Dr Retro Virtual Visits

“What will I get out of a Dr Retro Virtual Visit?”

From the comfort and privacy of your home, without the need to meet face-to-face you will get a professional pre-renovation, planning, design, and building consultation, with information, and links to resources which has been tailored for your home and needs.

“Where can I get a Dr Retro Virtual Visit?”

Secret Design Studio has been offering an in-home, pre-renovation design and building advice service for our clients since 2010 called “Dr Retro House Calls”.  Due to demand in interstate and regional areas a virtual version of this service has been offered since 2017, originally using Skype, but switching to the Zoom video-conference platform in 2018.

Today our “Dr Retro Virtual Visits” service has expanded to cover the whole of Australia, including all capital cities and regional areas that have a reasonable internet connection to a client’s home.  You will need to have access to a smart phone or a computer connected to the internet.


“Who would find a Dr Retro Virtual Visit useful?”

Anybody who needs to consult a professional about planning, design, building, and detail. In visiting well over 1000 homes we have seen the results of many poorly considered and poorly planned renovations and extensions. Sadly, some of these, which have cost the owners a lot of money, actually detract from the value of the home.  It is important to get the basics right at the start of a project, so this service is tailored for anybody who needs help and is not in a position to have a “Dr Retro House Call” to their home.

“What knowledge and experience can Dr Retro bring to my home?”

  • Experience working in the Australian residential building industry with a design focus since 1994 with many clients, consultants and builders.
  • Over 1000 “Dr Retro House Calls” to help many owners with pre-renovation, design-focussed advice.
  • Dozens of “Dr Retro Virtual Visits” completed since 2017
  • Owner builder experience with three different homes
  • Almost 1500 Houzz Design Dilemma and Renovation forum questions answered online since 2015
  • Best of Houzz awards for service in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

“Can I record a Dr Retro Virtual Visit for my future reference?”

Yes, the information prepared prior to the consultation is specific for your home, location and your questions, so we are very happy for you to record the consultation for your future reference.  However, the information provided is unique to your home and situation, and won’t be applicable to other people’s homes.

“How does a Dr Retro Virtual Visit work?”

Step 1 – Contact Secret Design Studio using an enquiry form with your contact and address details.

Enquire Now

Step 2 – Secret Design Studio will be in contact to work out a suitable date and time for your household.  Weekend appointment times do book up first in advance.

Step 3 – You will then receive a quote with your preferred time. Once you have accepted your quote online, then that appointment time is reserved for you.

Step 4 – Send Secret Design Studio the FIVE key questions that you need answers for, as well as any floorplans and any photos that illustrate the questions.  Some ideas for questions are set out below.

Step 5 – Secret Design Studio then spends 1 to 2 hours researching the answers and solutions to your questions using our extensive building library, our online resources and our experience with previous clients and their projects.  In some cases you may be contacted for additional photos or clarification of your questions.

Step 6 – Join your Zoom video-conference appointment at the agreed date and time.  While Zoom will work on computers and tablets,  a Dr Retro Virtual Visit is perhaps best on a smart phone for the best mobility around your home, so Dr Retro can virtually visit the areas you would like to discuss.

Step 7 – After the video conference is complete we will send a follow-up email with links to some of the information discussed for your future reference (such as links to products).

Step 8 – At the conclusion of the meeting an invoice you will receive an invoice based on the accepted quote with payment terms of seven days.


“What type of questions can be answered?”

Often when people start to think about a renovation, they often suffer from “analysis paralysis” as there are so many big and little decisions, and they don’t have the information they need to make them.

Questions that clients ask Dr Retro generally fall into three categories:

Typical Big Issue Questions:

  • Knockdown or Renovate?
  • First floor extension or move house?
  • My draftsperson can draw, but they can’t design, what can I do?
  • What are the traps in using a Design and Build company?
  • I don’t know if the plans for my new home are right, can you help before I sign the contract?

Typical Medium Issue Questions :

  • What are my options to add an ensuite?
  • Should I render my brickwork?
  • How do I make my house more energy efficient?
  • What flooring options are good for asthmatics?
  • What is the best way to stage my renovation?
  • How do I find a good builder?

Typical Small Issue Questions:

  • How do I choose the right white paint?
  • Does my tapware need to match my door handles?
  • Are subway tiles the best choice with my new bathroom?
  • What is the best style of light fittings for my cathedral ceilings?

“How much does a Virtual Visit cost?”

Most “Dr Retro Virtual Visits” are based on 2 to 3  hours of research and preparation prior to the consultation,  then a one hour of  video conference time, with a follow-up email after the consultation for links to resources and additional information.

  • Sometimes more preparation time is required when reviewing plans designed by others.
  • Sometimes more questions crop up during the consultation that increase the conference beyond an hour so a small charge for additional time is required.

The standard charge for a weekday virtual visit is only $595 plus GST.

The information prepared prior to the consultation is specific for your home, location and your questions, so we are very happy to record the consultation on video for your future reference.  However, the information provided will not apply for other people’s homes, as every home is unique.

Interested in finding out more or booking in a “Dr Retro Virtual Visit”?

Would you like to read more? Then download this free pdf file “What will I get out of a Dr Retro Virtual Visit?”