assists with the preparation of Consultant briefs and obtains fee proposals;
  • GWA co-ordinates work carried out by consultants and integrates this work into the architectural documents;
  • GWA may meet with neighbours;
  • Meetings with the Client as required;
  • The Client reviews and approves all documents before submitting the Application;
  • Approximately 2-4 months for Council to assess DA. (Timing can vary)


Whilst more detailed than a DA, the level of detail in the documents produced for this stage is generally not enough for a builder to provide a tender. Often it can be possible to run this stage concurrently with the detailed documentation stage.

  • GWA develops documents to incorporate Conditions of Consent and meet CC requirements;
  • GWA coordinates and integrates secondary consultant’s designs;
  • GWA prepares a Certifier’s brief and obtains fee proposals;
  • GWA consults with the Certifier to manage the Construction Certificate process;
  • The Client approves the documents for CC and it is lodged in the Client’s name.


  • The concept design is refined and fully detailed to meet our Client’s requirements.
  • Together, we further develop the return brief with more detailed information about façade design, interior design and finishes, joinery requirements and kitchen and bathroom fittings and other technical details;
  • GWA undertakes technical research to identify suitable materials and products;
  • Cost, aesthetic and environmental performance of the proposed design(s) is evaluated at this stage.
  • GWA prepare and present design options for each part of the project;
  • The Client reviews the options and recommends updates. GWA incorporates changes or refinements based on Client feedback;
  • GWA provides preliminary drawings and schedules for costing by Quantity Surveyor or Builder if required;
  • GWA and the Client meet as required;
  • The Client confirms approval of the detailed design elements;


  • GWA prepares detailed working drawings and schedules, sufficient for construction of the work;
  • GWA provides information to secondary consultants and coordinates and integrates their work.
  • GWA meets with consultants as required. This may include meeting with builders to discuss their experience and suitability for the project;
  • We evaluate different procurement methods;
  • GWA can assist the Client with builder selection and/or the tender process;
  • GWA and the Client meet as required;
  • We decide what building procurement method will be used;
  • It may be possible for the documentation of some items to be completed during the construction process to minimise delays.


  • The level of service required by GWA in this phase may vary, depending on a range of issues including the client requirements, site conditions, and the building contract selected;
  • GWA generally administers the building contract between the Proprietor & Contractor and issues certificates as required under the building contract;
  • GWA assesses progress claims submitted by the builder;
  • GWA responds to site queries and provides ongoing details and documentation to the builder;
  • Regular site meetings are required to discuss issues on site with the builder and client;
  • Client attendance at particular site meetings is encouraged;
  • Client’s involvement and decisions made at this stage is critical to minimise delays.


  • GWA visit the site and monitor defective works during defect liability period;
  • GWA provides other post completion services as required;
  • GWA responds to requests for information from Client if requested.


  • The Client provides a brief for maintenance work. This work may be ongoing or immediate;
  • GWA prepares a return brief listing specific project requirements, which the Client reviews and confirms;
  • GWA assists with the preparation of consultant briefs and obtains fee proposals for the required maintenance work;
  • GWA organises for specific work items to be carried out by various suppliers/ tradesmen;
  • GWA monitors the progress of the work and provides updates to the Client as required.