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How Much Does a Draftsman Charge to Plan Your House?

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You have worked hard and it's time to enjoy the fruits of your labour with a custom built house, just as you want it. However, you need professional assistance creating plans for your dream house and a draftsman can help. But what kind of draftsman should you hire and do you also need the services of an architect? Plus, what is all this going to cost? Let's take a closer look at draftsman, what they do, and how they can help you with your house plans. Plus, we'll check into the average costs for these services.


What is an Architectural Draftsman?

When you need home plans, architectural drafters can create drawings of your home with all the measurements. They will design plans for a room addition or if you want to build a garage next to your home. In some parts of Australia (Queensland and Victoria) draftsman must have a special license.

Today's draftsman can do detailed work and they use computer aided design programs to assist them. This allows them to create three dimensional images of your home and if you need to make changes, it is a simple matter for the draftsman to change things, without the need for producing all new drawings. In fact, the drawings are all stored digitally, and may be emailed or printed out when need.

Your draftsman may also help you with building codes and regulation issues, to make sure you have no delays. Many drafters work with architects on home plans, and this raises the question, "what is an architect and should I hire an architect or draftsman? Is there anyone else qualified for the job?


What Does an Architect Do?

When you need a home built, your architect can handle the design and also manage the construction process for you. For example, an architect may design the entire home and furnish drawings. Plus, he will work with contractors to make sure your home is finished on time and your budget is adhered to.

Architects are there to create project budgets and also make sure all necessary permits are obtained from the proper sources. They also check on the construction work from time to time and perform inspections.

To become an architect, it takes at least five years of university study and on the job experience. Plus, they must pass a registration exam. Your architect is more than qualified to help you build your home.


You Can Hire a Building Designer

Many building designers are qualified to create your home plans. Building designers are usually draftsmen who specialise in house and building design. They can do more than simply draw what you want. They are there to help you make important decisions on the design of your new home. For example, your designer may visit the property and perform a site assessment before creating plans.


Who Do I Hire?

If it is a small house or simple project a draftsman can handle the job and is the most economical choice. Drafting fees may be by the hour or a percentage of the project cost. For instance, you may pay $75 an hour for services (average charges are 50-100 dollars hourly). If your drafting professional charges by project fees, they average about 5 percent.

Building designer fees are usually a percent of the project fees and they will vary according to the services you receive. For full services you may pay as much as 8 percent.

Architects are the most expensive but you get the most services. Like draftsman and designers, full services will cost more and can be as much as 15 percent of your project costs. This can be $10,000 or more when creating a custom built home. Fees may vary for the services too. For instance, you may pay a higher percentage for some services like construction documentation or supervision.


Can a Draftsman Handle The Job?

Draftsmen or building designers can handle some jobs. For example, if you would like to save on architect costs, you may hire a drafter to create plans for your home. You can then take these plans to the architect and he or she can assist you with the rest of the building process.


Working with Your Draftsman

Schedule a consultation and talk to the drafter. This gives you the chance to see what kind of talent and abilities this person has. In fact, it's best to look at a portfolio beforehand and talk to previous clients. If this person has designed homes in the past (and the clients are satisfied with the work) this is a good sign.

Sit down with the drafter and discuss exactly what you need. He or she will provide you with a quote on services and you can decide if it is worth it or not. Make sure to mention if you need your plans submitted to the local counsel for approval. Total fees can be in the area of $4000 for a complete house design.

A good draftsman with experience in home design can make your job much easier and can also work with an architect.


Am I Better Off Hiring an Architect or a Draftsman?

In many cases, it may be easier for you to hire an architect for full services. An architect can take care of all the things a draftsman can, and many often have draftsmen working with them in their business. Even though these services are more expensive you can receive complete services and this guarantees your new home will be everything you expect. This is an important consideration.

On the other hand, a home designer (architectural draftsman) with a good reputation may be able to handle most of the things you need and you may save a considerable amount of money. If you can receive a free consultation, it is a good idea to talk to both a drafting professional and an architect so you can evaluate the services and determine which is best for your needs. Remember to choose a professional you feel comfortable working with, because a custom built home is a major investment.

Figures in this article are only meant for guidelines and your costs could vary significantly one way or the other.

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