Frequently Asked Questions

Are You Architects?

Building Designers are similar but not the same. As designers, our team have completed a relevant TAFE or tertiary qualification in building design and our business is licenced under the Queensland Building & Construction Commission (QBCC) the same as builders and building contractors.

In Queensland a building designer and architect can undertake the same type of work be it residential, commercial or unit development, in fact any type of building project (excluding hirise developments).

An architect however has undergone a university qualification to obtain their degree in Architecture as opposed to a building designer’s course through TAFE for example, and so will often charge more for the same end result, be it more space for the family to grow into or that forever home you’ve been working so hard for.

As is the case with art, design is always subjective and so the outcome achieved by both a building designer and architecture whilst similar in nature will always be determined by the client.

How Much Will My Plans Cost?

At Lockhart Drafting & Design we offer a no obligation quote for your specific project. 

Book your initial meeting through our Contact page.

If you are looking to build a new home, your initial meeting will be $275 and will be conducted at our office at 64 Mort Street, The Mort Estate, Toowoomba. Renovation and extension consultations will be held onsite at your property. The cost of this meeting will depend on what you are hoping to achieve. We charge between $330 – $440 for this, plus travel if you reside outside of Toowoomba.  

How Long Will It Take To Receive My Plans?

In general, you will receive your concept and/or preliminary plans within 15- 20 business days.

For more complex projects this timeframe may vary. Your building designer will be able to confirm the turnaround time upon acceptance of your quote based on their workload at the time.

Will My Plans Comply With Legislation?

Our team of building designers are completely abreast of the various national, state and local government legislation that will impact your project.

What Happens If I Am Not Happy With The Plans You Provide?

At Lockhart Design we pride ourselves on excellence however, if you are not happy with the initial concept and/or preliminary plans we will work with you to achieve your desired outcome and ensure we meet expectations.

Can You Provide 3D Images So I Can Visualise The Finished Product?

Sure can!
Using the latest software we can not only provide 3D renders to give you a clearer idea of what your design will look like but you can also do an online walk through of your design.

How Long Does The Building Approval Process Take And Are There Extra Fees Involved?

Lockhart Drafting & Design can not only complete your plans but also bring together all the required pre-construction documentation, so your plans can be approved and construction can commence. Additional fees will apply for items such as soil testing, engineering, energy reports, certifier’s fees etc however these fees are always provided to you for approval to proceed prior to commencing any works to alleviate price shocks along the way.

Depending on your project, timeframes can vary for the approval process. In general, the completion of all required documentation and the finalising of the building approval takes up to 4 weeks.

If town planning and/or additional council applications are required this timeframe will be greater.

Do I Need To Build Straight Away Once My Plans Are Stamped And Approved For Construction?

Once your plans have been approved by the certifier you have until the date noted on your decision notice to complete your construction. This is generally anywhere from 12 to 24 months.

Can You Recommend Any Builders?

Yes. Lockhart Drafting & Design works with a range of small to medium builders who we trust to complete your project, just ask your building designer for the details and we’ll be sure to put you in touch with a builder suited to your project.

What is a Truss Design?

Truss is a structure that consists of elements organised into attached triangles so that the overall assembly behaves as a single object. … A truss is made up of a web of triangles joined together to enable the even distribution of weight and the handling of changing tension and compression without bending or shearing.

Lockhart Design works along side your builder to engage a truss designer.

What is an Energy Report?

An Energy Efficiency Assessment is one of the documents required by the Building Certifier when your new home or renovation is submitted for Building Approval. It is provided by a certified professional who uses the information of your home to assess how much energy will be required cool & heat your home. It’s a requirement of the National Construction code that all new buildings and extensions are energy efficient, which means reaching a 6 star minimum. We can organise this for your project using our preferred Energy Assessors.

What is a Bushfire Report?

If your property is identified in the Local government area Bushfire Overlay, a Bush Fire Hazard Assessment Report will be required to demonstrate compliance with the Bushfire Overlay Code.

BAL stands for Bushfire Attack Level and represents a scale used to determine a building’s risk of catching on fire. A BAL rating is used in the assessment of proposed new buildings in areas which are likely to experience bushfires.

If your home is in a Bushfire Prone Area, you will be required to present a Bushfire Report with your Building Application to your Building Certifier. We have a Bushfire Assessor we recommend locally.

Why do I need a Soil Test?

Before commencement of a New Home or Extension, a Soil Test is required. This soil test provides the information required by the Structural Engineers so they can design the footings or foundations for your new project. If you received a Soil Test with your property upon purchasing it, you may want to confirm with your Builder (who will confirm with their Engineer), if this soil test is still current. Generally Soil Tests expire after 2 years. Here at Lockhart Design we can organise quotes and the contractors to have these reports do for you. (Fees apply)

Why do I need a Contour Survey?

Similar in principle to a soil test, a contour survey (or topographical survey) indicates the limitations of the land and determines whether any changes will be needed to your home’s design. A contour survey is generally required if your land is sloped so your Designer and Builder can plan and cost for these different levels of elevation within in your property.

Do I need Engineering?

The short answer is, yes. Your Home Designer can design everything within the home, including all timber structural requirements. However, the Engineers are the ones who design the slab and footing details and any steel frame or bracing required within your home.

Council Terminology

Siting Discretion – refers to an application made to Council to allow a building or structure to be sited closer to a boundary line than allowed. There are rules that set out the distances that single detached housing and other associated structures such as carports & garages can be from front, rear and side property boundaries.

Building Approval (BA) – refers to how a building will be constructed. It is required for most developments to ensure a building complies with building laws, including the Building Code of Australia.

Building Certification – formal approval of building plans and construction by a registered building certifier. This is achieved by the issue of a Certificate of Classification and marks the building ready for lawful use.

Development Approvals (DA) – Refers to the regulatory approval that must be obtained prior to commencing a development. The DA authorises assessable development to take place. Approval is issued by the local government authority – with or without conditions or not approved. (Note: Development Approval can also be referred to as development permit or decision notice).

Overlays define areas for particular purposes, such as Heritage & Neighbourhood Character Overlays, that require special consideration. The areas maybe: –

  • be sensitive to the effects of development;
  • constrain land or development;
  • include valuable resources; or
  • present opportunities for development.

Assessable Development

  • building work
  • plumbing or drainage work
  • operational work
  • reconfiguring a lot (subdivide)
  • material change of use of premises (MCU)
  • clearing native vegetation
  • demolition of existing building

FAQ Videos

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

"We Are Passionate About Creating Building Design Solutions"