Welcome to our Company

“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

John Ruskin

Smart Plans is operated by David Barker who has more than 30 years experience in the industry. David believes in architectural guidance rather than dictation. He says that “If you are going to live or work in a building, then you should ultimately be comfortable in its environment.”

“However what makes one person comfortable may not have the same effect on another, so it is essential that you create a building that both satisfies the owner, now, and yet, will be attractive to a new owner in the future; That, is a function of architecture”

Smart Plans is well equipped to provide help, guidance and technical knowhow; and a whole lot of architectural design flair thrown in. We are equally at home with designing new houses as with alterations and additions to old, enjoying the challenges that either present. We employ the very latest computer aided design software, providing stunning 3D renditions. Even animated walk-thrus and sun tracking is available.

The environment is ever in the forefront of our work. We are enthusiastic about energy efficiency in architecture and have a wealth of knowledge in this field which may not be available to other designers.

Having spent some time as a Building Consent Officer, David has a hands on knowledge of the way Councils work and because of this we have built up a good relationship with the Local Authorities in the region.

Smart Plans designs have employed not only traditional timber framing but also a number with a steel frame.

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Our office is located in north Canterbury where clients can meet to discuss their requirements, or else we can offer a no obligation consultation at your own home or premises.

David is a professional member of the Architectural Designers of New Zealand Inc. where admission is granted only if one can show experience, expertise and appropriate education, qualification and continuing professional development.

Smart Plans also carry Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.

David is a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP design class 2) which means that he is able to produce documentation necessary for restricted building work

Licensed Building Practitioner Architectural Designers New Zealand


The Designer

Educated in the UK David has lived in New Zealand for fourteen years and is now a New Zealand citizen. He began his Architectural career in his home town of Lincoln where he also studied Art at the University of Lincoln. Was a building Consent Officer at Christchurch City Council for a couple of years.


What Our Client Says

Serena & Rob

David designed a very clever plan for a difficult renovation to our house in Loburn. We were on a tight budget, and with David's expertise, we managed to save a considerable amount. The end result is a lovely sunny house, great workDavid, Thank You!"

Debbie and Pete

Thoughly enjoyed working with David, his expertise and knowledge was superior in turning a home into a retail shop.

Roy and Jetje

It's been great working with you and we appreciate that the process with the council went very smoothly.

We will happily recommend you to anyone we hear are planning to build. You never know, we might be knocking at your door within the next couple of years because we are thinking of building our next home at some stage, but first we have to see how it goes with the experiences of this one.