How we work

PlaceMate works to suit your purpose not ours. We can help with any, or all stages of your new home project.

It costs nothing to take the first step to meet us. After that, you decide how much – or how little – you’d like PlaceMate to take care of. Not everything needs to be done in one go. It’s entirely up to you how many steps you’d like to take and at what level of detail.

Here’s an outline of PlaceMate’s steps and their cost estimates.

FREE On-site consultation

Call 0439 495 333 or email us at to arrange a free one-hour, no obligation consultation at your home or building site. There are no drawings at this stage – we just want to meet you and for you to meet us. We want to hear your likes and dislikes and share your ideas. We’ll talk budgets, the site, your neighbourhood and what PlaceMate can do to extract the maximum potential from all three. It can be as simple as “Should I stay or should I go?” – we’ll tell you if you’re dreaming.

Full project outline

(Fee: $660)

If, after Step 1, you decide to proceed with Step 2, PlaceMate will deliver these documents:

  • A written brief describing your existing site or home, a wish list of what you’d like to achieve and how PlaceMate will go about delivering it.
  • A full list of town planning and building approvals necessary to get your project off the ground, an estimate of how long it will take to get them and how much it will cost.

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  • A full list of professional consultants you will need to engage to see your project through to completion (for example, structural engineers, surveyors or landscape architects) and an estimate of what it will cost to hire them.
  • A breakdown of your PlaceMate architect’s fees at each stage of the design process, beginning with the measured drawings at Step 3.
  • A build budget as a rough estimate of what can be achieved within the parameters of your budget.
  • A prospective time frame indicating how the project might unfold and suggesting a timeline to achieve it.
Preparation for concept design

(Fee: As quoted within Step 2 – see Breakdown of your PlaceMate architect’s fees)

At this stage, PlaceMate may need to create accurate measured drawings of your existing home and, depending on the scope of the project, it may also be necessary to commission a plan by a surveyor of your intended site, unless either of these are already available.

The survey plan will show your intended site’s boundaries, contours and features, which will be referenced in the finished design. It will also be required

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for any town planning applications and will be referenced by the builder throughout construction.

All this data will be used in a REVIT computer drawing.

Concept design

(Fee: from $1650 for a carport to $6000 for a full home)

At Step 4, PlaceMate will deliver drawings of our proposed design solution, showing the finished look you can expect and including enough detail for a builder to give you a “ball park estimate” of their costs.

Step 4 includes delivery of the following documents:

  • Floor & roof plans
  • Elevations (side views)
  • Sections (cut through)

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  • 1 or 2 artist’s impressions.

Step 4 also includes:

  • A meeting between you and your PlaceMate architect to discuss the proposed design
  • One set of changes. A second meeting to discuss the revisions
  • A list of all new doors and windows for the builder to price
  • An indicative list of basic building materials will be added to the design
  • An onsite meeting between you, your PlaceMate architect and a builder (either our recommendation or your choice) to discuss the proposed works.
  • At the conclusion of Step 4, the builder will return with an estimate. At this point, PlaceMate can also provide a fixed fee quote to complete Steps 5 to 7 (descriptions follow).

This is also the time to consider whether or not you would like to go ahead.

Development applications for
town planning (if necessary)

Fee will be quoted within Step 4

At Step 5, PlaceMate will:

  • Recommend a professional town planner – who will charge their own fee – to prepare the written report required by councils in all town planning applications
  • Provide supporting drawings (for example, shadow diagrams and streetscapes) for the application

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  • Act as your liaison throughout the town planning process and keep you up to date with developments.
Contract documents for
building application (compulsory)

Fee will be quoted within Step 4

At Step 6, PlaceMate will deliver documentation of the proposed design, showing the required level of accurate technical information necessary to comply with the Building Code of Australia and for a licensed certifier to approve the building for construction.

Step 6 includes delivery of the following documents:

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  • Site plan
  • Dimensioned floor plans at 1:100
  • Elevations (side views)
  • Sections (cut through)
  • Door & window schedule
  • Building application forms.

At Step 6, PlaceMate will also:

  • Recommend a structural engineer – who will charge their own fee – to prepare:
    • Soil testing
    • Beam sizes
    • Slab design
    • Retaining walls
    • A structural certificate.
  • Recommend an energy consultant – who will charge their own fee – who will provide the mandatory energy efficiency report.
  • Recommend and liaise with a building certifier – who will charge their own fee – who will approve the building application.
  • Co-ordinate the compulsory fees and charges (QBBC Home Warranty Insurance) that are required by legislation for all construction works over $80,000 in Queensland.
  • Co-ordinate a comparison quote between a maximum of two builders. Although open tenders are standard commercial practice, PlaceMate’s preference is to work with reliable, tried and tested builders and craftsman that we know and trust and who we believe charge a fair price without compromising on quality.

PlaceMate will also act as your liaison throughout the building application process and keep you up to date with developments.

Contract documents for detailed construction / interiors (depending on the scope of your project)

Fee will be quoted within Step 4 PlaceMate will also liaise between you and the builder in the lead up to signing the building contract and will take care of compiling all the necessary documents and approvals required for construction to begin. Depending on your preference or the scope of your project, Step 7 may include delivery of the following documents:

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  • Kitchen design 1:20
  • Joinery design
  • Wet area layouts 1:50
  • Stair details
  • Unusual construction
  • Lighting & power layouts
  • Tile layouts
  • Schedule of finishes (a room-by-room list of materials)
  • Landscape design.
Step 7 may also include:
  • Assistance with material selections, including introductions to suppliers to ensure you get the finish or the look that you want.
  • Co-ordinating with other consultants, as required, for example:
    • Pool builders
    • Landscape designers
    • Interior decorators.
Contractor selection

At Step 8, PlaceMate will organise quotes from two or three builders.

Contract administration (on request)

To save you time and stress, at Step 9 PlaceMate is available to act as your agent during the construction period.

Step 9 includes delivery of the following documents:

  • Documentation of any details that may arise during the build (for example, final colour schemes or finishes).

Step 9 also includes:

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  • Documentation of any details that may arise during the build (for example, final colour schemes or finishes).

Step 9 also includes:

  • Monitoring construction, including at least a weekly site visit and written report
  • Quality control
  • Evaluating builders’ claims for money or time
  • Co-ordinating consultants, as required
  • Heading off any problems during the build – before they escalate.

A comprehensive list of all contract administration responsibilities will be included in the breakdown of your PlaceMate architect’s fees detailed in Step 2.