At Soul Space, the foundation of every project is an in-depth understanding of your wants and needs. Our 6-step design and documentation process is the result of 30 years’ experience, over 1200 projects and more than 200 custom home designs. We’ll make this process easy.
You’ll find we ask a lot of questions about the build you have in mind, your land, the structure, finish and fittings you prefer, and the kind of lifestyle you want to achieve. Naturally, we also check out all the practical details, including zoning and other regulations. The result? A totally individual design that reflects who you are – your very own ‘soul space’.
1. Project brief (the starting point)
This is the outcome of asking you all those questions and paying close attention to the answers. Applying the full breadth of our experience to your requirements, we develop a detailed ‘road map’ that will be used to guide your design to a perfect conclusion. This stage includes:
Exploring the site
The size, shape and location of your lot will be a major practical influence on the final design. We take into account details such as gradient, drainage, neighbouring buildings and environmental issues.
Checking local regulations and building covenants
Different councils have different regulations and these can have a major impact on your design, often setting limits regarding building height, site coverage, and so on. Likewise, local covenants may guide options for the structure’s materials, form and profile.
Having a budget from the start gives you peace of mind. As the project progresses and we settle on an agreed design, we’ll apply our knowledge of construction techniques and contacts with suppliers to price it in detail. At this early stage, it helps to have set your budget minimum and maximum. The result will be a design that is realistically priced from the start.
2. Develop concept designs (first sketch drawings)
From the project brief, we’ll work up some initial concept designs for your review, bearing in mind your hopes and the practical issues we’ve identified together. These basic designs might be a series of sketches, a floor plan, or an elevation drawing that shows off key aspects and features. The sketches are to explore the site’s opportunities, which may give you a number of options to determine what feels right for you. We’ll settle on one preferred concept which will be developed further.
3. Design Development
Develop the approved concept design as a 3D CAD model – Once you’ve chosen your preferred concept, we develop a set of detailed house design plans and then convert them into a 3D model using the latest computer-aided design (CAD) software. The 3D model is an opportunity to explore the design, the views, room sizes and shapes as well as sunlight and shade. Once the model has been fine-tuned and completed, we can prepare the construction drawings.
4. Prepare final working drawings
Following the fine-tuning of the design, we will refer the final drawings to our network of structural engineers who will design the necessary structural aspects of the project. Soul Space will then incorporate the structural engineer’s work in the architectural drawings. This final set of working drawings, including the architectural plans, will allow builders to quote a price for construction and then create your new home down to the last detail.
Soul Space will also co-ordinate the Certification of your project with our network of building certifiers, ensuring that project has all the necessary approvals and is ready to go.
5. Colour consultancy and coordination
Our interior designer will provide you with a full colour consultancy service, assisting in your choice of final finishes and fixtures. This includes all external finishes, such as roof colour, wall colours, window frame finishes and woodworking; and internal finishes, such as floor tiles, timber floors, carpet. These details can make all the difference to the feel of your home – do you want sleek and modern, industrial feel or cosy and traditional? Or something entirely different? Soul Space will provide advice and guidance on the full range of speciality finishes, such as kitchen bench tops, cupboards, wall tiles and bathroom fixtures, including vanities, toilets, baths, taps, mirrors and towel rails.
6. Issue documents to builders for pricing
With a finished design and all the documentation in place, it only remains to pass everything to your chosen builder to price up your dream project. Finding a good builder is critical and a company with a track record of constructing similar properties is a good way to go. Naturally, with our years in the business, we’ve worked with many trusted companies and can make a recommendation if you need one. The most important thing is that you feel as comfortable with them as you do with us. We will liaise with the builders to address all queries that may arise in pricing and on site during construction.
In our design process the most important factor is partnership – we want you to know everything and be involved step by step, putting you in control of your new home or renovation at every stage.