Q & A

1. Where do I start if I want to build a new home?

If you’re contemplating a new home for your family, the sooner you start discussing and planning your options and turning general ideas into specific, signed-off plans and approved permits, and then into a physical reality, the sooner you’ll be able to move in.

The first thing to do is to consider the scope of what you want, the time frame you would like it completed in, and your budget. If you are unclear on any count, may we cordially invite you to contact us to discuss your needs. An initial consultation is free of charge and without obligation to you.

In an initial consultation we can give you a better idea of:

  • Whether your budget is realistic and what might be generally achieved within it
  • Whether the site is suitable for your intended plans
  • The approvals and building process for your land, council and ideas
  • How our approach to design and completion maximises the outcomes at the same time as minimising stress

After an initial consultation we suggest that we make a site visit to establish design opportunities and identify constraints specific to your land and surrounds. It is likely that we will offer ideas and alternatives that you may not have considered, and which would meet your needs and aspirations in a much better way than initial general ideas. Much of this stems from us developing a personal and deep understanding of who you are and how you live your life—or would like to in your new home.

2. How long does the process for a new home take?

The time from initial ideas to completed home varies according to the type of project. Where a planning permit is not required and the design is not overly complex, a start-to-finish period of nine to twelve months may be a reasonable expectation.

Where a planning permit is required and the design is more complex, the start-to-finish period is likely to be sixteen months or more. If objections to the plans are lodged with your council, which requires response and revision, and especially if an appeal is necessary through VCAT, a start-to-finish period of twenty four months or more may occur.

These periods of course depend on you taking decisions and giving instruction in a timely manner, such as signing off sketch plans and the details plan, appointing your building surveyor, and contracting a builder to construct your home. Of course, we can help you with advice and support throughout the process.

3. What are the steps in building a new home?

We’re asked this a lot, and the process varies a little depending on what and where you’re building. We explain the fundamentals here…

4. How do I choose between a draftsman and an architect?

In Victoria, you don’t have to be an architect to design a home, but it matters. Decisions about your next home, extension or renovation may amongst be the most expensive or important investment decisions you make. It’s critical to get the best advice, and to do it right the first time. This table compares the two design services to help you decide which is more appropriate for you.

Area Draftsman Architect
  • Technical drawings
  • Used to work under the supervision of an architect but now can work independently
  • May work for a builder
  • Design philosophy and history, use of space and form
  • Construction systems
  • Planning regulations
  • Energy efficiency
  • Materials science
  • Technical drawings
  • TAFE certificate or diploma, minimum 1 or 2 years
  • Then, two years’ on-the-job experience
  • 5 year full-time university degree
  • Then, minimum 2 years’ supervised experience in an architectural practice
  • Then, pass professional registration exams
  • A building that meets general functional requirements
  • A unique property which expresses flair, taste and individuality, meeting your enhanced needs and desires
  • Low: minimum expenditure to get the job done
  • Medium: wise expenditure to maximise your property investment and lifestyle outcome
Market value
  • Another standard dwelling competing in a crowded market
  • An “architect-designed” property which captivates the market’s attention and imagination

5. How do I choose an architect?

Choosing any kind professional service provider is a task that should be conducted with care. Keep in mind that not only do you want to turn your hopes and dreams into reality, but that you will be working over the life of the project with your architecture firm as well as surveyors, builders and so on.

We recommend you consider the following factors in deciding which architecture firm to engage for your project:

The firm should have a track record of successful project completions in the kind of project you have in mind. Teo + Perperis has successfully completed countless low- and medium-density residential projects, as well as home extensions and renovations, commercial and community constructions, and office fit-outs.
We recommend that you select a firm with a continuous operating history of at least fifteen years to demonstrate stability of management and practice. Teo + Perperis have been providing architecture and interior design services continuously to the Victorian community for twenty years.
Design flair and innovation
When it comes to design, home owner tastes vary considerably, as do the philosophies and needs of commercial operators. Your chosen architecture firm should be able to demonstrate a flair for innovative design across a range of styles and tastes, maximising the potential for creative solutions to your project dilemmas. Teo + Perperis have extensive experience across a wide range of styles including gracious heritage, cutting-edge contemporary homes, trend-setting office space and environmental and self-sufficient constructions.
Full suite of services
Even if you need only one service at the present time (e.g. sketch plans), it’s important to develop a strong working relationship with a full-service architecture firm. By selecting a full-service firm you avoid having to vet and re-brief different people later on should you decide you need further services. Teo + Perperis offers a full suite of services—covering all the necessary bases from conception to completion of your project—from which you can choose according to your needs at any time.  We are also one of few Melbourne architecture firms with professionally qualified architecture and interior design expertise working directly together under the one roof.
Your selected architecture firm should be a good listener. It’s about you. If you see your prospective architect’s eyes glaze over, notice a lack of interest in the real you and your specific circumstances and needs, receive “orders” about “what you need” or sense that it’s more about them than you, we recommend you run like heck.
Critical to completion success is developing and maintaining relationships between you and your architect, builders, surveyors and other service providers in a way that promotes cooperation and engenders openness, comfort and the ability to develop solutions and resolve any problems and disagreements with the minimum of fuss and cost. This is an intrinsic part of our DNA at Teo + Perperis.
Reputation We recommend choosing a firm with strong and ongoing positive client feedback. Teo + Perperis enjoys an enviable portfolio of loyal and repeat clients. Find out what our clients say about us, including on-camera, here.

6. Which services do I need to purchase?

You choose which services you want from Teo + Perperis. If you opt for any one service, you are under no obligation to also purchase another.

Select the services which make the most sense for you. For example, you may require only initial sketch plans. Or, you may already have sketch plans and need to convert them to a details plan for quantity surveying or a building contract. If you are not skilled in administering construction contracts, you may choose to engage us as contract administrators for the construction phase, and so on.

If like many people you’re time-poor or short of the extensive skill-set necessary to attend to plenty of detail, technics and process, you may choose to engage us for a full compliment of services to complete the job in a professional and timely manner that reduces your stress.

To help you decide, check out our services here as well as our summary of the general steps and requirements for building a new home, here.