A truely successful building project is driven by design inspired by the way we live in and use spaces.

Turning great projects into smart investments through functionality, sustainability and value.

Outline Design and Drafting can provide you with:

  • A set quote
  • Site and home measure up
  • A design you will love
  • Detailed plans ready for council submission and building quotes.




“I am passionate about designing a living space that gives you a home you will love to live in. My aim is to prepare for you the first step toward having your dream home. Let me turn your ideas into reality”.

With one on one access to Owner and Building Designer Tammie McDonald, your experience with Outline Design and Drafting will be personable and leave you feeling confident a beautiful home will be designed especially for you.

Tammie creates custom designs and innovative creative spaces that produce the ‘right house on the right block’ for you. Designing flexible spaces to suit your specific needs for now and the future.

Specialising in maximising natural cooling and heating and local climatic conditions to create a comfortable liveable home whilst reducing energy usage and costs.

With a vast knowledge of local authority controls and requirements enabling us to liaise with council on your behalf to meet all requirements; Outline Design and Drafting can reduce the stress and worries when building and renovating.

Choose to have design drawings only for your dream home that can be used for planning approval and builders’ quotes or choose to take advantage of our full suite of services that includes assistance to source all professional and engineering needs.

Contact Outline Design and Drafting for your obligation free initial onsite consultation.




Outline Design and Drafting can help you with all aspects of your home and building design.

Incorporating your ideas and ideals as well as budget and space constraints allows Outline Design and Drafting to give you the foundation for your dream home designed with your taste and specifications in mind.

Once the initial measure up and concept plans are complete Outline Design and Drafting can create a striking design for your new and improved customised home.




Walk away happy with the knowlege that both the hard copy drawings and electronic files Outline Design and Drafting have supplied you are fully compliant with council specifications and building approval.

Ready to be passed on to your builder, engineer and council submission, your new custom design plans are ready to build off, after final approval by council and your chosen builder.




As well as your custom building design drawings I can prepare for you documentation that is required with DA submission including:

  • BASIX.
  • Statement of Environmental Effects.
  • Bushfire Assessment Report.
  • Notification Plans.
  • Waste Management Plan.


Below are some commonly asked questions. As council requirements and building codes can and do change frequently the below should only be used as a guide. They cannon take into account the individual circumstances for each project.

Q: Do all building/alteration projects require formal approval?

A: No. A project can be an “Exempt Development”, these do not require approval. As long as they meet specific criteria Exempt Developments include simple pergolas, decks, painting a house, barbeques and sheds.

Q: My project is a bit more complex than Exempt. What sort of development will it be?

A: More commonly a project can be a “Complying Development”. Complying Developments are straightforward development proposals such as home renovations or addition or a new home up to two stories. Providing the proposal meets specific criteria, it can be determined by council or private certifier without needing a full development application.

It is important to note that for both Exempt and Complying Developments there are strict criteria that must be met. Drafting of plans will usually still be necessary for Exempt and Complying Developments.

For more information on Exempt and Complying Developments please go to:

Q: When is Approval needed?

A: Anything that is not specifically an “Exempt Development” needs approval. Specifically, approval is required for any building work involving: the development of new structures, alterations or extensions and changes in ground levels. These include: • Swimming pools and spas:

  • Barriers, garden sheds;
  • Verandahs & pergolas;
  • Gazebos;
  • Garages;
  • Workshops;
  • Dwellings;
  • Commercial buildings including fitouts or refurbishments of Industrial buildings; and
  • Changes to ground levels (e.g. cutting and filling soil) Retaining walls.

Q: If I need Approval what is involved?

A: Approval is obtained by lodging an application through your local council or having it certified by a private certifier. For Lake Macquarie and Newcastle councils the process is best described as:

  1. Submit your plans to local council;
  2. Have plans submitted to and approved by Mine Subsidence (if needed); and
  3. Have plans submitted and approved by relevant Water authority.

Your local council will usually have detailed processes set out on their web site.
Lake Macquarie Council: www.lakemac.com.au
Newcastle Council: www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/development

Q: What is needed after Approval is given?

A: After development consent has been given, a construction certificate must be obtained before any building work can start. The certificate verifies that :

  • The construction plans and specifications are consistent with the approval and comply with the Building Code of Australia.
  • All required contributions and fees have been paid.
  • All development consent conditions have been met.

Q: Who can issue me a Construction Certificate?

A: A Construction Certificate can be issued by an accredited private certifier or a consent authority. Certification can, usually at your option, be done by a private certifier or by council (a consent authority).

Q: What are the Building Codes and where do I find them?

A: The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is a set of technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures throughout Australia. The BCA is produced and maintained by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). A certified builder will be aware of the current codes and how they affect your project. For more information please refer:


Q: I have an existing structure on my property does it have to meet the current Building Code for that structure?

A: No. In summary, only new structures have to meet the current code. The two exceptions are:

  • • If there are safety or structural issues with the structure; and
  • • Where repairs or alterations have been carried out.

Q: What is a BASIX and why do I need one?

A: A BASIX is an assessment of a proposed design that considers the environmental impacts against sustainability targets. Many developments require a BASIX to be submitted with plans. For more please refer:


Q: What is a Statement of Environmental effects and why do I need one?

A: A Statement of Environmental Effects is a short report that recognises and explains the likely impacts of the proposal and how you will minimise these impacts. The statement includes written information that cannot be readily shown on your plans and drawings. Refer to:


Q: Why do I need a Structural Engineer?

A: Structural engineers can make sure that the building components (walls, roof beams etc) in your house are capable of supporting the forces caused when you do a renovation. You might need a structural engineer if your building has one or more of these elements:

  • Reinforced concrete columns;
  • Earth retaining walls;
  • Roofs in cyclone affected areas;
  • Footings in clay soils or on soft or sloping sites;
  • Steel floor beams and roof girders; and
  • Suspended concrete slabs.

Q: Why do I need a Geotechnical inspection/report?

A: If there is chance your project may be affected by rock or unstable earth, you will need a geotechnical Inspection or report. Geotechnical engineering is concerned with the engineering properties and behavior of earth materials (soil and rock). A geotechnical survey will assess the suitability of a site for your proposed project.

Q: Why do I need a survey?

A: The system of private property and property ownership depends upon knowing exactly where boundaries lie between properties. A survey will confirm that a project is undertaken in the correct location. It would be embarrassing and costly to build your house, extension or retaining wall only to find out it is not in the right place!



Tammie McDonald has been the only one throughout the process of our Additions/Alterations that was helpful and knowledgeable, we were lost until we met Tammie, this was our first time doing such a build and we were new in the area and didn’t know anyone to rely on, the builders, engineers, surveyor and certifiers were all too impatience to explain things to us, Tammie took the time, explained the process and guided us all the way. Tammie was also upfront and reasonable with her price. I would highly recommend her to anyone doing a build.
Kind Regards, Donna Wand.

My husband and I have known Tammy for approximately 2 years. Tammy designed our beautifully new Hamptons house, ensuring that we were completely happy with her suggestions and ready to accommodate any changes we required. Once the design was approved, Tammy drew the plans and liaised with the local Council on our behalf. Tammy is always courteous, helpful and extremely competent at what she does and at all times considered what we were envisioning and how she could help us achieve our goal with as little stress as possible. The standard of her work was exceptional. Tammy is very approachable and willing to give her all to her client’s best interests. We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Tammy to any prospective clients in the future.
Vicki and Phil Palmer

Tammie’s client sensitivity is up there with the best and is accommodating in every aspect of the design, draft and submission process. Her design and drafting experience shows through all the way.
Peter and Belinda Garfoot.

We used TMJ Drafting to design the renovation and extension of our Hamilton home. We met with Tammie on site where she was able to give us some practical tips and advice. She took the time to understand what we were trying to achieve and provided us with a number of concepts to consider, all within the agreed timeframe. We’re happy to recommend TMJ Drafting.
Tone & Barbara Gibson

We were fortunate enough to meet Tammie when we were owner/builders. Tammie drew the plans for our extension of our house. Halfway through the process we changed our initial concept and had to resubmit plans to the council. During this process Tammie helped us with the application, redrawing plans and providing invaluable input for the project. Navigating the bureaucratic process as novices can be very confusing. Tammie’s expertise helped alleviate a lot of our concerns. Extremely happy with our home!
Karen & Steve Lenton

Tammie created our dream house without us even knowing what that was. We told her our needs first and then our wants and she somehow designed a home that incorporated both and more, paying close attention to detail and practicality. Her passion and professionalism is second to none, she really listens and then delivers. We couldn’t be happier with the design of our forever home!
Chloe Lindsay


Outline Design

+ Drafting

ABN: 45632119987

Phone: 0409 603 043

Email: tammie@outlinedesign.net.au

Fully insured