Creating a Design Brief

A design brief is used to clearly convey to the architect and builder some background information on you and your family including how you like to live and entertain and what is important to you in creating a new home.

Your ideas should be listed room by room and level by level and ranked in order of importance.  The “must have items” should be listed first then grade each item in level of importance as you go through the list.  Also, try to include photos of design ideas that you like that illustrate what you would like to achieve. A brief that includes good pictures is much easier for the architect and builder to follow and interpret.

Your design brief should be no more than 5 or 6 pages and should be revised at various stages throughout the design and construction process and updated if the scope of works or budget changes.

Below is a list of questions or prompts to help you write your design brief.

Style of the house

  • Describe the type of design you like, and any specific design features you would like to include in your new house or renovation.
  • What drew you to this property and this suburb or area?
  • Any specific types of construction? (i.e. concrete slab, timber floor, brick veneer, solid brick, light weight cladding etc.)

Accommodation and Interior

  • Size and type of garage?
  • Number and type of living areas?
  • Dining area, casual, formal, number of chairs?
  • Describe the type of kitchen you want and specific features?
  • Type of pantry and how you want to use it?
  • Size of laundry and specific requirements?
  • Games room, rumpus room, media room, home theatre?
  • Study, home office, library?
  • Mud room, store room, workshop, cellar?
  • Number of bedrooms and sizes?
  • Number of bathrooms and specific features?
  • Master bedroom requirements and design features?
  • Guest bedroom requirements?
  • Type of stairs, voids?
  • Ideal ceiling heights?
  • Any specific electrical system requirements?
  • Any specific heating or cooling requirements?​

Exterior Design

  • Describe how you would like the house to look from the street and any specific exterior design ideas or requirements?
  • Any specific requirements for the entry or front door?
  • Any specific exterior materials you do or do not want to use on the building?
  • Windows – any specific requirements?
  • Alfresco / BBQ area requirements?
  • Swimming pool?
  • Front fence requirements?
  • Describe the type of garden and outdoor spaces you would like and any specific design ideas?
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