Gene and his lovely wife Jenna (and son Cooper) have been friends of ours for many years. Pride Home Designs launched as demand (seriously) spiked for Gene’s skills which he’s now crafted into a full time business.
A few questions have been bubbling away in our minds regarding plans, drawings and certification. So of course, we asked Gene and thought we’d share.
// What’s the main difference between a draftsman, building designer and architect? Do they all offer the same client services?
Draftsman known as “Draftys” in most cases will take an existing design and do the working drawings for the trades on site to work from. Usually these designs will come from an architect, designer, engineer etc.
Building Designer versus an Architect. This is tough to differentiate between, so I will quote from the Builders Designers Association of Queensland for the best definition:
In Queensland there is no difference in the work that can be done by a building designer as opposed to an architect. There are some differences in education and regulation between the professions but these make little difference to their work output. A building designer must be licensed by the Queensland Building Services Authority at a level suitable for the type of work to be undertaken.
(Note: The Queensland Building Service is now known as Queensland Building and Construction Commission)
// At what point when planning for a project (such as a new deck or whole home) should a client engage someone like Pride Home Designs?
From the very beginning. For a builder to give you an accurate quote on a project you will need a design and plans for them to accurately quote from.
// If a project reaches a certain complexity and cost it often involves council approval. Who’s role is it to engage council and complete the appropriate paperwork?
This can be handled a few different ways.
– By the Owner,
– By the Builder, or
– By Myself (the designer).
I’ve been designing and drafting since 2002, and in that time, my personal opinion on the best process is to have your chosen builder engage these consultants (engineering, certification etc.). I find a lot of builders have preferred certifiers and engineering firms that they like to deal with. Having them handle these items makes things smoother on site as they are dealing with consultants that they have a previous relationships with.
That being said we still do organise and handle any town planning, certification, engineering, etc, that might be required if the client wishes to have these items sorted prior to engaging a builder.
(Note: Any form of works or alterations other than repairing existing elements will require Council approval).
I will always want to have a meeting with the new clients in person for an initial design session. This covers the owner’s wish list, likes, dislikes and their general overview of what they want. It also gives me a chance to get to know the clients and how they would like to use their new home or renovation(s), which plays a big role in the design.
From this meeting and a visit to the site, Initial Preliminary Designs are drawn up and submitted to the client. Changes to the preliminary designs can in most cases be done over the phone or via email. But we are always happy to meet and discuss the design and/or any changes in person if the client prefers this.
// What is the most rewarding aspect of your job as a Building Designer?
Being able to listen to the clients desires and to put them on paper. I look at every job as if it were my own. I start every job as if I had the client’s budget and the client’s wish list, and make something work from there. If the end product isn’t something I would be happy with if it were my own home, I don’t present it to the client until it is 100% right. I see so many other plans that clients have had done up and are simply not happy with.
A considerable portion of my work is redoing jobs that clients have had done previously elsewhere and are just not happy with the final product. I strive for my work to be perfect for the client’s budget, wish list and the specific site. I believe a big part in making this happen is: I’m the person who has the design meeting with the client; I’m the one who does the site inspections and measure ups; I’m the one who does the design; and I’m the one who does the construction drawing. There are no middle men, salesmen, or other people working on the jobs. I take the job from start to finish, so there is no information lost between people.
(Yup Gene, that's why we love woking with you).
All images are projects as a result of Gene’s work at Pride Home Designs.