Consultants for Residential Building work

Consultants for Residential Building work
The following is a list of consultants typically used on residential projects: 1. Surveyor we require a survey showing the levels and location of the land and any features, council submissions require a survey that complies with specific requirements, we have a template we use to ensure surveys comply with their requirements. The surveyor can also prepare shadow diagrams for lodgement with the DA Documents, however if overshadowing is an issue we prefer to prepare these. When building on boundaries or party walls additional work will be required to mark and document title documents. Surveyors also handle strata title and Torrens title sub divisions where required. The boundaries and title should be checked and marked on site.

2. Engineers: Structural, Hydraulic or Civil, Prepare design sketches then final drawings, specifications and schedules.  Efficient structural design can save the cost of their fees. Geo-technical for Site inspection and testing, soil inspections and reports. Most building work requires a soil/foundation test which  identifies any structural problem or latent defects in the land before getting a builder to provide firm tenders.  Getting these tests done means there are no expensive surprises when construction commences and allows the engineer to prepare the most economical footing design.


Mechanical  to calculate air conditioning plant and equipment, usually separate from manufacturers or sales to get the best advice on what equipment to be used and how it should be installed and maintained.


Acoustic are usually required in residential areas or areas where noise impact is a concern such as under flight paths, or a/c plant in residential. Generally all of the Inner west is aircraft affected.


Electrical prepare lighting and power schemes and layouts and advise on network, cable and communications.


Traffic prepare turning paths and vehicle parking and movement plans, especially for garages and driveways and crossovers.
Council usually (but not always) require the engineer has NPER (National Professional Engineers Register) qualifications and Professional Indemnity Insurance. Engineers often work in a combined group so you only have to deal with one firm.

3. Landscape Designer in some cases council require a qualified landscape/horticultural consultant to prepare or certify plans for submission.  The plans will need to show exact numbers of plants and species and details of any associated work.

4. Arborist for inspection of trees and reports  Council will usually require an expert report on any substantial trees or vegetation if they may be affected by the project.

5. Quantity Surveyor  for estimating building costs.  Initially costs will be evaluated against a m2 rate, after a design has been decided upon (or before if budget is tight) the QS will prepare a cost plan.  Builders can provide an estimate for calculation of council fees.  Some councils require a QS for lodgement of DA.

7. Building Consultant for the preparation of construction management and waste management plans.
Council requires exact details of demolished materials and their recycling, storage and handling on site and amounts and means of their disposal.  The Construction and waste management Plan has to be certified as completed by the building inspector when the project is complete and before you can move in.

8. Water board Consultant  for building over sewer and connection to water and sewer. Usually this is a simple stamp and fees to be paid, however building with common or shared sewers this can become bigger than Ben Hur!

9. Town Planning Consultant - The DA will require a Statement of Environmental Effect (SoEE) detail various issues about the site and the proposal.  A statement prepared by an experienced planner will often expedite the process of getting prompt approval.

10. Principal Certifying Agent (PCA)  When the DA is approved then a Construction Certificate (CC) needs to be approved by the PCA.  This can the local council or a private firm.  They will have their own requirements in addition to the Development approval usually requiring certificates to be submitted on completion by the builder and installers eg Survey, Title, Smoke alarm installation, termite control installation and water proofing certificates.

11. Basix: Environmental Consultant  Basix Certificate (environmental performance evaluation) is required for all development applications.  This certificate has been required with all development since 2006.  This details the energy and water use and storage and recycling on site. The certificate is tied to the title and has to be certified as completed by the building inspector when the project is complete and before you can move in.

12. Heritage Consultant  If the project has some form of listing with the council, Heritage council, National Trust or other body a heritage consultant may be required to perform a Heritage Statement detailing the historic nature of the site.  A Conservation Plan, archival Recording (photographs) or other documents may also be required for the DA submission.  Paragrid and David Springett are recognised by the Heritage Council as qualified to prepare such documents.

For simple projects we may be able to prepare such documents as required using templates or previous reports that have similar issues, scope or scale of project.  However we are not specialists in many of these other areas and we recommend that suitable professionals be engaged for these services. We can supply names and details of those we have used in the past.  We prefer these are engaged directly by yourself and we manage their work and advise on their accounts.

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