Is a draftsman really cheaper than an architect?

The answer might surprise you.
superdraft draftsman

Many renovators and new home owners in Australia ask whether the services of a draftsman is cheaper than the services of an architect.

In most cases, yes, but the services of a draftsman might not be enough.

Let's 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.

draftsman architect

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.

draftsman architect

We further discussed the roles of a draftsman and an architect in your new home and renovation project in one of our previous blogs. Check it out and see more how these professionals can help you.

So, is a draftsman the one your home project needs?

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 will be a great decision.

Superdraft is one of Australia's largest networks of architects, building designers, architectural drafters, and builders, and construction professionals. Sign up to our project planning app and get access to hundreds of skilled and expert design and construction professionals.

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