Frequently Asked Questions


How much do you cost?

It’s a great idea to meet up with us to talk about your project, so we can tailor a fee specifically for your project. While percentage fee rates are a bit of a blunt instrument, as a guide, a fee for a FULL service from beginning to end of a new build project (design to contract observation) of $500K and upwards build, the architects fee could be between 10-12% of the project build value. Renovation projects can have another 1.5% on top of this due to the amount of remedial work and detailing required for the existing property. Each of our projects are designed specifically for your family, your site, and your brief, and we tailor our fees that way too.


What types of projects do you take on?

We love working on a wide range of projects that have a broad range of budgets, but particularly love working with families and communities to achieve their goals. Custom designed new build homes, bespoke renovations and sustainable 'Eco' homes are our expertise. We also enjoy working on prefabrication design options for high quality tiny homes and minor dwellings.


How much does it cost to build a custom designed house?

Well it depends what your brief is, the area you want to achieve, your site parameters, and your quality expectations. For a custom architect designed house, we find that it’s a good idea to establish your ‘build budget’ while establishing your top two main priorities for the build, and then let us assist you with the design & built area that fits those parameters. It's important to remember the ‘build budget’ is the house alone (and is what dollar per m2 rates are based on), and is not the ‘overall budget’ for the project. On top of the ‘build budget’ of the actual house footprint, you also need to allow for consultant fees (Engineers, Planners, Geotechnical Engineers, Architects), Council fees, Contingency, Site establishment costs (services, septic, water, electrical supply), and landscaping (decks, patios, driveways, planting, retaining) … on some un-serviced sites this can add up to 40% of your ‘overall budget’. Many try to establish the area they can build in advance using old m2 rates (that also often exclude GST) – however this can be misleading. Smaller homes have higher m2 rates than larger homes, houses on more complex geotechnically sensitive sites, extra high wind zones or marine zones, are also likely to have higher m2 rates. For a high quality contemporary Architect designed home, that is also sustainable, talk with us first before fixing your build budget + built area expectations within your brief. We recommend a Quantity Surveyor costing at CONCEPT stage to confirm you have your overall project budget calculated correctly (with fees, council fees, landscaping allowances). Then at the end of PRELIMINARY DESIGN stage another costing is required, this time a detailed build cost estimate, prior to starting final documentation and detailing. This helps us all stay on track as we move through the different stages of design prior to full contractor tender pricing when the working drawings have been completed.


How do we get to know what you can do for us?

Let's have a coffee together, chat about your project and get to know each other. Then we talk about how we can help you design, document and build a beautiful home for your property. If you are located outside of Auckland, we are often happy to travel to meet you for an initial consultation fee, or we can offer a free skype/facetime/video call to meet you face to face.


Can you provide drafting services for building consent from my idea?

When you engage a Registered Architect, you are engaging a highly experienced professional in the building industry who is trained to think, problem solve, design and work on your behalf to achieve the best result for your life and your land, rather than just a consent documentation service. We are more than happy to discuss your ideas and sketches, but we will also ensure that we have carefully assessed the various options available to you that may actually suit your requirements better. We prefer to work with you from the beginning to the end of a project rather than just to building consent – it gives a better end result and we find that clients enjoy the build process a lot more when we do. We take our projects from the initial concept design, to preliminary design, right through to detailing interiors, consent documentation, to working with the builders on site for contract observation and contract administration. We like to look after you till you move into your new home.


What area of New Zealand can you work in?

While we are based in Auckland (North Island, New Zealand) we have completed projects in a wide range of locations and are happy to work on projects throughout New Zealand.


I have a million dollar dream but a $500k budget, how do I reconcile that?

With experience building architecture to suit both high and low budgets, we have creative ideas that can make the most of your light, site, climate and budget. Check out our blog posts for ideas on how to build architecture on a budget, how to refine your priorities, and also talk with us – we can help you with ideas of how to meet your goals.


How do I prioritize my project brief?

Often the list for what you want to go into your home can be a very long one, and that’s ok, but also its important to think about your top priorities for your build – for example quality, architectural space (light/materials/form), character (heritage or a specific style), cost, sustainability, functionality, area, time frame for the build. See if you can narrow them down to the two top priorities that you and your family all agree on. This enables us to guide you in design and construction options that are going to best suit your requirements, and will assist you in the many decisions that need to be made throughout the design and construction stages.


Do you take on small projects or only large ones?

Our projects span from the very small to the very large. For the smaller projects, the focus is often on quality and sustainability or on customised prefabrication options, bespoke cabinetry and interior design. (We tend not to work on very small alterations unless high quality design is an essential part of your brief as that is where we can best add value to your project)


How will I understand what my project is going to look like.

We use the latest BIM technology so that you can experience our architecture designs in 3d on your tablet or phone, and move around them in a virtual world. You can also use 3d google glasses to enjoy a virtual reality experience through your new home. The drawings and designs can be loaded up on this platform too and connect with the 3d model, It’s a great way of really understanding the concepts and drawings, as well as enabling us to collaborate with you easily no matter where you are in the world. In addition to sketches and drawings on paper, we can also offer physical cardboard models if that enables you to understand the spaces better.


Can you work remotely with us?

Yes, our studio is set up to work remotely with you easily. Whether you are overseas, or self isolating at this time, we have the means to hold virtual meetings with you, draw up concepts and proposals using property data, and present ideas to you using our BIMx technology so you can experience what they will be like. During self isolation periods, We, (and our consultants and subcontractors), have fully functional home offices with access to servers, and we are able to have team meetings easily online if required. This is actually a great time to be thinking about plans for the future, and developing design and documentation stages of your project, so that you are ready to build quickly and easily once this season has passed.

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