Plans  -  A  Three  Stage  Process

There are normally three stages to the plans that the designer will draw. (Depending on who you are talking to they might give different names to these stages, so they are all noted here.)

1.The initial sketch plans (or concept, preliminary or discussion drawings).
2.The developed designs.
3.The final documentation, (tender, building consent, construction or working drawings and specifications).


After you have briefed your designer, they will go away and draw up some initial sketches or concept plans. These will give you an idea of how they see the house taking shape. They are likely to include a floor plan and a perspective drawing from various angles. They take into account site conditions, your budget, and any special town planning requirements.

This is the time when you:
Sort out what you like and what you want to change on the initial sketches. Changing your mind later, when the detailed drawings have been done, or once construction has started, will be more costly.

Consider some of the technical limits that have arisen, such as height restrictions or how the house might fit on the section.

Discuss with your designer how the building will cope with the environmental conditions such as protection from the wind, dealing with weathertightness, and energy efficiency.

See how it is all going to impact on your budget. Your architect/designer should be able to guide you here.


Once you have a set of agreed concept plans, the designer will draw up the developed designs which include the changes you’ve asked for in the initial sketch plans.

If not already done, now is the time to find out whether you will need resource consent, for example, if the house is going to be built closer to the boundary than allowed on the district plan.

You will also discuss the materials you will use – the exterior cladding, flooring, roofing, windows, doors and interior fittings and fixtures - with the designer. Also talk about power points, cable jacks, exterior taps, light location, attic access, etc.


The final documentation (tender, construction, or working drawings and specifications), includes detailed drawings as well as specifications for every feature, such as claddings, ventilation, natural lighting, wall and roof bracing, etc.

The plans are used:
In the tendering process to get quotes from contractors, subcontractors and perhaps quantity surveyors.

To gain building consents.

By the builder and contractors contracted to build the house as the blueprint for the construction.


CAD 2D Rendering Concept Model View