A CLIENT GUIDE
The following list of topics is designed to prompt thought about various aspects of your
project. They won’t necessarily all apply and there could well be important items that are
not mentioned. It is simply a good starting point for discussion.
What type of home do you envisage & what are your overall aims?
• Project purpose, likely number of occupants, family size, likely period of ownership, how
you live & entertain, hobbies, pets, work from home options, flexibility of use.
What do you consider are the important features of your site and surroundings?
• Landscape, topography, plot size, views and outlook, orientation for sun, prevailing
winds, site planning and outdoor living spaces, planting and landscaping, vehicle access,
neighbouring properties, design covenants & restrictions, relevant history.
What are your spatial & planning requirements?
• Approximate size, type and number of spaces required and their relationship to one
another, garaging and storage, special purpose rooms, e.g. gym, home theatre, wine
cellar, swimming pool etc.
Do you have particular preferences as to how the building will look?
• Building location & context, 3D forms, personal likes / dislikes, specific material
choices, colour, relevant examples. You may prefer to create a file of Pinterest images
and provide access for Houston Architects to view.
Energy Use & Sustainability:
Do you have specific ideas or requirements around energy use and sustainability?
• Space heating, hot water heating, passive solar design, insulation, thermal mass, on site
water storage, sustainable material choices, low flow plumbing fittings.
Are there any specific detail requirements that we should be aware of?
• Living Areas: Built in joinery, shelving, seating requirements, musical instruments, e.g.
• Kitchen: Appliances (number & size), storage expectations, layout preferences.
• Bathrooms: Shower sizes, bath type, bidet, separate or combined facilities, bathroom
• Bedrooms: Wardrobes & storage, homework design, acoustic insulation.
• Technical: Home theatre & audio, computer networking, security, home automation.
• Access: Level thresholds, ramp, domestic lift or dumbwaiter, specific door hardware /
What is the project budget?
• What is included and/or excluded from the build cost budget, e.g. appliances,
furnishings, furniture, landscaping, siteworks, fees, GST etc.
Do you have a specific programme in mind for the project?
• Are there any critical timeframe requirements or deadlines to be met?
What level of service do you require from your architect?
• Core Services are the recommended minimum service. They comprise design &
contract documentation, procurement and construction phase contract administration and
observation of the building works. This approach ensures the homeowner benefits from
proper professional advice throughout the entire process from design commencement to
building occupancy and beyond.
• Partial services comprising only design and contract documentation will leave the
homeowner responsible for a significant number of decisions to make beyond the
completion of drawings. Exposure to greater levels of risk is likely and a substantially
higher time input will be required. Complex technical and contractural decision making
becomes the homeowners responsibility and consequently we do not usually recommend
• Additional & supplementary services (over and above core services) are also available
to suit project specifics.
SITE INFORMATION & SEPARATE CONSULTANTS:
The following services will be arranged on your behalf, if and when required. We will
usually suggest names of appropriate consultants with whom we have a good working
relationship, however you are welcome to use other consultants if you wish.
Fees for separate consultants are not part of the architects fees. Usually the homeowner will
engage and pay for consultant services directly, with the architect being responsible for
coordinating and liaising with consultants as necessary.
Copy of LIM, certificate of title and / or deposited plan of property is to be supplied by the
owner. We are able to obtain these documents on your behalf if required.
Soil Test / Geotechnical Survey:
Soil tests will be required for most properties to determine soil type and bearing capacity.
Slope stability and/or geotechnical analysis may need to be undertaken for hill properties to
help determine suitable locations for building and assess potential for rock fall or other
hazards that may require mitigating before construction can commence.
A full site survey is required from a registered surveyor prior to commencing design work.
The plan should indicate legal boundaries, easements & rights of way, contours at 1.0m
intervals minimum for sloping sites or spot levels on flat sites, location of existing services,
site features, vegetation etc.
Other Separate Consultants:
As the design work progresses, there will be input required from other separate consultants.
This may include a quantity surveyor for cost information (recommended at the completion
of the design stage), structural engineer, landscape architect for site planning and
landscaping, interior designer for colours, fabrics & furnishings etc.
Specialist input may also be required for aspects such as home automation & home theatre
systems, swimming pool and/or spa specialists, central heating & ventilation etc.
HOUSTON ARCHITECTS LIMITED
W D HOUSTON
Registered Architect B.Arch. A.N.Z.I.A. N.Z.C.D.(Arch)
ADDRESS ZONE 23, EDWIN STREET, MT EDEN, AUCKLAND 1024 | PO BOX 8558, SYMONDS STREET 1150
PHONE +64-9-623 4400 | FAX +64-9-623 4401 | MOBILE 0274 959 373 | EMAIL [email protected]
www.architects.org.nz | www.seaviewbach.co.nz