The project brief is your wish list that will help guide the entire process. It will assist you in bringing together the right criteria to brief us whether you are planning a renovation, extension or a new build. This will give us all a starting point for the direction of your project, and make sure that your ideas; needs and wants are clearly communicated at the outset. We will help you develop the brief as we work together, and often the brief may well change along the way.
Distilling your thoughts and dreams for the project in your own time at the outset will be extremely useful and help ensure you get what you want.
Everyone is different of course and some people will have less time or inclination for this than others. The information listed below details what you might consider in full or in part.
Remember that when we sit down with you to commence the project we will be developing this with you. If you don’t have any idea what it is you want other than badly needed additional space, we will ensure that your needs and wants are discussed and explored thoroughly at the start of the project.
SOME ISSUES TO THINK ABOUT:
The type of project? Are you planning a new-build, to knock down and re-build on a site, or to renovate and extend? Or you may be mostly looking to make internal changes, or preparing for a complete interior makeover?
Bear in mind that even issues as fundamental as this may change when we start examining them together. We have in the past shown clients that it would be more feasible retain an existing structure rather than demolish and rebuild, or that remodeling their house can meet their needs rather than extending. Our professional advice is centered on the client’s best interests (even if that leads to a smaller project for us).
What about the site or existing building? The site is always a strong driver of house design – location, views, wind, sun, access, constraints, overlooking, rural, urban, suburban, etc. Get a feeling for the site by spending time on it at various times of the day. Look at neighbouring property to see if it casts shadows or affects any of your ideas.
We will do a full site analysis and measured survey once appointed so you just need to consider principals.
Are you fixing a problem or creating anew? If you have been living in your home for a time, you may have a list of issues that you want to address. Alternatively you may be looking to add more space as an extension or to improve the energy efficiency of your house by upgrading insulation or windows and adding renewables.
If you are planning a new-build consider as many of the reasons, needs and wants and list them out.
What’s the outcome you hope to achieve? These are your broad goals. If you have more than one, prioritize them.
For example: Long-term family home for 3 children / Live-in home for 4-7 years / Sell with capital gain & then build a dream home / build that dream home / downsize for retirement to a more manageable and energy efficient home.
General concept or style? Think about how you could best describe what you want? Remember, these are just ideas and can all change.
For example; Sustainable home, free flowing on the site / Light-filled contemporary design / Sensitive and modern extension to a period home / Beautifully crafted traditional house / Subtle, thoughtful home built on a budget. We can help you with them all.
Your list of priorities: This is a list of critical items that you really must have. You may also like to list approximate sizes for these areas:
4 bedrooms, 2 living areas, laundry, eat in kitchen with walk in pantry / Master en suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe / Family open-plan area opening to garden with sun and views / Private quiet space for home office or study / Garage with storage / Room to expand in future / Guest bedroom / Double-height entry space / Courtyard with Zen fern garden / Passive House or NZEB (Near Zero Energy Building) standards.
Be sure to consider any specifics that your new build or extension must accommodate. From particular pieces of furniture to your collection of artwork, over-size pigeonhole storage for school bags to etc.
We will work through all this with you and make suggestions.
Images and Scrapbooking: Collect images of things you like. They can range from ‘big picture’ ideas to the fine details as inspiration. They will give us an idea of where you are coming from and what type of house and design you like instinctively.
Use a folder to collect images from magazines or save them on Pinterest and share your board with us. Check out this 'Pinner' who is collecting inspiring images for his barn renovation project. "A Sense of Home" is another inspiring Pinner collecting images of everything that makes a soulful home.
Remember it is Information collecting only at this stage – we will help you to find the common thread and tie it all together into a cohesive whole.