Small Business Brief


Got Plans? When You Might Need a Draftsman

You’ve heard of an architect, but what’s a draftsman and when might you need to hire one for your business? Here’s what you need to know.

Do you need to hire a draftsman or an architect?

Yes, there is a difference between the two. Many people confuse these professions, and while there is some overlap, there are many differences.

Read on to learn what those differences are and when you should hire a draftsman.

What is a Draftsman?

A draftsman uses computer-aided design (CAD) software to create designs into technical drawings and blueprints.

Draftsman can work for architectural firms, engineering companies, or they may work on their own.

Draftsman vs. Architect

There are two major differences between an architect and draftsman: education and costs.

Architects are licensed to work in their particular state. They also have had to get a bachelor’s degree, pass a state board exam, and take continuing education classes.

Draftsman has had about two years of training at a technical school. They’ll get a certificate or an associate’s degree in drafting. After school, they don’t need to be licensed or take continuing education classes.

With all of that expertise and training, an architect will cost more, in many cases thousands more.

When to Hire a Draftsman

You can hire drafting services for a variety of projects.

Most of the homes in America are actually designed by a draftsman. For most home projects and renovations, a draftsman will be able to do the job. You may also request that the plans are approved by an architect or engineer if there are complexities like venting that need to be handled.

A draftsman is a good choice if you have a vision for your project and you need someone to put it on paper that a contractor or engineer can take and complete.

For example, you have a renovation that needs to be done on an investment property.

Hiring an architect is a good (and necessary) option if you plan to design a complex commercial building. If you want your home to have an iconic look that is unique. Think of a classic Frank Lloyd Wright home.

Before making your hiring decision, be sure to check with your local and state regulations. Some places require that you hire an architect for certain types of projects.

How to Hire a Draftsman

You do need to do your homework when you hire a draftsman. The requirements to be a draftsman are much more relaxed than for architects. Virtually anyone with a two-year degree from a technical school can hang a shingle and start their drafting business.

When it comes time to hire a draftsman, you want to trust that they know what they’re doing. They need to be experts in municipal codes and regulations. You don’t want your project to stop because the initial plans were up to code.

That type of mistake could cost the thousands of dollars you were trying to save.

You’ll want to get references, see previous work, and research online reviews.

Work with a Draftsman

While most people are aware of what architects do, many don’t know about draftsman. They generally don’t know the difference between an architect and a draftsman.

It’s like they’re the best-kept secret in home projects. Hiring the right one can save you thousands of dollars on creating drafting plans for your next project.

Want more tips for your next project? Take a look at these real estate articles.