Design Strategy: Expect the Unexpected

Once you’ve approved your architect’s plans for your new dream space, what’s next? Check in with Mitchell Street architect Feras, homeowner Damien, and our consultant Daniel, for some great advice to help you stay sane through your build.

Now that you’ve found your ideal architect the real work is about to begin. Between meeting council requirements, tradies, showroom appointments, and the constant whirl of your own life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the commotion the design process brings with it.

We break down a few common hurdles of project management from the perspective of our guests: Mitchell Street homeowner client Damien, architect Feras Raffoul, Director at FGR Architects, and Rogerseller’s Daniel Robertshaw.

"As the project starts construction, as the frame of the house goes up, you’d want to have those big decisions locked down."

Daniel Robertshaw, National Development Collaborator

Deciding Factor

One major thing to account for in your planning is extra wiggle room during the selection stage, for the most human of all traits: a change of mind.

“As people go through the process and educate themselves about things, suddenly they’ll have more factors to consider that they never had before,” says Feras. “The deliberation time results in the most delays.” Sage advice, which was duly passed onto his client.

“For me, it wasn’t time-consuming because I had that preconceived idea going into the conversation with the consultant, and so the selection process didn’t take very long,” Damien says. “I suppose if I went in there a little bit blind and didn't have that direction from Feras, it might have been a bit muddled. But Daniel at Rogerseller had a great relationship with him, and knows his style, so it was certainly made a lot easier in that regard.”

If your timeline is perhaps a little fluid, don’t stress – mark it out with key milestones instead of hard dates. As Daniel suggests, “I think as the project starts construction, as the frame of the house goes up, you’d want to have those big decisions locked down. This allows you to be free to deal with the inevitable queries that will come up as the builders undertakes works, knowing the aesthetic is locked away, timeframes are in check, and budget costs won’t blowout.”

"One major thing to account for in your planning is extra wiggle room during the selection stage."

Take the Lead with Lead Times

As far as product lead times go, your architect and design consultant will be able to give you the most up to date guidance here. But it is worth getting your head around which items may take a little time to come in, and which might need a follow up, especially if your project has a few custom elements involved.

For instance, at Rogerseller, there are three tiers in their range with vastly differing lead times based on availability, as well as the bespoke nature of the products specified. As always, a good relationship with a well-resourced supplier will come in handy in case of an on-site emergency.

“In terms of how soon or how late, we can also return packages from a concept to the job site within about a week – it all depends what urgency the client has, and what stage the project is at,” says Daniel.

"There is always a process we can go down once we've got the aesthetic set, to substitute cheaper more economical options to fit whatever that budget might be."

Daniel Robertshaw, National Development Collaborator

Spend and Save

“In those early stages I would recommend that no one even thinks about a budget!” says Daniel. “There is always a process we can go down once we've got the aesthetic set, to substitute cheaper more economical options to fit whatever that budget might be. But if they start with a limited budget in the first instance, the aesthetic tends to be compromised by that.”

Style considerations aside, it is also worth noting that Newton’s Law is perhaps never more relevant than when embarking on a new build or renovation.

“On architectural products, I now tell my clients to leave a 10% contingency, and that’s purely for the complexity that comes along with all of this,” says Feras. “Contractors might not be able to put things together the way you intend them to, and you need to allow for that slight change. Products may become discontinued!”

"Newton’s Law is perhaps never more relevant than when embarking on a new build or renovation."

Get the Help You Need

Builders, architects, interior designers, skilled tradespeople and plumbers – the team at Rogerseller are constantly in touch with a range of spatial professionals. Allow their design consultants to make the connections you need, ensure you’re in the loop, and smooth over the unforeseen bumps in the road to your new build or renovation.