Frequently Asked Questions:

1.   Will the sky fall in if I subscribe to the 3dEDGE Email List?

Obviously not, however please rest assured that no names or email addresses will ever be made available for any third party use, nor are we going to bombard you with emails.

If you you have any doubts about this process, please just give Bruce Brunton a call on 04077 04177 and I will personally reassure you that there is no security risk in providing an email address to 3dEDGE. As you would discover, I am just a normal person, living in Perth, Western Australia, trying to promote an honest business.

2.   What are the most common mistakes people make when building?

Listed below is our “top ten” of the avoidable mistakes/problems that catch people out with their building projects.

Any one or combination of these mistakes would prove to be stressful, inconvenient and costly, or a potential disaster, depending on how severe they turned out to be?

1.  Poor design solution
2.  Not fully understanding the drawings
3.  Poor budget awareness and/or control
4.  Bad advice due to conflicts of interest
5.  Statutory approval dilemmas
6.  Poor coordination of consultants
7.  Choosing the wrong builder
8.  Inappropriate contractual arrangements
9.  Potential copyright ownership issues
10. Poor investment outcome

Avoiding these common mistakes can be as simple as reading our 3dEDGE Design & Building Guide and following the advice and due processes set out in there, along with engaging a competent, independent designer or architect.

3.   What are the advantages of using an independent designer or architect?

Here are some compelling reasons why we believe your interests are best served by working with a designer or architect that is independent to a builder and/or a sales team:

a.  The design is fundamental to everything
b.  A designer or architect designs, a builder builds and a salesman sells
c.  You should choose the designer or architect you wish to work with
d.  You should always have direct access to your designer (not via a salesman)
e.  The designer should be working for you and not the builder
f.  It is preferrable that the builder does not control the design copyright
g.  There is no real need to commit to any one builder, too early in the design process
h.  You are much better off paying independent design fees, rather than sales commissions
i.  You will have more control over the time lines for the design and documentation process
j.  Ideally, you should have one person (working for you) to coordinate the whole process

With particular reference to item (h), where design and construct builders have sales consultants, the sales commission can equate to around the same fees that an independent designer or architect would charge to design and document a building project through to Building Permit stage.

Please note that we recommend obtaining builder direct feedback on estimated building costs, at a reasonably early stage in the design process, to confirm bugdet estimates.

As long as design independence is retained, we have no problem working closely with a “preferred” builder. This can also open up the potential for a negotiated building contract, which is often a better outcome than going to tender.

4.   Does “good design” have to cost more?

The short answer is NO!

Despite some people’s perceptions to the contrary, there is no reason why “good design” should necessarily cost any more than “poor design” – after all good design does not have to be larger, use more materials or be a different construction type – just a better balance of form, function and material selection.

Here is a three part, detailed explanation of why “good design” does not have to cost more:


The first step in understanding why good design should not need to cost more than a poor design outcome, is to properly understand the key underlying factors that determine the cost of any building project, and they are:

1. Pure size or area of the building
2. Configuration of the building plan (perimeter to area)
3. Overall volume (floor to ceiling heights)
4. Complexity of construction type and “buildability”
5. Specified finishes and fit-out selections (value for money?)
6. Site topography, conditions and constraints
7. External works included

So, as we hope would be evident, none of the above cost factors are exclusive to either “good” or “poor” design. In fact, if all else remains constant, then good design is likely to be more economical because good design, besides other things, should also take into account factors like efficiency of form, “buildabilty” and value for money aspect of finishes and fit-out selections.

Therefore, the logical conclusion is that a good design does not have to cost any more than any other design, unless the budget itself provides for it (and that is a separate matter altogether).


The second part, in understanding why good design need not be expensive, is to have some insight of the considerations we believe are essential to good design:

1. Balance and proportion of form and space
2. Zoning of the internal spaces
3. Furnishability and trafficability of the internal spaces
4. Interaction between internal and external spaces
5. Maximisation of site amenities
6. Interaction with neighbouring properties
7. Compatibilty with existing streetscape
8. Personal aesthetic taste
9. Energy efficiency and sustainability
10. Overall efficiency and value for money

Again we can see that there is nothing in the above list of considerations that is necessarily going to make good design more expensive than poor design.

The main point here is to emphasize that good design is available to anyone with a building project in mind, and put to rest any myth that you need to pay a premium in building costs to achieve good design.

We believe the hurdle to be overcome, for many people, is understanding that design is best left to professionals and, reasonable fees, paid to a competent designer or architect, should be seen as an investment (rather than an expense).


The third and final part of this explanation is to clearly understand that all building projects are an investment in the future – no matter how personal the requirements seem at the beginning.

Serious under capitalizing or over capitalizing, along with poor design, will be adversely impact on quality of life, borrowing capacity and potential “saleability” of the end product.

Even if one thinks they are building a house to live in for the rest of their life and, as such, the project is not intended to be speculative – circumstances do change and if the property has to be sold, everyone will want the best price, in the shortest possible time frame – neither of which will happen if the design does not tick the boxes for:

1. General appeal
2. Flow and zoning
3. Balance of all spaces
4. Flexibility and furnishability
5. Interaction between internal and external spaces
6. Well-coordinated material and fit-out selections
7. Maximisation of site amenity

As previously, nothing here needs to add cost, as it is all about the design itself and making sure that, as far as possible, all possibilities have been addressed in the core design solution!


In summary, we believe that when it comes to good design and individual building projects – a successful outcome will always depend on how well the design proposals are put together, implemented and balanced against personal requirements, budget limitations and statutory planning controls, etc

  3dEDGE Design & Building Guide

Our 3dEDGE Design & Building Guide provides a great insight for anyone thinking about building.

This very comprehensive guide is available now, for online reading. It covers all aspects of the design & building process - step by step, through each stage.

Mission Statement

Our primary goal is to deliver the best outcome on design versus client brief and budget.

We pursue this goal on an individual basis, using our design expertise, building knowledge and experience, to the client's best advantage.

45 Letchworth Centre Ave
Salter Point WA 6152

T: 04077 04177
E: bruce@3dedge.com.au