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Professionals you may need to meet on your building or reno journey

It’s good to be aware of who all of these professionals are and what role they can play within a residential project.
Structural Engineer

There are various design professionals, consultants or tradespeople you may require the assistance of during your new build or renovation project journey. This can be somewhat confusing and you may not be sure of who you need to consider and where to begin.

Some people may choose not to use specific professionals with the belief it will save them money. The reality is that the absence of these key people often leads to major errors or oversights during the project and ends up costing much more than if the right team had been engaged from the start. More importantly, some of these professionals are legally required in order to complete your project. 

While you may only require a few from our list, it’s good to be aware of who all of these professionals are and what role they can play within a residential project. These professionals incur fees so It’s also important to consider who you will need prior to determining your budget.

Below we list from A-Z key people you may need to consider to make up your project’s dream team, what they do, why you may require their services and what stage you may need them.

A

Architect

An architect assists with the design, drawings and documentation required for your project and can help you with council and building approvals. They can source all of the professionals required to build your team and coordinate them throughout the project. They can also manage the construction of your project and provide a final inspection upon completion.

Architects advise on or select all of your building materials, finishes, fixtures and fittings and can even design custom joinery and built-in furniture. They can advise on how best to allocate your budget and what products are the best value or best suited for your home.

B

BAL assessor

A BAL assessor is responsible for assessing the BAL rating for your new build. If you live in a designated bushfire prone area you will need them to visit the site to determine your bushfire attack level and provide you with a report that complies with Australian standards. This report will need to be submitted along with planning and building permits to your local council.

Builder

A builder is responsible for the coordination and construction of your project and must be licenced. They are required to construct your home according to the drawings and specifications and comply with applicable regulations, building codes and standards.

Building certifier

A building certifier will carry out the work that is needed to obtain building approvals and permits. They are essential professional to engage in order for construction to commence and to be able to complete your project.

Building designer

An Architectural Building Designer is able to perform a similar role to that of an architect (see Architect listed above). Some building designers will have the same qualification as an architect but have not yet become registered as one. Others may have obtained a different formal qualification. Building Designers must be registered in VIC, QLD and TAS. Registrations for NSW will come into effect at the end of July 2021.

Superdraft expertly pre-screen and select building designers for your project so you don’t have to. A Superdraft Building Designer is equipped to provide a comprehensive design solution for your project. They can manage the entire design process from concept design to drafting services and construction documentation, and can assist with obtaining building licenses and council approval. They may provide project management services and oversee the construction and coordination of other design professionals required for the project. 

C

Cabinet maker (joiner)

Cabinet makers specialise in crafting bespoke built-in furniture such as kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, book cases, entertainment media units, custom office furniture and the like.

Carpenter

Carpenters are highly skilled in building frameworks and installing structures such as walls, door frames, floors, mouldings, windows, cladding, decking. They understand how to read and follow floor plans and other types of detailed drawings.

Client liaison

Once you build commences, your client liaison will keep you updated with developments regarding your project and will assist with any post-contract variations. They may prepare and submit council applications, arrange building insurance and other consultant documentation such as structural, energy or soil reports and conduct hand over meetings.

Construction manager

A Construction Manager is responsible for overseeing the construction of a home from the early planning stages, all the way through to the construction of the building. They will hire and supervise workers, coordinate subcontractors and schedules, estimate project costs, report progress to clients and superiors, ensure safety codes are being met and the project is keeping to schedule.

Contracts administrator

Your Contracts administrator will review plans and specifications against contracts to ensure the correct equipment, material and subcontractor services are ordered or purchased. They may also assist with negotiation terms and conditions for supplier contracts. They can assist you with any post sign up variations and will establish delivery schedules and work with architects, engineers or project managers to ensure project progress goals are being met.

D

Draftsperson (draftsman, draughtsman, drafter and draftie)

Generally, draftspeople provide drafting services only. Meaning they can draw up your plans but they don’t advise on the design. A draftsman is a good option if you need someone to draw up a new version of old house plans. Or if you have completed a design and now need working drawings to submit plans to council, or to a builder for quoting.

E

Electrician

Electrican’s specialise in the wiring of buildings, the installation of light fittings GPO’s conduits, cable systems, circuit breakers and other electrical equipment such as aircon units. They work on both interior and exterior projects and can repair equipment and appliances.

Electrical engineer

An electrical engineer can assist with anything electrical such as power management, lighting or smart home automation. Generally this type of engineer is only used for very high-end luxury residences.

See Lighting designer who can also advise on this.

Energy efficiency consultant

Each new build and renovation is required to meet a star rating in order to obtain approval to commence. An Energy efficiency consultant will check that the design for your home complies with the set standards and will determine how efficient it is. An energy-efficient consultant will assess things such as airflow, ventilation and heat retention.

F

Financial planning consultant (financial advisor)

Offer financial advice and can assist with creating a solid plan to allocate and invest funds and help you save for future assets such as buying a home.

Foreman (construction foreman / site supervisor)

A foreman is the professional in charge of the entire construction crew. They are responsible for managing materials and equipment, creating schedules, along with supervising and managing the site to ensure work is completed safely, within the set time frame and on budget.

G

Gasfitter (gas plumber)

A gas fitter can inspect, install, fix and maintain gas related equipment such as boilers, gas heating units and gas meters.

Glazier

A glazier is a tradesperson who specialises in installing, removing and cutting glass panels. They can fit windows, shower screens, mirrors etc.

Geotechnical engineer

A geotechnical engineer is responsible for soil testing which helps to determine the type of structure that may be needed for your home, depending on the soil conditions of the site.

H

Handyman

A handyman is the useful jack of all trades who can assist odd jobs in and around the outside of the house with regard to repairs, installation and general maintenance.

Hydraulic engineer

A Hydraulic engineer can assist with any issues related to water. Sometimes their input will be a requirement by local councils where the site will call for specific solutions that need to be solved and designed by a hydraulic engineer.

I

Interior designer

An interior designer is specialised in designing the interior elements within a home. Many are trained but in Australia you don’t have to be certified to become an interior designer. There are also varying levels of training that an interior designer may undertake. Some will have a degree in interior architecture, some will have an advanced diploma, some a certificate and others may have just completed some online training to obtain a statement of attainment. Always ask a designer about their training, experience and the number of years they have been practicing.

Interiors designers provide advice on space planning, kitchen design, bathroom design, joinery and cabinetry design. Some will specialise in just kitchen and bathrooms. Designers also provide advice on interior materials and finishes, fixtures, fittings and lighting selections. They will be trained in software to produce drawings and documentation such as plans and elevations. They should be able to sketch and may even be able to produce 3D visuals for your project. They can help you to determine a budget, manage your project and coordinate tradespeople.

Interior decorator 

A decorator can provide advice on furnishing your home, along with selecting colours, decorative lighting, fixtures and hard and soft finishes such as flooring and fabrics. They can space plan furniture layouts but generally aren’t technically trained like interior designers who can advise on structural changes to your home. Some interior decorators will hold a diploma or certificate and some may have no formal training at all.

L

Landscape architect or landscape designer

Will provide the design and documentation drawings for your front and rear landscapes such as entries, patio areas and pool areas. They are equipped to advise not just on suitable planting, but also elements such as hardscaping, paving, fencing, retaining walls, pergolas, outdoor lighting and power.

Lighting designer

A lighting designer is technically trained in designing lighting and electrical layouts in accordance with code compliance. Their up-to-date knowledge of different types of lighting, fixtures and colour temperatures and how to best apply them is extensive. They will oversee installation, order and coordinate the delivery and installation of your lighting design.

N

New homes sales consultant

A new homes sales consultant will assist and inform you with the processes involved in buying a home. They can present and communicate a variety of floor plan options, features and benefits

O

Owner-builder

You will become the owner/builder should you decide to become the person responsible for managing the building work for your project. You become liable for your entire build or renovation. This includes obtaining all permits, paying levy’s and overseeing or undertaking the building work.

P

Painter

A painter will prepare exterior and interior walls, doors, cabinetry, windows and ceiling surfaces ready to repaint. They may be experienced in providing specialist faux paint finishes and hanging wallpaper.

Plumber

A plumber is a qualified tradesperson who will repair, plan and install plumbing systems and services such as drainage and sewage and roughing in piping during a bathroom or kitchen renovation. They also install plumbing fixtures and fittings such as dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, basins, sinks, tapware, showerheads.

Project manager

A project manager can be appointed before the commencement of your project to help build your team, assess their experience and examine their fees. They can then manage this team throughout the project, providing one main point of contact. The good news is you don’t have to decide now, they can also be appointed at a later stage of the project to assist with the tender process of securing a builder for the best price. They can also help to manage the builder so you don’t have to deal with any discrepancies yourself.

Pre-start consultant

A Pre-start consultant will meet with you prior to the commencement of your home build and work closely with you during the initial stage of construction. They will guide you through your home’s floor plan to ensure you understand each detail and make updates on any preferences you may have. They also provide advice and assistance with layouts including plumbing and electrical and the selection of colour, materials, finishes, fixtures, hardware and white goods for your home.

Q

Quantity surveyor (or build estimator)

Can provide information on the cost to build your home that is in line with current industry rates and their experience from similar projects to your own.

S

Structural engineer

A structural engineer can design the structure of your home to ensure it is structurally sound and compliant with building codes and regulations. They can work with the architect to ensure that the architect’s design will work structurally in terms of durability and safety.

For more information on structural engineers visit our article.

Surveyor

Surveyors provide an accurate survey and drawings for the site of your home. These will be required for the construction of your home. They identify boundaries and assist with the set out of new building work. The information they provide is required for planning approval.

T

Tiler

A tiler is a highly skilled professional who is responsible for the calculations preparation, cutting, laying and grouting of interior wall and floor tiles, drains and exterior tiles, paving, and grates. They can also tile swimming pools.

Town planner

Assists with obtaining council approvals, development approvals and permits. If you are looking to build something that does not comply with standard planning regulations, (such as building setbacks or site coverage), then it will be best to engage a town planner to put together a justification on “why” your design should still be approved by the council, despite asking for these exemptions. Without this, your application may be rejected.

Tradespeople (tradesperson, tradesman on tradie).

A tradesperson is a skilled worker who specialises in a particular field and has undertaken formal and on the job training but does not hold a degree. Some trades are required to hold a contractor licence in order to carry out work in Australia.

The following professions fall into the category of ‘tradespeople.’ Electrician, Painter, Cabinetmaker, Carpenter, Tiler, Plumber, Plasterer, Glazier, Flooring installer.

W

Waterproofing contractor (also known as Waterproofer)

It is essential that all wet areas must be waterproofed by a qualified, licensed waterproofing contractor. Plumbers can often be qualified in this area.

interior designer, architectural jargons

It is important to note that some of the individual tradespeople mentioned above, will be supplied by the builder themselves. It is only if you choose to become an owner-builder and engage individual contractors that you will need to work with each of them individually.

This is another great reason to use Superdraft’s build tender service so it is all taken care of for you. We can tender out your plans to local builders, helping you to compare inclusions and prices and get the best deal for you.

Enquire now to find out more.

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