Seasoned property developers know that they can’t do everything on their own that’s why they surround themselves with experienced and qualified professionals who can provide them with invaluable assistance and support throughout their development journey.

Property Development

Property development involves a lot of aspects and requires an ‘A team’ that consists of an architect or designerengineers, surveyors, and a project manager. Don’t forget the builder and tradesmen! All these professionals will come together to make your development dream a reality.

So, what’s the important role of the architect?

People think architects just design buildings, but a good architect can also coordinate all design consultants, help with the town planning process, and supervise the entire construction process. Architects can be involved with the site selection, feasibility study, design and planning phase, budget building and management, team selection and management, and even interior and landscape design. However, not all undertake full project management, but there are those that are willing to.

Your architect can design a project that will be appealing to your target market and suitable to your end goal, whether you want to sell or hold and rent. Some will enlist less expensive services of drafts people but remember that the design is important not only when it comes to your customers but also to your permit application process.

Keep in mind though some architects may focus too much on the design and tend to forget to consider other important factors such as complexity of construction or final cost. Therefore you need to work with the rest of the team to come up with a financially viable project.

Your architect’s main responsibilities are town planning drawings, coordination with structural, geotechnical and civil engineers, and administration of the building contract. Choose the right architect for you through recommendations from satisfied clients (we even have a few clients we could recommend). Once you find one, explain the services they would need to undertake and enquire about their fees. Ask for a list of their recently
completed projects and make sure they are a member of the NZ Registered Architects Board.


Provide your architect with a brief that states the nature of the project, the number of dwellings to be built, and the materials you’d like to use. Clarify the town planning zoning of the property and assess its conditions and constraints. You may also consult with town planners to know your local authority requirements. Once a rough sketch has been developed, a surveyor will draw up a feature survey of the property and you may start
nominating building materials and finishes. The architect will check the front setback from the street and allow for driveways, garages, and turning circles. By this time your builder may now be able to establish his cost estimates.

Check whether you would need to build similar projects built in the street because planning rules change over time and what was approved by the council a few years ago may not be approved today. Make sure you have enough land to allow for the proposed development and be wary of sites with irregular boundaries or unusual setback requirements. Choose a level site as well because slopes may need expensive excavations and footing design. You
should also avoid areas where local residents are notorious for opposing proposed developments.

Architect fees are often fixed based on a percentage of the project’s total cost. Remember that you will get the standard of service you pay for. Payments are usually made in instalments over the life of the project and they may charge additional fees for any amendments required.

Hope you enjoyed reading this! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned property developer, give us a buzz and let’s engage in meaningful conversation. We love talking and learning about property development – is there a topic more exciting?

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