Well why do you need to get plans? Most people believe that the reason you get plans is in order to obtain Council approval for your project. Well this is certainly one of the reasons to get plans but it is absolutely not the main reason.
The main reason for getting plans is for the Builder. One day when the Council approval process is complete you are going to have a little man wearing a tool belt and holding a hammer standing on your site wondering what he is meant to be building. A set of plans is a written instruction to the Builder as to what it is that he is required to build. The fact that you usually have to get those plans approved by the Council is a secondary consideration.
You can of course just tell the Builder verbally what you want him to build however his interpretation of what's coming out of your mouth may be somewhat different to what you think you are telling him. A set of plans is not only a written instruction to the Builder, it is also to make sure that you and the Builder are "on the same page". Verbal instructions can and probably will lead to problems with the Council or Builder (or both) further down the track.
So after reading this you have definitely decided to get some plans drawn up. Well some more advice for you is to get them done by a professional Building Designer and to get them as detailed as possible.
When your plans are submitted to the Council or are stapled into a building contract, these plans instantly become a legal document. If you were having a legal document drawn up by your Solicitor you would no doubt happily pay him what his time and expertise were worth because you know he is looking after your interests. (OK maybe not happily!).
The same goes for a Building Designer. Most people are trying to save money on their building project which is completely understandable, however to skimp on the preparation of the plans (a legal document) is a foolish way to save money. A good quality set of plans can save you thousands of dollars. A bad set can end up costing you thousands of dollars and a very lot of stress.
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