Dual Occupancy? Should I see an architect or a builder first when building a dual occupancy?

Dual Occupancy? Should I see an architect or a builder first when building a dual occupancy?

Many people find themselves thinking, “I’m in a house on a big block and I think I could probably fit something on the back, I could do this dual-occupancy thing that I’ve heard about”

Should they go to an architect, or should they go and see a builder? What’s the difference between going to an architect or coming to a custom builder like us?

“When it come to Dual Occupancy project design, If you want an architecturally designed home I suggest you make sure you use a qualified architect and not a draughtsman passing off as an architect.

They are not the same.

A draughtsman is not an architect nor is he a builder.

An architect can give you the pretty design, but it will be a hefty added cost to the build. The draughtsman will give you a pretty plan but a draughtsman doesn’t always factor your construction constraints.

When you come to us, we design something already factoring in how we’re going to put it together. We make sure when we are designing, we know how it can be put together easily, so as not to increase the cost.

Very often we find that a draughtsman’s design is not always fully functional. We know it will cost a lot more to build and we can tell that not a lot of thought was put into the whole project. Things like….. How the site will be accessed, whether the buildings will be joined or not and what the landscaping requirements are.

There are a lot of Council requirements in the development control plans that have to be abided by when you start designing Dual Occupancies.

There are landscape restrictions, possible storm water issues, driveway access issues, car parking requirements, and draughtsmen, don't factor many of these. This is because they just design a house and create plans for it. They'll just provide you with a house plan, shake your hand and take your money.

Then when you take your plan to Council you’ll be told, "Sorry, that isn’t quite right for this development." You haven't factored car parking access, turning circles, landscaping requirements etc. and you realise that you’ve paid for something that's basically useless.

It's an expensive mistake that a lot of people make.

We've handled probably three in the last two years where that has happened, where the client had gone to somebody who's not generally experienced, or they've gone to a project home builder, who's taken one of their stock-standard little houses, and plonked it on the back of the block, and again haven't considered all the rules and regulations around it, and they have coughed up anywhere between $6000 to $10,000, for something that has to be re-designed.

It’s, like, you can't even change it a little bit. It just has to be scrapped and started again to take into account all that is required by law.

Book in a call to chat about your dual occupancy build!


Giulio has over 23 years experience in the design and construction industry. The Company was started with the vision to change the way builders work with their clients.

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