Faqs Related to Developmental Application in NSW

One of the most challenging tasks is to get the developmental application over the line of the process. To fast track the application of the process, it is essential that you hire the services of the architectural draftsman in Sydney and get going with the work. However, there are some questions that the layperson often thinks of asking the experts, but stops midway thinking that ignorance can get embarrassing. That’s the reason why, we have laid down the FAQs (frequently asked questions), which will answer all the queries of one and all about developmental applications.

Question 1: What is development application?

Answer 1: Buildings and annihilation work necessitate development application in NSW, and it has to be taken to the council for approval unless it complying with the development or exempts it. The different kinds of construction and development tasks that require the council’s consent or approval are:

  • Construction of a new structure like swimming pools, outbuildings, maintaining walls and so on
  • Demolishing of any structure
  • Alteration of a building that already exists
  • Any kind of work that caters to a heritage item or within an area of that is rich for its heritage preservation
  • Changing the usage of a building or existing premises needs approval
  • Erecting a signage for advertising purpose
  • Carrying out evacuation, fillings or any kind of earthworks
  • Division and subdivision of land and strata
  • Lastly, all other uses that come under development application in NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act

Question 2: How the actual process works?

Answer 2: Well, there are three stages the project is processed and that are design, documentation and construction.

  • Design: To estimate the time of design varies depending upon the project that is assigned. The development approvals take time and be somewhere near to 100 days. Nevertheless, it differs quite a lot, but definitely, as per the standard norms, that is laid down by the Council.
  • Documentation: After approval, the documentation can take up to 3 months or so. To fast track the work, it is possible to commence the work earlier. However, you may have to pay extra, as per the need. Fast tracking the work can pose as a risk factor as the council may not always accept the approval.
  • Tendering: For tender negotiation, it can take up to 10 weeks. From preparation of the documents to negotiating the tender and all, it requires an adequate amount of time. However, it depends a lot on the project.
  • Construction: Well, when you come to the professional architectural draftsman in Sydney for developmental application services, then they are generally bang on time and do not make delays due to excuses like climatic conditions, unknown calamities and so on. A fixed time is set and maintained as well.

Question 3: What are the charges?

Answer 3: It all depends on your project and the services you opt for. After having a look at the details, the experts will give you feedback that will be best for you along with a price quote. In fact, even if you wish for partial services like advice or guidance we will provide you with that and the charges are going to vary accordingly. If you find it all affordable and convincing, let’s get working now! Just give us a call or shoot a mail and let us know whether you are game to hire our services.

Question 4: Any other questions?

Answer 4: Get in touch with us. Our friendly staff will be glad to help you out.

Note: Did you know?

Residents and the developers need to consult the neighbours for lodging developmental applications with the council, according to the proposed alterations in the New South Wales planning system. Thus, the public does get a chance to make comments on it. So, if you have any construction changes or alterations in mind and are looking for professionals to fill up the application, get to know what your neighbour has to say about it first, and then go ahead with it. The law is undergoing a lot of changes. And you need to be well-informed before taking the first step; the rest leave it to the professionals.


The Effective Benefits of Hiring an Architectural Firm in Sydney

When you are talking about architectural drafting services, the first thing that comes to your mind is that these professionals are going to analyse the property from a unique and different angle and the presentation ought to be something truly exclusive. Well, it is partially correct, as there are divergent ways you need to look at a property and architectural drafting actually helps in materialising the views about edifices, sites and so on. It is then presented to entrepreneurs, buyers and investors for providing them with a precise idea.

This kind of drafting is actually a kind of technical model that caters to the building details, even the minute detailing. Earlier such a type of laborious work was done by hands, and it was essential for people to take care of the smallest calculations. After this, the model was presented in front of the sponsors, patrons and all and after all this; the assessment was made about the progress of the work.

However, now things have changed, and professional architectural drafting services in Melbourne are going for CAD, that is, Computer Aided Design services. It is also commonly called mechanical drafting and the design is not hand-made but created using computer technology with the help of advanced software. Thus, the workload is much reduced for the engineers for developing the structures in pen and paper. The best part is that the work is done perfectly without any follies, as modern computerised techniques can never go wrong.

So, let’s get straight to the point and check out the advantages of hiring architectural firms in Sydney:

  • Get a detailed account about how the site develops. You get a crystal clear idea about the development of the site if it’s just one building or a cluster of flats. A picture perfect vision of the model both inside and out is derived. Thus, the overall look and feel of the architectural structure of the site gets accessed. How the buildings are developing, how they are connected and inter-related to one another, the adjacent streets and areas surrounding the structure can also be viewed. This kind of model can only be developed by a professional pair of hands, without any hassles.
  • Get a cross-sectional view of the building. Yes, won’t you desire to look into the structure of all sectors? The cross-sectional view allows you to get a clear picture of how the structure is developing and will appear from inside as well as outside. You will understand the look and feel of the architectural framework via this digital technology.
  • Elevated structure of the building is crucial to the investors. It may be a flat portrayal of the construction or just an angular illustration of the building, but it is a fundamental feature that becomes a deciding factor for the buyers and investors, whether or not to make the investment!
  • Floor planning is another important module and brings forth how the structure is evolved on a single level. This type of representation enables the viewer to understand the arrangement of the space next to a particular level of the floor.

If you can get these utilities for architectural drafting services at competitive rates, then get connected with the top-notch architecture firms.


Architects, Draftsperson & Building Designer – What’s the difference?

Type “architect Vs draftsperson” or “architect Vs building designer” or even “building designer Vs draftsperson” into Google and you will get a world of websites outlining the merits of one over the other. And some very nasty online arguments!! They can cost different amounts, and homeowners have different experiences in using either of them, so what is the REAL difference?

As with any profession, there are those that are great at what they do and those that aren’t. So I’m not about to tell you who you should use – because ultimately that choice is up to you. As with everything at Undercover Architect, my mission is to provide the information – and then what you do with it is your decision.

To answer the question simply, though in the world of individual residential homes, both an architect, a draftsperson and a building designer can all perform the same role.

Australia is quite unusual globally in this way. You are not legally required to use ANYONE to design your home here, whereas elsewhere in the world, you have to use a designer with specific qualifications.

Perhaps that says something about the standard of design in Australian housing; you look around where you live and be the judge.

Architect Vs draftsperson Vs building designer; what’s the difference?

In Australia, there are three main professions associated with the design and drawing of homes: architects, building designers and draftspeople. (This is excluding the myriad of additional consultants you may or may not need, such as structural engineers, private certifiers, town planners, etc).

So what’s the difference? Let’s firstly look at what it involves performing each of these roles.

An architect

For an architect to legally use that title in Australia, they must be “board registered”. This means they’ve completed a recognised university degree (usually 5 – 6 years of study)

  • completed a required level of on-job experience (minimum 2 years)
  • then sat a written exam and passed
  • followed by an interview exam and passed
  • and then annually (as part of re-registration) declare that they are fit to practice, and are continuing their professional development with a required number of hours of study and learning

A draftsperson

Many in this role study at TAFE to learn the skills required to draw (document) buildings. However, I’ve also worked with draftspeople who purely learnt their drawing skills on the job and honed them over time.

A building designer

It depends on the state of Australia whether a building designer has to be formally licensed to use this title, and the license they have will impact the scale of development they can work on – be it individual homes, apartment buildings, or public facilities such as childcare centres, etc. There are specific TAFE courses, and one Qld-based university degree (distance learning) that can qualify you to be a building designer. Sometimes, however, building designers are draftspeople who’ve gone through the licensing process.

So what does this all mean for you?

Depending on the state you live in, you may or may not be required to use, at a minimum, a licensed building designer. For example, “in Queensland, any person carrying out building design and/or preparing plans for consumers or builders must be licensed as a Building Designer by the Building Services Authority ( or be registered as an architect, engineer or surveyor.” (taken from

It is worth checking the rules in your state as to what is required

What difference is there between what architects and building designers and draftspeople actually do?

In my opinion, an architect is really a specialist in design. Of course, they draw and deliver buildings very well too (as in, they’ll be your representative on site during construction). However, their main area of skill and expertise is in maximising design opportunities for your home, your site and your budget.

A building designer and a draftsperson are specialists in documentation and delivery. In larger practices they will generally work alongside the architect, preparing the drawings for the design work being done by the architect.

Building designers and draftspeople are largely taught how to draw, and understand the construction of buildings so they can represent them accurately in their documentation. Of course, as part of drawing, they are often designing as well (and if they’ve studied at TAFE, they have usually done some design study also as part of this).

However, they will not have been taught design to the same level as an architect – it’s just not possible for the type and length of study they do.

I spent over 5 years in my architectural degree at uni, and I can sum that time up as “learning how to design and problem solve”. It was my on-job experience, during uni and post-graduation, where I learnt more about how buildings got put together. Having watched the better architectural students for the last decade or so (as members of teams I managed, and employees), this is what they’re learning at uni too. Having spoken with building designers and draftspeople I know and have worked with closely, I don’t think the same can be said for their time at TAFE.

Why is an architect more expensive than a draftsperson?

Well, they’re not always. There are some very good building designers I know who will charge similar amounts (or more) than certain architects.

Education does play a part. However, a big difference is that there is also the element of a risk adding to the price tag.
It stands to reason that if you are more highly trained in a profession, required to sit additional exams and regular ongoing training (as with a registered architect), that more is legally expected of you. And the more that is legally expected of you, the more risk that is present.

In most industries this price correlation will occur.

An orthopedic surgeon is more expensive than a general practitioner. A solicitor is more expensive than a legal secretary. A chartered accountant is more expensive than a non-chartered accountant. A licensed builder is more expensive than a handyman.

More education, more training, more licensing = higher expectations = higher risk = higher insurance. All of these things can add up to higher cost for service. On an hourly rate comparison, the prior professional will be more expensive than the latter professional.

However, (generally speaking), an architect can also be more expensive because they’ll work with you differently to a draftsperson – and this difference can take longer. In a time = money equation, this will also mean extra cost.

1. They’ll spend longer in the design phase

Their speciality is designing, so there is significantly more exploration at this point. Our education is built on this iterative, testing and exploratory process as a means to achieve great outcomes. This involves challenging you and your brief, and what you think you want – to make sure your design maximises every opportunity and investment you’re making in it.

2. They’ll do more drawings

Because they’re so passionate about the design, and drawings are the way they communicate this design to get it built, there’s usually more drawings. There are exceptions to this rule. I know a building designer who prepares incredibly comprehensive documentation packages.

You can build a house from 5 drawings, as equally as from 50 drawings. Which of those do you think will control the outcome more effectively, and which will require the builder to make assumptions and decisions of their own as they build?
In a future post I’ll share more information on how you choose – and to be honest, sometimes a draftsperson or building designer is the best choice for your project, depending on what you’re planning.

However, let me just say this; my recommendation on how you choose has very little to do with the budget.

Whatever your choice, make sure your focus is on design

I cannot say this more clearly …

Your design is where everything starts – and ends.

It’s where your home (or part of it) is made or broken; where it will be the place that will make your life better, or bring about constant compromise and frustration (or somewhere in between those two extremes).

How those lines are drawn on the page, the expertise of who draws them, and the decisions that are made to position them and create them – make no mistake. That’s the point at which you determine how you get to live in your home, how expensive your home is to build and maintain, and how it helps you live your life.

The whole merit of design is that it will take whatever budget you have, big or small, and make it work harder. So you make the most of what you’ve got. An investment in doing this well will always be worth far more than the cost.

Added 12th February 2016

A building designer colleague suggested there was one thing missing from this blog. He pointed out to me that, not only is there a difference in the study profession undertakes, there is a difference in the entry requirements to access that study.

For example, last year, the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) for a Bachelor of Architecture was 95.00. That means graduating high school students had to beat 95% of their colleagues to access the degree.

Most courses in Building Design are Advanced Diplomas or TAFE Degrees, so it’s hard to make a direct comparison. However, there is a Bachelor of Building Design available at Central Queensland University, and the ATAR last year was 56.55.

My colleague’s point was that there was a different academic requirements to actually study both avenues in the profession – before you’ve qualified. I thought it was an interesting one worth sharing – because it hadn’t occurred to me at the time of writing this post. And it’s not a point that often enters the discussion about the difference between these careers or professionals.