What do our valued clients say?

I originally started to use Lateral Building Design 7 years ago when I began developing blocks of land. I found John to be very helpful and patient while I found my way learning the ropes. From completing developments I moved onto owning a building company that specialises in custom homes. I have enjoyed a supportive relationship with John over the years. The main reason why I continue to use John and his team is because the are genuine in their approach and very knowledgeable in their field. Too often I have seen other companies promise the world to the client and have it knocked back at council for obvious planning issues. Lateral Building Design offer great solutions to developments and homes and will give you the best advice in building your home. They typically review your requirements and provide you with a few scenarios and advise you what will work and what will be pushing the envelope with council.

The team will also provide you with a great floor plan that works and meets your intended purpose. If you are building a home to build and sell, they will specifically design the home to ensure you maximise your return.

When I meet people without a design, I refer them to Lateral as they will have a great experience and outcome.

Grant Stevenson – Hazelvale Homes

As a client of Lateral Building Design for many years, it is our pleasure to provide a testimonial to their consistently reliable and efficient service in all aspects of the building design process.

We have experienced high levels of client satisfaction with designs that are both aesthetically pleasing, fulfill all the requirements of the client and of the building site. John’s comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the building code ensures designs meet all the relevant regulations and individual council requirements.

Professional and prompt, their documentation is of a high standard and any issue we have is dealt with quickly and professionally. This attention to detail in assisting clients to gain both planning and building permits makes a complicated process easier for us as builders and for our clients.

I would highly recommend Lateral Building Design to any person requiring their services.

Chris Brownhill – Brownhill Homes

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to say thanks to Corban, yourself and the team at Lateral Building Design.
Right from the initial discussions I felt extremely at ease that Lateral Building Design could assist me. Corban Renouf who handled my project was a fantastic communicator and very knowledgeable. He took a lot of stress out of the project and kept it moving ensuring that it was completed well before the due date.
I would highly recommend Lateral building design and wouldn’t hesitate to contact them for any future projects.

Luke Dowsing

I have known Donna & John for quite a number of years now and have contributed to Lateral Building Design’s marketing material via design advice in their Lateral Lowdown publication. Donna is also a close business associate in a business marketing group I belong to. I’ve always found my dealings with their business to be of the utmost professionalism and attention to detail is high on their list of values. They also care deeply about the experience their clients receive and take pride in being the best of service that they can be. For that I highly recommend them to any developer or family wishing to have their dream home designed.

Tania Bell – Greenroom Interiors

When I first met with Mark I was new to property development and it was my first project. After working with Mark on that project and being guided through the process and how the system works, I have gone on to many successful developments over the years and have made it my career and business. Working with Mark and Lateral Building Design is one part of that success.

Ross Weaver – Colver Constructions

When we started a few years ago to look at ways of redeveloping our block, a friend recommended us to Lateral Building Design. From the first meeting with John at our old home, he understood our brief and Kym gave us a design that fitted the brief. Our needs were met with professionalism and courtesy through out the planning and building permit stages. Kym was able to guide us through all stages required to the completion of our new home. We have recently completed the building and appreciate the work that has been put into the design phase by LBD. We would highly recommend LBD for future design and development work.

Geoff Spink

I have recently worked with Liza and the team on three separate projects for our house renovation. Not only is she wonderful to deal with but is also extremely professional and has taken all the stress out of dealing with council and arranging all permits etc. I would highly recommend Lateral Building design.

Amanda Da Gama Pinto

A Line Surveying has been associated with Lateral Building Design for over 21 years. For the first couple of years, this was obviously with the original business RV Daniel & Assoc. From the time John Harding-Smith took over the business 01-07-02 to the present day, we have been involved in hundreds of projects together. The relationship between us, LBD and the client has always been extremely professional and just as important, transparent. Whilst we ‘bookend’ the development process, providing valuable surveying information at the start of the design process, to subdivision of the completed development at the end, the majority of the ‘meat’ in the middle, liaising with clients, designing the appropriate development for any given site, the ‘heavy lifting’ dealing with council planners etc is all performed admirably by John and his dedicated staff.

It’s always a pleasure to work with LBD and we look forward to many more years of cooperation between the two companies as we assist the local community to fulfil their development dreams, whether the clients are builders, developers, or your ‘every-day’ mum and dad. From basic house extensions, to multi-unit developments, we ensure the same standard of professional and courteous service is provided to all.

Craig Stewart – A Line Surveying

Thank you to Catherine, John, Mark and the team at Lateral Building Design for their great work on our 2 townhouse Mitcham development.
We chose Lateral Building Design for their high success rate in getting planning applications approved, indicating a good understanding of councils’ planning schemes and requirements.
Their experience and advice in the design stage, the planning approval stage as well as in the lead-up to our property purchase were invaluable.
When we encountered obstacles in the planning process, Lateral Building Design’s past experience allowed them to guide us around these for the best possible outcome.
Catherine and the team always promptly responded to our enquires and we enjoyed working with them. As first time developers we felt supported throughout the entire process and highly recommend Lateral Building Design to anyone embarking upon any similar project.

Rob James

I hired Lateral to prepare plans for a large house renovation adding living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and modify the currently floor plan. I have found Lateral to be very professional, Liza Karabulut was the designer looking after my plans. She has been very helpful offering up ideas and has always kept me up to date with progress with council etc. I would highly recommend Lateral to anyone looking requiring renovation plans.

Scott Lester

I am currently going through a development and since day 1 I have found Lateral to be very professional and very efficient at what they do. Kym Hawksworth in particular is the designer looking after my job. She has been very helpful and has always kept me upto date with progress with council etc. I would highly recommend Lateral to anyone looking to build!

Steve O’Meara

We love our new home! Thank you Lateral Building Design. The house was skillfully designed by Lateral Building Design (LBD) and built by Brownhill Homes, producing a home with quality materials and workmanship. This was our first time building and the team at LBD guided us through the designing and permit process, with care and consideration, always available to assist with our queries or concerns. All of our design requirements were included, plus some well thought out additions. LBD turned our rough ideas into a beautifully designed home. The house is functional and comfortable, plus the feature design elements contribute to making the house a joy to live in. When the permit process required amendment to plans, Lateral Building Design was able to satisfy Council’s requirements whilst always producing a design we were happy with. Thank you to the team at LBD for designing our home. We could not be any happier with the result.

Michelle Fuller

If your considering a building design project Lateral Building Design help their clients navigate through the planning process. They offer a complimentary consultation called “Is my project possible?” which can help you avoid any pitfalls and have a realistic expectation of what is possible. My husband and aI had a consultation with them when considering purchasing a property for development and their assistance was invaluable.Highly recommended. Leanne Pilcher

Leanne Pilcher – Forever Lasting Flowers

LBD did the plans for my extension, deck and pergola. They gave me heaps of ideas and really talked me through the permit process. They helped me work out which design would suit me best and the plans were done on time as promised. Totally recommend them.

Kaye Benwell – Client

From our very first meeting Kym of Lateral Building Design, was able to interpret my wish list resulting in plans for two townhouses. Her attention to detail ensured I was able to understand and visualise the plans, which only required a couple of minor changes. Kym handled what seemed like endless Council applications and my countless questions and queries were always answered promptly and with a smile. From our beginnings 18 months ago, I have been very impressed with Kym’s integrity, talent and professionalism and would be happy to recommend her to anyone.

Bev Parkinson

I hired Lateral to prepare plans for a large house renovation adding living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and modify the currently floor plan. I have found Lateral to be very professional, Liza Karabulut was the designer looking after my plans. She has been very helpful offering up ideas and has always kept me up to date with progress with council etc. I would highly recommend Lateral to anyone looking requiring renovation plans.

Scott Lester

Have worked with LBD many times over the years and love their professional, practical & personal approach. Highly recommend them to anyone interested in building their dream home with a trustworthy and supportive team.

Dehn Lay – Dehn Lay Photography

In the past 10 years I found dealing with the team at Lateral Building Design to be very professional, reliable, honest and extremely efficient.

Darren Packer – Redgum Development Pty Ltd

I cannot recommend Lateral Building Design’s free ‘Is My Project Possible?’ consultation enough. It’s perfect for people like us who don’t know where to start, what’s involved, how much it’s going to cost, and just want the peace of mind of knowing whether the project is possible before spending a whole lot of time and money on it!!!

Caren Hendrie – The Hendrie Group

To Catherine & the Team at LBD, Nicole & I had been thinking of building our new house since we bought our block of land 5 years ago. As we have never gone through the process of building we were unsure of where to even start. We had some close friends & family use LBD on their projects & highly recommended them, so we arranged a meeting with Catherine & Mark & never looked back! Over the last 12 months we have been dealing with Catherine to obtain our permits and have our plans drawn up. In this time Catherine has been very informative & very patient! We have had a few changes to make a long the way & nothing was ever an issue. Any questions we had were always answered promptly & thoroughly. It has been a great experience dealing with LBD. Nicole & I would have no issues recommending their services to anyone. Thanks Again LBD!

Brad & Nicole

Worked with Mark Kershaw from LBD for 2 townhouse projects in Croydon. I found Mark very professional, communication excellent and always happy to discuss issues and matters willingly. Both projects have successfully passed all council planning requirements.

Chang Ooi

Thanks for helping us with our house extension. We really appreciate your advice, guidance and your patience in guiding us through the designing stage. You took the effort to explain every step to us. We are also grateful that you always keep us informed during the process and even when you are not around in the office. A good communication is important to all clients and LBD has made that successful. We will definitely recommend LBD to our friends and in fact, we have already spoken highly of LBD with our friends. Cheers.

Jeremy & Aileen Goh

I have been dealing with Mark in excess of 10 years now. I cannot thank him enough for sharing his knowledge, and it has been because of Mark’s wealth of knowledge and support that I have grown the confidence to branch out into the commercial sector of developing. It never ceases to amaze me how Mark manages to keep on top of the forever changing planning requirements and building regulations. Without Mark’s willingness to share this information and his years of experience, many of my opportunities would still be dreams and not a reality.

Nicole & Darren Packer

In June 2017 we engaged Lateral Building Design to assist with a proposed shop and unit development. Ms Kathryn Schutt, Building Designer for Lateral Building Design was assigned to our project.Throughout our twelve-month project and reaching a Notice of Decision to Grant a planning Permit we were regularly kept in contact by Email, telephone and meetings, updating us on all aspects of our project by Kathryn. Kathryn was always readily available to ask and change aspects of our plans without fuss or trouble.Our project was not straight forward, but her professional knowledge and her ability to address planning issues with the council made the process less daunting.We would certainly engage Lateral Building Design for any future planning projects after receiving such professional service, and we would highly recommend their service team to others contemplating a building project.

Grant Hardy

We found working with John, initially, and then Liza a very smooth and enjoyable process. The team communicated in a clear, knowledgeable and friendly style from interpreting our ideas to the final draft. Our brief was to renovate to accessibility standards compliant with our Australian regulations and although Liza had not done this before she was very willing and able to research to meet the requirements. Liza was proactive, offering good advice and researching what was required when appropriate. We would and have recommended Lateral Building Design services to anyone requiring a new build or a home renovation.

Leanne Watson

When I first met with Kym at Lateral Building Design, I was not very familiar about the town planning with Maroondah City Council. I was very cautious about the outcome of town planning. Every developer knows that the town planning stage is extremely crucial, and relaid on the designer or the architect, not only the knowledge and experience they have and also the communication with council’s town planner. Once we engaged the LBD, and had meeting with Kym, I feel like that we put this project to the safer hand. She puts lots effort on this project and the outcome of the project out of our expectation It’ s work great well, we are very satisfied. We would like to recommend to our friends if they have project in Ringwood.

Horace Zheng

Memorable working relationships provide a foundation to share the experience through a personalised testimonial. When I first met with Jane at LBD, I had just bought an inner-city property with accompanying sketch plans from the previous owners. I wanted to make some changes to the plans to reflect a new vision and needed planning and building permits as well. After working with Jane, I realised no task was difficult – changes to plans were discussed and analysed to ensure compliance with council and building policies and regulations, urgent advice over the phone was always confirmed with emails and ideas which may have been from dreamland were quickly made into reality – many thanks Jane. I would recommend Jane (and LBD) to a future client who requires a professional designer who has the patience, valuable experience and personalised service to deliver a building vision.

Denis Vescovi

Lateral Building Design has provided me planning services for the last 6 years and I have been very happy with their services, more specifically the manner in which they treat their customers, suggestion and easy to understand rules and regulation laid out by the respective Councils to get a permit to build. Thanks to David, Mark and other designers.

Jayesh Meanger

In all the dealings with Lateral I’ve had personally they have been fantastic, reliable, quick responses and really easy to deal with A++

Tayla Van Ommen

We have been working with John and Lateral Building Design for over 30 years and they are our trusted resource when it comes to all planning and design aspects. As a small company, that is continually expanding, John has been a blessing in providing advice and feedback during each stage of our expansion. We have always found Lateral Building Design friendly and responsive to deal with and always recommend them to everyone in the industry!

Antol Miglas – Miglas Australia Pty Ltd

It has been three years since we signed our engagement agreement in May 2016 and since then we have been very happy with the service we have received from the requirements phase through to construction, especially from Jane with whom we dealt with mostly. Finally in April 2019, the extensive renovations to our current house were completed and the construction of the new unit at the back of our house was handed over, which we are renting out. This was our first renovation and subdivision and we are grateful to Lateral Building Design for helping us through the design and planning process and liaising with Council and other parties to make our vision a reality. Thanks

Rowene Elliot

We initially sat down with Catherine and John from Lateral Building Design to chat about a potential knock down rebuild of our existing property in Heathmont. From the initial meeting we found both Catherine and John very knowledgeable about council requirements and helped steer us down the right path. We left a list of our design requirements for them to work through and the 1st concept sketch from Catherine was just about perfect. She nailed our brief and with a few minor changes here and there we have come away very happy with the design of our new property. Communication was great the whole way through the process and the team at LBD dealt with council, engineering, soil experts, energy raters etc all on our behalf. Overall a very smooth process and wouldn’t hesitate to use Catherine and the team for our next project.

Glen & Nat Morrissey

When I first met with Jane at LBD, I had a client with a collapsing front veranda that needed replacing. The complication was that it fell under the heritage overlay. I needed planning and building permits as soon as possible. After working with Jane, I was extremely grateful for the help and support I was given from Jane. This enabled us to get our works completed quickly and kept our client happy. I would be more than happy to use Jane and her team for future works.

David Haley – Esteem Group

When I first met with Jane at LBD, I was looking to sub-divide our existing property and sell with plans and permits in place. Working with Jane on this project was a very good experience. I was impressed with how she guided me through the process with her expert knowledge and attention to detail. Jane is a pleasure to work with as she is always pleasant, patient and diligent. LBD provided a detailed and transparent quote for consideration before commencement of work. I would not hesitate to recommend Jane and LBD to anyone wanting to sub-divide a property.

Ian Donaldson

We have been working with John Harding Smith at Lateral Building Design for over 8 years and have developed a great partnership and appreciate his dedication to our projects. His attention to detail, creative approach and collaborative team work gives us the best possible outcomes for every project.

Deb Taylor – Taylored Building Solutions

We decided to go through Lateral Building Design as we were advised that they were professional and, to put it simply, good at what they do. I was 100% satisfied with the service we received from LBD and would absolutely recommend them to others. We worked directly with Kathryn, who was nothing short of professional herself. Kathryn is a wealth of knowledge and has a beautiful and compassionate nature. I feel very lucky to have had to opportunity to work with her.

Lucille Jeffries

Our Projects

We complete hundreds of projects each year ranging from carports & garages, decking & alfresco designs, existing home renovations/extensions, to subdivisions & elaborate multi unit/townhouse developments and commercial projects.


Our Core Values

Our mission is to deliver personalised building design solutions with experience, advice and a focus on your individual needs.

Building Inspiring Spaces

At Lateral Building Design, we are… personal. creative. experienced. Personalised building design solutions expertly delivered with experience, advice and a focus on your individual needs.

Contact Us

Contact us to book in your complimentary “Is My Project Possible…?” consultation.