Getting started with us can be a little daunting, so we have put together a few answers to help you out. Please take this purely as a guide. Actual prices may vary, but this will at least give you a ballpark figure to work with. For more detailed information on specific projects such as; granny flats, decks, extensions, new homes and unit blocks, please see their respective tabs.

What’s the process of getting started?

You need approval from either your Local Council or a Private Certifying Authority (PCA). The choice depends on your project and location. If your project aligns entirely with council regulations and isn’t in a high-risk area (like flood zones or bushfire-prone areas), a PCA is an option. Otherwise, you’ll need council approval. Check your local council’s website for area-specific details.

If council approval is needed, they’ll split your application into two parts: Development Application (DA) and Construction Certificate (CC). The DA must be approved by council, but the CC doesn’t need to be. You can have a Private Certifier approve the CC, provided you address the council’s concerns raised during the DA process.

The process can definitely be confusing and frustrating but Sydney Drafting is here to be your trusted allies throughout the entire process. They have decades of experience dealing with local councils.

I have an approval, now what?

Once you have approval, you can approach builders. Instead of trying to obtain three quotes (which can be challenging), ask for ballpark estimates. This helps gauge their availability and interest in your project. Building relationships matter, so consider a builder who has a good rapport with your PCA if you’re using one. Sydney Drafting has connections with many local builders and can help you find the right one for your project.


We provide all the documents, forms, and time required by either council or the private certifier to get approval for construction. That includes the following:


  • Site inspections / detailed measure up of existing house if needed.
  • A site plan: Showing setbacks, footprint, neighbours etc.
  • Floor plan: A plan showing the internal configuration of your project.
  • Elevations: Elevation views of all sides of the project.
  • Section: A cut away view of the internal workings of your project.
  • Shadows: If required, a plan showing what kind of shadows your project makes.


  • Completion of council forms.
  • Statement of environmental effects.
  • Electronic copies of plans in PDF.
  • Demolition and construction waste management plan.

We understand the importance of getting your plans just right. You can make unlimited changes before we submit them to the council. However, once we’ve submitted the plans, we limit the number of alterations.

Once all the paperwork is ready, Sydney Drafting will handle the council application process and guide it through. If there are any extra details needed beyond our usual services, we’ll charge an agreed hourly rate. Every project is unique, and we can’t guarantee approval for all applications due to varying complexities. However, we’ll identify potential issues early on and do our best to ensure a successful concept approval.

What other costs should be expected? 

Obviously jobs vary in complexity, however the following costs are an approximation based on a large extension / single story house:

Additional to our costs you will need the following:

  • Council fees. $ 800 – 1500
  • PCA fees. $ 1200 – 1800

Depending on the scale of the you may need the following:

  • Surveyors, $ 1100 – 1500
  • Engineering. $ 500+
  • BASIX assessment (Only needed if construction is over $50k) – $350

If your block is in a bushfire area, or prone to land instability you will need the following:

  • Bush fire report, $1000 – 1200
  • Geotech assessment, $1200 – 180


At Sydney Drafting, we are a dynamic team of experienced tradespeople and innovative building designers dedicated to turning your visions into a reality.