Draftsman tells the difference between drafting and design

We’re answering the industry’s burning questions about these two often interchanged terms.
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Drafting and design are two of the most misunderstood terms in the industry. Often confused with each other, the role of a draftsman is usually misinterpreted. 

Superdraft can connect customers with the right draftsman and/or designer for their project via our designer match technology which is available through our platform. We also help customers understand the services they are going to need for their renovation or new home build. 

Below, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and provide  comprehensive answers to each one. This article will enlighten you and help you  understand exactly what drafting and design are all about and whether you need one or both services for your own new build or reno project. 

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Q: What is designing?

A: Designing is the initial phase of any architectural project. It starts with a consultation. A designer will speak with the customer to learn about their desired spaces. During the consultation, the designer creates sketches and basic drawings to represent the customer's vision. The designer comes up with clever ideas and applies a wide variety of techniques to create aesthetic and functional spaces that fulfill the customer's brief. Once the design is approved by the customer, the process of drafting the working drawings begins. 

Q: What is drafting?

A: Drafting, on the other hand, is the process of creating the technical working drawings of the project. It is the subsequent phase of the design process as this will provide the technical and precise representation of the home that you are going to build or renovate. Here, the draftsman will produce all the working drawings required via CAD software, be it in two-dimensional or three-dimensional. 

Drafting is an extremely intricate work and requires a skilled draftsman who can deal with every minute detail of the structure. It is very important to get this right because the drawings determine how the project shall proceed.

Q. What does a draftsman do?

A. Draftspeople are responsible for preparing the plans for the building work plus other documentation required to obtain council approval and building permits. They produce drawings that are compliant with the requirements and vision of the customer. They work through the rough sketches and specifications of the designer and use computer-aided design (CAD) software to finalise the drawings. These drawings enable builders to tender for construction of the project as well.

Q. Can a draftsman design a house?

A. A draftsman can get relevant training or experience in building design. They can work on relatively simple new home designs and renovation projects. It’s best to ask the draftsperson what their level of experience is.

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Q. What should a client do if they require major design services in addition to drafting?

A. If you are planning to embark on a larger scale construction project, you should consider working with an architect or building designer instead.

Q. How important is design and drafting for a  new home or renovation project?

A. Drafting and design are arguably the most important step in new home and renovation projects. These two processes give birth to ideas and the drawings that will make them come to life. These two also ensure that the project gets kicked off with an appropriate budget, a workable schedule, and a clear design plan.

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Q. What type of projects require drafting services?

A. All architectural projects, residential and commercial, require drafting services.

Q: Typically how long would a  drafting project take?

A. The turnaround time for a complete set of drawings for a simple new home is typically one to two weeks. Revisions of the drawings usually take 10-13 hours to complete. 

These are just approximations; the time it will take to finish the drawings depends on the scope of work and complexity of the design. It is best to ask the draftsman assigned to your project so you’ll know when to expect the drawings.

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Q. What type of qualification does a draftsperson have?

A. The average draftsman in Australia is likely to be Technical and Further Education (TAFE) qualified, holding a certificate in residential building design or engineering drafting.

Q. How much does it cost to hire a draftsman?

A. In one of our previous blogs about drafting, we mentioned that the cost of hiring a draftsman varies depending on the project’s location, size, complexity, type of project, and level of documentation needed. The draftsman’s skill and experience level are also reflected in their fees.

Q. What should I consider before selecting a draftsperson?

A. Communication is crucial in the professional relationship of the customer and the draftsman. Choose the draftsman whom you are comfortable conversing with and the process will be so much easier. Of course, you should also look into the person’s experiences, skills, and knowledge of the building codes.

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Q. What should a client bring to their first meeting with a draftsperson?

A. It would be nice to prepare a collection of images, or a mood board, or have all your ideas organised. This way, you can discuss all things important with your draftsman. You should be upfront with your budget as well. You may have some terrific ideas, but if these don’t fall within your budget, then it will all go to waste. Having a budget will help you manage your expectations and create a design that you can build.

Q. What type of documents will my draftsperson provide me with?

A. It depends on your needs and the stages of construction. During the design phase, a draftsman typically provides the site plan, floor plans and elevations. Moving forward to the council approval stage, the draftsman adds the shadow diagrams and other drawings required by the local council (e.g. electrical plan, reflected ceiling plan, etc.). During the building approval stage, the draftsman should be able to give a complete set of drawings including the site plan, floor plans, elevations, sections, construction details, and door and window schedule.

Q. Can a draftsperson assist with council or development approvals?

A. Yes, a draftsman can help customers lodge the drawings to get council and developmental approvals. However, many homeowners choose to submit these drawings themselves in order to save money. Many homeowners also do this because they want to establish a good relationship with their local council as well.

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Q: How does a client go about engaging a draftsperson?

A. It is crucial to engage a draftsman from the onset of your new home or  renovation project. Talk to one of our project consultants today and they can help you choose a Superdraft draftsman for your project. 

Well there you have it, some valuable insights straight from a professional draftsperson. 

If you have any further questions around drafting, or require assistance on drafting and design, please reach out to Superdraft (1300 936 740) to discuss your project requirements or request a free quote.

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