Consulting Services

Photo courtesy of Dulux, Archicentre and Umbaco Landscape Architects

Consulting services includes the professionals that work with you when building or renovating to ensure that the home is safe and comfortable to inhabit.

Read on for more information about consulting services:

Benefits of Using Consulting Services

  • Many professionals can help you negotiate and deal with your local council, saving you time and stress.

  • They have significant knowledge about building codes and permits, to ensure your home is built or renovated according to strict standards.

  • Many consultants can help with project management. The consultant’s expertise will ensure that the professionals are working to the schedule and they will also be able to rectify any problems that occur along the way.  This can take a lot of the stress out of completing a home improvement project.

  • Design professionals are able to provide you with advice on the best way to build or implement something in your home.  This is particularly useful if you have a vague idea of what you want but are unsure as to how to go about it.  Design professionals are trained to work with the ideas that you have in order to come up with something that you are happy with.

  • Feng Shui professionals work to make the home feel more comfortable and happier to live in.  This is done by improving the flow of energy to achieve a raft of positive changes and minimise any negative effects.

Design Professionals

The term design professionals cover several different categories and these are outlined below.

  • Architects are university-qualified professionals that design plans for a home right through to supervising the building or renovating process.  In all states and territories in Australia, for a professional to legally use the term 'architect', they must be registered with the relevant registration board, such as the NSW Architects Registration Board. To be registered with the board, they will have completed an accredited professional qualification in architecture, passed an exam and undertaken an approved amount of experience. To check that an architect is registered, contact the architect registration board in your state or territory.

    Architects are able to design a building or part of a building in order to fit your requirements and to the style that you choose, whether it is modern, traditional or even something completely unique.  As well as designing the building for functionality and aesthetics, the architect also needs to make sure that the building is structurally sound.  You can also consult an architect for extensions or additions advice and design.
  • Building designers are responsible for creating extremely detailed plans that includes everything from the timber used right down to what the fittings should be. 

  • Drafters are most often used when plans are required for a renovation, extension or new home.  They will generally use computer aided design (or CAD) programs to create an exact plan.  Drafting services can provide plans for almost any style of home and they can also create extremely detailed plans of kitchens and bathrooms, which is a great way to see what the kitchen or bathroom will look like before you give the go ahead to any work.

  • Interior designers make sure that the home, or a space within the home, is functional, efficient and safe.  To this end, they have knowledge and an understanding of construction, lighting, colour and furniture.  Interior designers are able to change the interior layout of the home to better suit the client’s needs, relocating rooms as necessary. They also decorate the inside of the home, through use of things such as paint, wallpaper, carpet and curtains, to name a few.

Inspection Services & Building Certifiers

  • Building certifiers are responsible for obtaining the building permits for extensions or additions that you make to your property, as well as any other permits that are required before major alterations are made to your property.

  • Building inspections serve to let you know the condition of a property before you buy it.  They are normally carried out by building consultants and let you know what repairs are needed, as well as providing you with a potential bargaining tool. 

  • Pre-purchase building reports are very similar to pre-purchase property inspections but they also include things such as how much the repairs are likely to cost as well as recommendations on the repair and maintenance work needed. 

  • Strata reports are used in buildings that are operated by a body corporate and cover things such as the history of disputes in the building and the repairs undertaken. If you are concerned about the impact a neighbouring construction might have on your home, you can request a dilapidation report. 

  • New home inspections are carried out during the home’s construction and ensure that the workmanship and quality is of a high standard and that any potential defects are repaired.

  • It can also be a good idea to carry out a building completion/defects report before you move into your new home. If you are a home owner who has built under an owner builder permit, you might need a home owner warranty report. 

  • Pest inspections should be carried out in all residential buildings as they identify both damaging pests such as termites as well as the presence of pests such as ants, spiders, cockroaches and so forth.  Termites, in particular, are a worrying problem in many areas of Australia, and the pest inspection will identify any current or past activity as well as assessing the damage (if any) and recommending ways of rectifying the problems. For more information see pest control.

Building Consultants & Surveyors

  • Building consultants are professionals such as building consultants, building inspectors, surveyors and engineers.  Their role is to ensure that your home is safe to live in and meets the council and government requirements. Building consultants provide advice or undertake tasks that relate to the building industry, including talking to the local council and managing home improvement projects.  They also assess the condition of your home, look for defects and estimate the cost of repairs. It is vital that you consult with an engineer if you are considering making any structural changes to your home as they can advise you as to whether it’s safe to do so.

  • Structural engineers are a type of building consultant responsible for the structural integrity of a building. They design and specify the structural components of the building such as the walls, posts, beams, foundations and footing.

  • Building surveyors are responsible for ensuring a building is safe, accessible and energy efficient. They are brought in during the building process and work with other professionals to ensure the property meets all regulations.

Arborists and Landscape Architecture

  • Arborists are professionals that work with the tree and its form and growth patterns to create a tree that is aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound.  They can provide reports and consult with the council and homeowners.  As well, they provide services such as tree pruning, tree removal, tree surgery, root management, transplantations, assess the safe life expectancy of a tree, and prepare tree surveys.

  • Landscape architects determine the placement of buildings, structures and roadways within the landscape.  A lot of emphasis is placed on design and planning, with the eventual creation of detailed drawings that show exactly how the garden will be laid out.  The drawings include things such as drainage, what plants are to be used, where walkways will be and so forth.  As well as doing this, the architect will list all of the materials needed for the project.

Feng Shui

  • Feng Shui (pronounced Foong Schway) is literally translated as “wind and water” and is used to create a harmonious environment in the home.  It is about maximising positive energy while minimising the effects of poor energy.  Feng Shui considers things such as the layout of the home and the furnishings and the best place to put lucky objects (objects that maximise positive Feng Shui).  The elements that we can see, as well as the elements that we can’t are taken into consideration by the professional.

Professional Organisers

  • Professional organisers design and implement solutions for people to get organised. They help people to restore order in their lives and teach them to get the most out of the resources they have. They also help to de-clutter rooms in the home and sort through items to ascertain what is and isn't needed.
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