how we work

One of the greatest advantages of selecting DNA Architects is that, because of our construction background, we can save a great deal of time and money by creating designs that are cost effective to build.

We also understand that for many of our clients, designing or renovating their home is probably the biggest investment they will make. To that end, we have divided the design and build process into stages that provide you with cost-effective options:

Initial meeting

This is the information gathering stage where we listen to your needs, dreams, wants and desires along with assessing technical information such as site surveys and plans. The more information you can provide at this stage, the better. (Click here for suggested items to bring). We will make suggestions and give you a copy of our terms and conditions before you decide to go ahead with a preliminary design.

Preliminary design

Once you’ve decided that we are the architects for you, we’ll carry out a full site survey and take a detailed brief to start preparing the initial concept design. A preliminary sketch of a proposed design is then prepared and presented to you for feedback.

Design Development

During this stage we continue to make refinements and changes and once you’re happy with the design, final sketch drawings are made.

Development Approval

Once you are happy with the final design, we will prepare and submit documents to the relevant authority for planning and building approval.

The tender process

Option A Half tender

Rather than drawing up full documentation, which involves a significant number of billing hours, we can prepare documentation that includes the basics needed for construction including working drawings and a schedule of works.

Option B Full Tender

Full documentation is prepared that includes details such as electrical drawings, heating, windows joinery, finishes and fixtures in every room so that detailed quotations from tendering builders can be obtained.

Tender Negotiation and Contract Administration

We can take on this challenging part of your build by acting as your agent in dealing with the builder. This includes evaluating building tenders based on cost, time and quality and managing deliveries and managing the various contractors and specialists to keep the project on schedule and to budget. We involve you in all the decision-making and keep you abreast of developments.

Final Inspection

We carry out all the final inspections to ensure the final build is everything you and we imagined it would be.


Over to you!.

Initial Discussion Requirements

When you come in for your initial meeting with DNA we recommend you bring the following:

  • For a new house:
  • Contour plan if available (usually found on the Building File at Environment & Sustainable Development Directorate in Mitchell). If you don’t have one we can arrange for a survey.
  • Documents showing service tie points for electricity, storm water, sanitary and phone (usually found on the Building File at Environment & Sustainable Development Directorate in Mitchell).
  • Deposited Plan (available from Environment & Sustainable Development Directorate) showing boundaries, neighbouring properties, easements, length and bearings or Title Plan (available with mortgage documents or from Titles Office).
  • Lease and Development Conditions (available from Developers agent).
  • A list of the functional requirements of the house.
  • Pictures of things you like or a scrap book.
  • An idea of your budget.
  • For additions and alterations:
  • Plans and elevations of the existing house including all alterations, garages, swimming pools etc.
  • Survey Certificates (on the Building File at Environment & Sustainable Development Directorate in Mitchell) showing block dimensions and existing structures.
  • Contour plan if available.
  • Deposited Plan (available from Environment & Sustainable Development Directorate in Dickson) or Title plan (available with mortgage documents or from Titles office).
  • A set of photos showing the exterior and interior would be helpful (they only need to be snapshots).
  • A list of your requirements.
  • An idea of your budget