Image by Brett Lider
Many renovators and new home builders in Australia ask whether a draftsman is cheaper than an architect to hire for their building project. The simple answer to this question is yes, but not always. We first need to take a look at what these two professionals do and how they charge for their services.
Architects ensure that your property is built according to council standards and that your project runs smoothly. Aside from producing architectural documentation, they act as liaisons between you and your builders to ensure the construction stage runs on time and within budget.
As licensed professionals, architects are more equipped with knowledge and experience from having received significantly more training than draftsmen. This allows them to offer a wider variety of architectural services. Because of this, an architect’s rates can be higher than that of a draftsman. Some architects charge a percentage of total project cost, not including costs incurred from project management and back and forth during the preliminary design stage.
That, however, does not necessarily make an architect more expensive. Although architects do charge more for their work, the added expertise of an architect can speed up the preliminary design process, as architects can design and draw with council approval in mind and provide less risk of rejection and having to redraw plans.
A draftsman often collaborates with architects, many times within the same architectural firm, to produce architectural documentation. Draftsmen are responsible for creating scale drawings and adding detail to an architect’s existing plans. Being highly experienced in construction, a good draftsman can also guide you through the council approval process.
Many draftsmen charge by the hour, which can make a draftsman cheaper than an architect. Note, however, that this is not always the case. Changing plans will cost extra. Draftsman rates do not normally cover council submission, so this can be another source of extra costs. Also, a draftsman might charge more for drawing complex designs.
So when is a draftsman cheaper to hire than an architect? It all boils down to knowing what you want. If you have a detailed plan in place for your building project and you simply need clear drawings for your builders’ reference, hiring a draftsman can give you excellent value. However, if you value professional design input and would like to know all your design options, hiring an architect might save you more money.
Contact us about your project, and we can give you a free quote and more information about our affordable architecture and drafting services in Australia.