Our Process - Architectural Design Services

As much as our design process is important, we are often first asked regarding our fees and fee structure. Click the link to the right to understand our fees and how they relate to our process below. 

Remember – ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Every great project begins with a plan, and we’re here to help you create that plan, to ensure a great project. 

our design process roadmap

We like to keep our home design process as simple, visual and straightforward as possible. See below our roadmap, showing the steps involved in our architectural design services. Each step of the way with its associated information is covered at each point.

It’s our job to take you by the hand and guide you through these various steps. One of the hardest things to grasp is the construction jargon, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

each step Explained...



Our architectural design services begin with a site visit by the Arcline Team. We review the shape of the site, view lines, sun direction, prevailing wind direction, vehicle access and services locations. Requirements for your new home are discussed in detail, along with potential design options. We discuss your lifestyle, desired room sizes and budget. This is an important part of the design process for both you and the Arcline team, it allows us to visualise your dream alongside you, and access the practicalities to make it happen.  


2. Sketch Concepts

Based on the Site Visit and initial discussions with you, we prepare preliminary pencil concept plans, detailing a floor plan, elevations, and if needed, a site plan, working with surveyors to complete contour plans or your site. Elevation sketches and a detailed floor plan allow you to preview your home including materials and cladding, where furniture could potentially sit, and how your home will look from different angles. It is at this stage we welcome your feedback, to make sure we get the design right. Further discussions with you to fine tune the layout and style are completed, ready for the design to move to CAD Concepts.


3. CAD concepts

CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. In this stage our draftsmen detail your concept plans using our architectural computer programs to produce an accurate site plan, floor plan and elevations of your new home. All council rules are checked thoroughly and a resource consent applied for if needed (see next step). A build cost estimate can be prepared to ensure the design is running to budget. One of the architectural design services that set Arcline apart from other design studios, is that we produce a 3D walkthrough file of your project. This is where you can have a look at your home in a rendered, virtual reality, inside and out. This allows our clients to explore their home, and is helpful for decision making. 


3.5 Resource Consent

Your project will only require a Resource Consent if it is breaching a local council rule or Consent Notice on your Title. Around 30% of our projects need Resource Consents. They are used by local councils to control activities on land around the district, to ensure the environment, your neighbours and many other factors are protected for the future. The Arcline team is happy to assist you through this process, and any other jargon and paperwork that comes your way. We want to make the designing and building process as stress free as possible. 


4. Developed Design & Subconsultants

We then take the plans to a developed design level. This includes cross sections and initial construction details. Aside from having a unique internal team of ex-builders, architects, architectural designers and draftsman, Arcline also has a talented range of industry contacts, so can arrange and liaise with all needed subconsultants during the design of your project. This includes Geotechnical and Structural Engineers, Truss Designers, Landscape Architects, Kitchen Designers, Interior Designers and Resource Consent Planners. Specialist reports like TP10 (stormwater), TP58 (wastewater) and site suitability reports are sought if needed. All the architectural design services you could possibly need, right at your fingertips!  



Fully detailed plans and specifications are then prepared exactly to your requirements and to the Building Code. Materials and sizes are selected for their optimum use, saving you money and saving the builders’ time. Plans are checked against a 350-point checklist before being issued. These plans are used for consents and construction.



The plans, specifications and all supporting reports and information are then submitted to the local Council. Your resource consent, building consent, earthworks permits, crossing permits, just to name a few – can all be looked after by the Arcline Team, who regularly deal with and have great relationships with local Council staff. We look after all the forms and details and the next thing you know, your consents are issued and approved, ready to start building. 



Due to the quantity of available builders in your region, we can guide you to the best builder for your project, suggesting who to get quotes from. Because of our experience, we can recommend builders who specialise in projects just like yours, because we’ve worked with them before. When you’ve found a builder you like and have agreed on a quote, all documentation is passed over to your builder, ready to start the excavations and get building. 


Although it is not included in our fees, we can offer (on request) a Construction Monitoring package to ensure that once the construction of your new home is underway it runs smoothly, on time and on budget. Our package includes site visits and construction reviews at certain stages of the build, each inspection providing a report, photos and comments on: 

  • Build accuracy
  • Workmanship
  • Weathertightness 
  • Onsite Safety 
  • Onsite Tidiness 
  • Color scheme advice
  • Non-structural design improvements

Hands on experience you can trust.

Call Us Today: 0800 326 466

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