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Hilltribe Architects - Central Coast, Sydney & Newcastle

Our Design Process

Our priority in taking on the design of your new home is to establish a collaborative relationship with you and to thoroughly understand your requirements. We love to watch beautiful homes become a reality but it’s not just the aesthetics that matter. Your home must be practical and easy to live in, now and through the different phases of your life.

When you contact us we will suggest meeting to discuss your project. This is when we want to hear your initial ‘wish list’ for your home and learn a little about how you live in your current spaces. We can then give you an idea of our process and the costs involved before moving on to the exciting part – designing your new home.

The design process starts with three important steps – analysis, vision and then design – but prior to this we create an inventory from information gained from a visit to your site. Key points will include things like traffic, access, topography and exposure to natural elements.

We then use this information to move to the first step, ‘analysis’. As the name suggests the analysis phase examines and interprets the data taken from your site and considers it in relation to the proposed style and usage of your home.

The aim of this analysis is to identify any issues with the site and any challenges with the build. This means that we can all proceed to working up concept designs and formulating realistic budgets that take into account any obstacles we might encounter.

At Hilltribe we also look at your site in a holistic way and not just as a plot of earth to park your home. Our climate and environment mean that our outside spaces are almost as important as the interior spaces when it comes to quality of life. We can offer integrated landscape architecture and horticultural advice that is conceptualised along with your build to maximise the potential of your site.

The next step for us is ‘vision’. This is the synthesis of all the information gathered into a main vision for the site. This vision aims to solve, or work with, the challenges of the site and, if possible, actually enhance the site. You could think of the vision as the catch phrase for your home, the distilling of the site information and your requirements into a ‘raison d’etre’.

Once the overall vision is perfected the ‘design’ step comes next. This is where we start to flesh out concepts for your home. We would usually present you with a number of initial concepts to choose from. These could differ significantly or they could be variations on a theme.

The concept stage is where we really aim to hear a “wow!” but it is by no means the final design. This will be developed as we refine the concept in accordance with your feedback. Once we have that final design we will produce a number of technical graphics.

Most important of these is the site plan, essentially the ‘master plan’ for your home. We also produce three dimensional models that allow you to ‘walk’ through your new home before the builders have even arrived. This is always an exciting time for our clients and a great way for us to gauge that we have nailed the brief.

Once you have approved the final design it is time to move to approvals. Hilltribe prepare for and navigate the approvals process for you, keeping you informed of the progress. We firstly submit architectural plans and supporting documentation to council for DA (Development Application) approval. Plans are then submitted for engineering documentation and a Construction Certificate.

Once the CC has been issued we can formulate a pre-tender Cost of Works. If you don’t already have a building company in mind, we have preferred companies that we work with regularly and can help you in the process of selecting your builder

Once you have your builder they will prepare a fee proposal and, if accepted, construction will be scheduled. With some clients this sees the end of our role in the process but our preference is to see the project through to completion in a project management role which allows us to ensure you achieve your desired result with minimum issues.

Each project varies a little in the way we approach it. We pride ourselves on being a full-service design practice with the scope to consider all aspects of your build including interior design and landscape architecture.

If you have any questions about our process or anything else contact us via the Contact page.