Why you might need to get architectural drawings done


Once you’ve got your building design plan and the permissibility of your proposed size and purposes sorted, you need to get your architectural drawings done. These drawings will reference your site plan and/or survey, to effectively interpret how your design will translate into construction within compliant development guidelines or with the relaxation of certain rules for your project upon successful application. Builders of DIY or exempt non-habitable projects also benefit from getting their architectural drawings done and having guidelines to follow, like having the ‘recipe’ for their building ‘ingredients’.


In most cases, you’ll need preliminary advice as a prerequisite for getting your architectural drawings done. Through the preliminary advice process, research will be undertaken to ensure what you’re proposing in your architectural drawings will meet planning requirements when submitted.

Not on their own, no. The architectural drawings are necessary but depending on your building project, there could be a list of documents required for you to submit. If you’ve got time, you can find out for yourself everything you’ll need to submit for approval along with your architectural drawings. Otherwise, you could get an expert preliminary consultation on your project to find out what’s required for approval and what the cost of application fees, etc, will be. You can get as much help as you need with getting your approvals organised, with our highly experienced pod-project network providers.

If you haven’t had any building work done on your property for many years, there’s a high chance your application for building works will trigger the need for a site survey that meets the modern-day standards for property specifications. You might need to get a survey of your land features, or a formal re-establishment of the boundaries (if you’re building close to the boundary). If so, you can hire a surveyor yourself to do the work needed or ask our network partners to help you POA.

If you have any existing documentation such as your site plan, design plan, or a design you’ve liked online, it’s helpful to send it through for reference. This stage doesn’t usually involve the detail of specific fittings or finishes, but rather the positioning of key items (sink, shower, storage, doorways, etc) to conform with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) which addresses fire safety, accessibility, and other mandatory regulations for building design. Your creative ideas for feature walls, fittings, and custom options can be saved on a mood board (eg: Pinterest, Trello, etc) and brought to life once your project is approved and under construction.

Standard fees for architectural drawings are based on using ‘standard’ flatpack habitable steel building kits either with/without eaves or with/without decks/verandas. If you want a non-standard design, such as L-shaped (joined at the corners); gable-roofed and more square-ish (joined back-to-back); specially reinforced underneath to allow for gym weights or a spa; double-storey (one pod on top of the other, or mounted on an existing house); pavilion-style (joined by corridors or breezeways); or village-style (with central communal facilities), it’s all been done successfully at one time or another, over the years (since 2017, when Backyard Pods started). These unusual requirements are usually quoted on a case-by-case basis – just ask.

Yes, you can talk with the architect (or similarly qualified and insured professional) who will be preparing your architectural drawings. Each one of our network partners for architectural drawings in VIC, NSW, QLD, and ACT has had more than 50 pod projects successfully approved – this is the minimum level of experience for members of our network in the area of building design and compliance. Each of our network members already has the engineering documentation needed by any professional to prepare your architectural drawings based on all-Australian steel habitable flatpack building kits (saving $500+GST initial outlay).

Approved examples

Your architectural drawings

Get your architectural drawings done and you’ve got the documentation you need to get quotes from builders, submit to the council or certifier, etc. Have your completed architectural drawings supplied to you by email in high-resolution PDF format (or submitted on your behalf if you’re following through with getting further help on your approval process).

Help for DIY builders and owner-builders in NSW, VIC, SE QLD, ACT