Our designer was recommended to us; and Travis did an amazing job. We had in the past had previous designs done before; but he really listened. I gave him 2 pages of stuff we wanted and a design i had come up with on my own. He asked us questions about how we are going to use the house, be it with the orientation of the block; what rooms were going to get used the most, flow of the house. The first draft was slightly too big; however we were both in love with it and began to quote on that after a few changes.
Our shortlist was three volume builders, and two project builders. We knew where we stood after the first quotes came back, and we almost gave up the idea of building with a project builder; simply on cost. But after much deliberation there is simply things that a personal project builder can give you that a larger "here's a cheque, build my house" builder does.
Its not that we couldn't find a standard that was right, i've just always mistrusted sales reps over things as complicated as a house. Things will come up; someone will make a mistake; its how they rectify it and their communication to you, you want transparency. You need only to look around the homeone forum, or some building inspector pages to see the horror stories.
Our design is huge, i cant deny it. However we aren't going to move and looking to the future; making space for everything we should need. Room for kids, friends and entertaining. Not to mention im only going to get one shot at this so we have tried to plan for long term. Including lower floor access via wheelchair: we intend to look after mum when she cant herself one day.
I have included our design on the right for you to look over, follow us on our journey