Posts Tagged ‘draftsperson’

Why use a Tendering Process?

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Drafting Happiness.

Developing the project with one Architectural services team then bringing on another to oversee the Melbourne builders works is a little like raising a child to six years of age and then handing him/her over to someone else to raise them thru school and beyond. Continued support throughout the lifecycle of the project will always yield better results and that is where contract administration by the design team with suitable construction experience is fundamental to the outcome of your project.

Contract administration is often seen as an aspect of the melbourne builders cycle that can be fudged by someone with some or little general building management skills. In actual fact nothing can be further from the truth. It’s folly to underestimate the importance and complexity of the contract administration process when trying to ensure the building is constructed the way the draftsperon and client intended it.

All this whilst also managing all the myriad of situations which arise during construction that needs significant design-intent and construction detailing experience to resolve.

your draftsperson is  familiarity with all the construction details, the intricate features and finished expectations of your building that allows us to provide valuable assistance which in-turn streamlines the contractor’s workflow and mitigates construction risk.

Fast Track provides various levels of contract administration services. These can include some or all of the following:
  • tendering the project to Melbourne builders
  • liaising with contractors to ensure accurate tender responses
  • delivery strategy selection and project programming
  • cash flow planning and elemental programming
  • regular or programmed team meetings
  • monitoring and reporting
We welcome you to come and discuss these processes with us and how they will benefit you on your next project.

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

A Quantity Surveyor is a person or company that is used on medium to large builds and most commercial projects to estimate the approximate cost of the total project costs within 10%. This margin may vary depending on the information your builder in Melbourne supplies. The quantity surveyor uses a computer program that does a take off from the drawings supplied by you draftsman in Melbourne.


An estimate is essential for your project especially if you are constructing the project on a tight budget. Your draftsman in Melbourne will be able to help you with finding a suitable quantity surveyor for your particular project. This also helps you when you get back quotes from builder in Melbourne  to compare the actual cost and the quoted sum, to see if your paying a fair price.

Quantity Surveyors costs vary from $800  upward, depending upon the project and the amount of work for the quantity surveyor to accurately estimate the project.












What you should know when building a wall on a boundary

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Fast Track Plans and Permits is encouraging anyone planning to build on the boundary of a property to make sure they accurately identify the title boundary line to avoid encroaching on an adjacent property.

any encroachment may be considered a trespass of land.

“Encroachment could result in the adjacent land owner taking the property owner to court to seek to have the encroachment removed

There appears to be some confusion around this matter, with some people thinking that Section 272 of the
Property Law Act 1958 allows for a 50mm or 1/500 tolerance (depending on the boundary length) for buildings to encroach over the title boundary.

This legislation is aimed at limiting minor boundary discrepancy claims related to the sale of land, and only provides for a margin of error for dimensions appearing on title documentation, such as a plan of subdivision.
It does not allow for a margin of error for site boundary dimensions determined from ‘on-ground’ measurements.

“Given the potential outcomes of an encroachment over the title boundary, we recommends getting a your local builder, designer to engage a licensed land surveyor to carry out a re-establishment survey before beginning any building work on the
boundary. Note that only a licensed land surveyor can supply a re-establishment survey, so ensure that they are licensed.

Building A Home- Tips For Attaining A Cooler Home Enviroment

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The design of your house is a very important matter when building in Melbourne. By using the right building plans, you can save a considerable amount of money. It is possible to build an effective home by using the right design and construction process. If you are thinking of applying for building permits to execute a specific Melbourne building plan, then you should take time to evaluate the suitability of options available.

The choice of plans has direct influence on whether or not your home will become cool and hospitable especially in summer. You might think of installing air-conditioners, but the most effective way to regulate house temperatures is to design the interior to enhance coolness.

The secret to a comfortable living home 

Each year, thousands of homes are built in Australia, sadly, most of them can be labelled “hot boxes”, because drafts person and home builders used ineffective building plans. Most builders ignore the solar aspect and the orientation of the home. To help you maximize on the design of the homes and businesses and avoid hot homes, we suggest that you do the following.

1. Select a South Facing Land Orientation - This allows the outdoor living area to face North East, thus making it ideal for outdoor living and outdoor activities.

2. Choose Home Design for land Block - Majority of home plans typically vouch for North orientation, However, you can choose the East, West or even South orientation.

3. Minimize Heat Transfer - you can achieve this by eliminating ordinary windows and using high under eave windows, double glazing, or cool glazing in permanent windows.

4. Construct High Pitched Roofs - These are effective in reflecting heat away and holding more volume of air which has an insulating effect. Besides that, it will also maximize the harvesting of rain water.

5. Reduce Size of Roofing Facing West -  A West facing block can lower temperatures and make the home cooler. With a narrow roof side facing the West, more heat will be deflected away.

6. Insulate the Garage Area-  Do this if you have a West facing block, you should also use eaves and insulate the est facing garage door.

7. Insulate West Facing Walls and Ceiling Space - Other than the summer heat, you should also take note of the cold Westerlies in spring. Use thermal wrap foil and invest in Batts too. Also, given that the roof is the largest area facing the sun, heat radiates on this space. Insulating it will prevent the transfer of heat to living areas.

Do I need a council permit for a deck or pergola?

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014


Council permits for decking and pergolas

Arranging and paying for permits is the right thing to do, and will ensure that your decking and pergolas are built safely and properly.

When it comes time to building your deck or pergola, you will first need to make sure that you have approval from your local council. Though you may be advised by friends or family that a permit is not required, it won’t be them paying the fine or having to remove the structure if it turns out that you do.

All councils will have their own sets of regulations regarding decks, pergolas and other house extensions. These regulations cover things like structural integrity, what materials you can use and minimum construction standards that must be met.


What kinds of permits are required?

There are two types of permits that may be required, a building permit covers things like compliance with safety regulations and construction details. Local councils offer planning permits, but you may be directed to contact a registered building surveyor for a building permit.

There are many components of your construction which will likely require you to obtain a permit. Some of them are:

  • Any closed roofed structure such as a steel or acrylic roof pergola (shade cloth and sails will likely not require a permit, but check anyway).
  • Footings, and specifically their depth, construction and ability to cope with the load of the deck or pergola roof.
  • Any structures attached to the house.
  • Structures located high up where there may be a need for a fence or rail to prevent falling injuries.


Is it a pergola, a verandah or a carport?

These structures are pretty similar in terms of how they’re designed by your draftsperson, but even if they’re used for different things it’s often important to make a ‘technical’ distinction to understand why a permit might be needed.

  • Verandah - open or partly open portion of a house or building, or a roofed space attached to a building outside the principal rooms, and covered either by the main roof or a separate, lower roof.
  • Carport - roofed, open or semi-enclosed structure for sheltering of motor vehicles, most frequently associated with a dwelling.
  • Pergola - open-roofed framework over a path, terrace or patio, supported on posts or columns, and usually covered with plants trained over the members.


Depending on where you live, the difference between these three things as far as regulations are concerned can come down to what sort of roof it has – if any. If it’s got a solid roof made of tiles, metal or polycarbonate, for example, it’s likely to be treated as a verandah or carport. If the roof’s made of mesh, battens or lattice – or if it doesn’t have a roof at all – it’s likely to be treated as a pergola.

How the structure of your building’s defined (i.e. based on the roof) can make a significant difference in terms of:

  • whether a permit’s required,
  • how close to your property boundary it can go
  • structural requirements, and
  • whether or not non-combustible materials are necessary

Obviously it’s far better to establish these things before you make any commitments – so a call to your draftsperson or  local council’s building services department is a very good idea.


Enquiring about exemptions and guidelines

When talking to your draftsperson or local council, ask them about the exemptions that exist for decks and pergolas – that is, conditions under which a permit is not required. If it’s only a matter of some basic adjustments to your original intentions, you may be able to tailor your construction to these guidelines. If you are able to construct without a permit or only need to make some minor cosmetic adjustments to fall outside the permit criteria, then you can save yourself some money and time.


What do permits cost?

The cost of obtaining a permit will vary from each council or surveyor to the next, but will likely pale in comparison to any fines issued for non-compliance. The additional risk of not obtaining a building permit is that your structure may be unsound and could cause injuries to family or friends so whatever the permits cost, it’s likely to be a small price to pay for the reassurance it brings.

Can I use my shed as a permanent dwelling?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Buildings in Melbourne such as sheds are not normally approved for use as homes or dwellings as they may not have been constructed to comply with the requirements of the Regulations for a residential dwelling. Following the 2009 bushfires, certain concessions for temporary accommodation in buildings on bushfire affected properties were introduced to the Town planning scheme. These concessions will expire on 31 March 2012 by which time all buildings must comply.

If you are considering building a shed with a view to later using it as a dwelling it is important that you seek professional advice before you Draftsperson, as it may not be the best or most cost efficient option for you. The first choice should be to construct a new dwelling that fully complies with the Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations).

The following information on sheds (Class 10a building) and dwellings (Class 1a building) may assist you in considering your options carefully.

What are the building permit requirements?

A building permit is required for most Melbourne building work including the following buildings:

• Construction of a shed (Class 10a building) greater than 10 m2 in area;

• Construction of a dwelling (Class 1a);

• To change the use of an existing building from a shed (Class 10a) to a dwelling (Class 1a).

A shed used temporarily as a dwelling is not exempt from the requirement to obtain a building permit for its construction. You should consult your draftsperson or local council for further advice on building permit requirements.

Are there exemptions for people rebuilding following the 2009 bushfires?

People rebuilding following the 2009 bushfires may be exempt from the requirements to obtain a planning permit until 31 March 2011 to complete the construction of the building for temporary accommodation or a new dwelling because of amendments to the Victorian Planning Provisions.

The use of a building for temporary accommodation will need to cease by 31 March 2012 unless the building is brought into compliance with the planning and building legislation requirements for a dwelling.

Can I retain a building used as temporary accommodation on my site permanently?

It will depend on the type of temporary building, whether you had a building permit for its original construction and what your planned use of the building is as to whether you can retain it permanently. You may need to obtain a building and planning permit for a change of use or works to bring it up to a suitable level of safety or amenity.

To assist you in determining whether you may be able to retain your building permanently, a number of different scenarios are provided below. Further advice can be obtained from the building and Town planning departments of your local council.

Town Planning and building legislation contain provisions relating to sheds on properties where they are not associated with a dwelling. Where a shed is proposed to remain on an allotment and a dwelling destroyed by the bushfires has not been re-built the local council may have additional controls and requirements that need to be addressed. Further advice on this can be obtained from the planning and building departments of your local council.

Building legislation issues that will affect your change of use application

A key point to note is that a building permit and occupancy permit cannot legally be issued after the building has been constructed (except where additional new work is proposed).

Where a change of use is proposed, Regulation 1011 of the Regulations allows a municipal building surveyor (MBS) or a private building surveyor to issue a building permit and an occupancy permit to allow the change of use of a building to occur.

The Regulation states “A person must not change the use of a building or place of public entertainment unless the building or place of public entertainment complies with the requirements of these Regulations applicable to the new use”.

There is some discretion given to the building surveyor to allow partial compliance with the Regulations applicable to the new use, however they must take into account structural adequacy of the building, health and amenity and fire safety requirements when assessing your request to change the use of the building.

As many of these buildings will be in bush settings a major issue for consideration in determining if a change of use to a dwelling is feasible will be the construction requirements for buildings in bushfire prone areas.

The following scenarios may help you understand the factors that may allow or prevent you from retaining your temporary accommodation or shed.

Scenario 1

You obtained a building permit to build a shed and would like to retain it as a shed

• This is acceptable;

• You should ensure that a Certificate of Final Inspection has been issued for the shed; If you have used your shed as temporary accommodation following the 2009 bushfires and installed facilities such as a kitchen, toilet, bathroom and laundry, you will need to remove these by the 31 March 2012 when the occupation of the shed as temporary accommodation will no longer be allowed.

Scenario 2

You did not obtain a building permit to build the shed and would now like to retain it as a shed

• Building Surveyors cannot legally issue a building permit and certificate of final inspection after the building has been constructed.

• MBS from the local council could issue a Building Notice (show cause) and possibly follow up with a Building Order to carry out building work, and if satisfied, could allow the structure to remain, however the structure will not be issued with a building permit.

• If the MBS doesn’t allow the structure to remain the owner would either remove it or appeal the Building Order to the Building Appeals Board (BAB), however the BAB would need to be satisfied that the building was safe to remain as a shed.

Scenario 3

You obtained a building permit for a shed and would like to change its use to a dwelling

An owner may apply for a change of use permit however the building surveyor would need to be satisfied that relevant requirements applicable to a dwelling (Class 1a building) have been met.

The change of use may mean you also need to obtain a Town planning permit from the local council.

The building surveyor would also require plans drawn up by a draftsperson, to show as constructed details and proposed building work still to be carried out. The building surveyor will be concerned about non-compliance and defects, especially with the safety of current and future owners and would need to be satisfied that the building was safe to be occupied as a dwelling.

It can sometimes be very costly to change the use of a building as you may need to replace concrete slabs, footings and other building requirements (see other considerations below). You may also need to consider the requirements in the building standard for construction in bushfire prone areas.1

The building will need to be assessed for energy efficiency and the installation of insulation and other energy efficiency measures may be required.

A building permit will be required for the works to convert the shed to a dwelling and an occupancy permit issued upon completion.

Scenario 4

You do not have a building permit for a shed and would like to retain it as a dwelling

It may be more difficult to justify retention of the shed as a permanent dwelling because the construction details may not be known.

Building surveyors cannot legally issue a building permit (or an occupancy permit) for a dwelling after the building has been constructed without approval.

The Municipal building surveyor (MBS) could issue a Building Notice (show cause) and possibly follow up with a Building Order to carry out building work, and if satisfied could allow a structure to remain; however the owners will not have a building permit or occupancy permit.

The MBS will be concerned about non-compliance and defects, especially with the safety of current and future owners.

Building owners may appeal the Building Notice or Building Order to the Building Appeals Board (BAB), however the BAB would need to be satisfied that the building was safe to remain as a dwelling.

Other considerations

Seeking to change the use of a shed to a dwelling is not simple. There are many considerations and it is recommend that you seek professional financial, building and regulatory advice before you make your decision.

Some other considerations include:

Is it feasible and cost effective to upgrade the temporary building to a standard that it can be used as a dwelling (Class 1a building)? The first choice should be to construct a new dwelling that fully complies with the Building Regulations 2006.

• To successfully change the use of your temporary building to a dwelling you will need to ensure that the structure meets the requirements of the Regulations and the Building Code of Australia. This will include the preparation of suitable plans of the building and a site plan, and the provision of a number of reports such as a BAL assessment, energy rating, geotechnical (soil) report and structural engineering design where required. Key construction elements that you will need to consider include:

o Bushfire construction requirements for the site;

o Energy efficiency requirements;

o Structural construction requirements for footings/slab on ground (soil test required), wall and roof framing; Slabs for dwellings have different requirements to those used for sheds. If the shed slab does not meet the requirements for a dwelling then it is not feasible to consider a change of use.

o Damp proofing under concrete floors;

o Termite protection where required;

o Minimum ceiling heights (2.4 m for habitable rooms and 2.1 m for laundry, bathroom, corridor and toilet);

o Minimum window sizes (including openable portions for ventilation);

o Required facilities for cooking, laundry, bathroom, toilet and damp proofing of floors and walls;

o Certificates of compliance for electrical, plumbing and glazing;

o Septic Tank system (where required);

o Complying steps, landings, balustrades (where required) and

o Hard wired smoke alarms.

1 Australian Standard, AS3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.

Download this post as PDF
draftsman melbourne, draftsman, building plans, fast track plans and permits, commercial building design, fasttrack plans, simple town planning steps, architectural draftsperson, architect, planning, building, permits,

Pre-design Meetings Offer

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Since the introduction of our pre-design meetings, we have had an amazing response from people and the feedback has been very positive. We are offering new customers from melbourne $100 off our normal design meeting price until the end on this month. That means you get a complete design briefing for $250 instead of the standard $350.

When you order a design meeting, the most senior of the design team, the Director, comes to site and discusses your design with you, your design needs and outcomes, the general costs of construction, ways of budget reduction, the issues and timelines of your project, realistic budgeting and innovative design ideas.

The design meeting usually takes on average 1-2 hours, and goes over all the issues and making the process clear and concise on what documentation you need for your project, and a step by step process for you to follow if you decide to move ahead with the design once you have assessed all the information.

We can also discuss the differences between using a architect in Melbourne and a Melbourne Draftsperson, we can also highlight the some of the pitfalls in the building trade and inform you of how to avoid these.

If you have been thinking of getting a quote for a design, wanting to know if your design will actually work, or can afford the design you want, call us and take us up on the special offer now.

Call the design team on (03) 9770 5858 or call me on 0404 906 803.