The Process

The following section explains the processes and stages involved with the design, consent, tendering and construction phases of a typical project.


Initial Meeting

The first step in beginning a project is to arrange for an initial no obligation, or cost, visit to your property or site. At this 30 minute to 1 hour meeting we discuss what your would like to achieve, time frames, and the budget.

The project will be initially assessed in regards to any particular opportunities and constraints of the property or site.

The initial meeting provides an opportunity for you to ask questions and for us to begin to determine how we can help you achieve a great result.


Fee Proposal

In the days following the initial meeting we will send back our fee proposal, which is divided into several discrete stages. Some of these stages will not be applicable to all projects, and these will be identified as such in the proposal. Our fee proposal is fixed fee per stage and we do not progress to the following stage until you and the project are ready to proceed.
Typically the stages, after approval of the fee proposal, are as listed below and described in each of the steps to follow:
Site Survey > Concept design > Developed Design > Resource Consent > Working Drawings >
Building Consent Approval > Tendering > Construction


Site measure /Survey

In regards to working within an existing building we will undertake a full measure which typically takes between 1 – 3 hours and will be scheduled to suit you. We need minimal contact at this point, and it is more about performing an accurate measure up of the existing building. We will move room to room and look to record the required information with a minimum of disruption.

In the case of a new build, or works to extend an existing building, a survey of the whole, or a portion of the site, will be required to be undertaken by a registered surveyor (external consultant).


Concept Design

In the initial concept design meeting two 2D options will be presented, including plans and elevations. In many cases a 3D walk through representation of the proposal will also be done. The drawings presented will accurately convey the ideas and proposals for discussion. All drawings will be to scale and two copies will be left with you, after the meeting, for later perusal.



Developed Design

Once a concept design has been settled upon, further development of that proposal is required in preparation for the building consent drawings, based on your feedback. Concept refinements are incorporated and detailed aspects of the proposed design are confirmed. The intention at the end of this stage is be able to move forward without any significant changes required.


Resource Consent

On many occasions the limitations of the site and/or the proposed building usage, will require a resource consent approval from the local Territorial Authority. Typical residential non compliances include breaching sunlight access or height planes, exceeding allowable site coverage or not being able to achieve the required yard set backs.
Where possible any proposed design will seek to avoid the neccesity for a resource consent. If unavoidable, the number of non compliances should be minimised as much as possible. We prepare and submit the application and tailor this to provide the best chance of approval.
A resource consent application requires the following:

– The required application fee (separate fee to council)

  • – A certificate of title less than 3 months old
  • – The completed Territorial Authority application form.
  • – Drawings including the existing and proposed site plans, building plans and elevations.
  • – An Assessment of Environmental Effects report.


Working Drawings

The working drawings consist of a detailed set of plans suitable for a building consent application, and to allow accurate pricing by a builder. This stage is typically longer than the rest, due to the complexity and number of drawings required. In addition to the plans a detailed and job specific specification is prepared. A quantity surveyor is often engaged to provide accurate costings (external consultant).
A typical set of working drawings would include:
Title page
Location plan
Site plan
Existing plans
Proposed plans
Foundation plan
Roof plan
Framing plans
Reflected ceiling plan
Proposed elevations
Proposed sections
Proposed details
Reflected ceiling plan
Floor finishes plan
Wall finishes plan
Joinery drawings
Electrical plan
Drainage plan
Door and window schedule


Building Consent Approval

The building consent is required to be assessed by council within 20 working days (or 1 month). During this time it is normal for some questions to be asked by council officers. They may ask for clarification of aspects of the design, or can request that additional information be supplied. In all cases Bluepencil is listed as the agent for the work, and will answer queries on behalf of the client. Any design or budget related issues will be referred to the client before a response to the council occurs.



Bluepencil can prepare documents suitable for tendering to a minimum of three contractors. Received prices are analysed and summarised for an appropriate recommendation of the contractor to be selected. The tendering process takes between 3-4 weeks to properly obtain pricing information from the contractors.



Bluepencil offers contract administration services to oversee the construction of the buildingThe level of documentation we produce is always appropriate and suitable for construction, but questions can arise on site and we pride ourselves on our ability to work effectively with contractors. During the build we keep the client in the loop of any decisions made and required.
Once the consent is approved, the building work on site is required to exactly follow what is documented in the drawingsIn most cases there are usually some amendments which need to be made, such as a previously undiscovered onsite issue or a desire to make a change. Any proposed amendments also require 20 working days for approval.


Please feel free to get in touch to arrange a no obligation initial consultation.

Level 1, 148 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt 5018, New Zealand
PO Box 48-055, Silverstream, Wellington       +64 4 385 0143