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How Much Does A Draftsman Cost?

$80 - $200 per hour

    What is a Draftsman?

    If you are building a home from the ground up, one of the unexpected costs that you might not have factored into the equation is the cost of hiring a drafter. Even if you buy completed plans, it is still a good idea to have a draftsman look over them to make sure that they meet the requirements of local building codes. Sometimes, a draftsman is called an architectural draftsman. A draftsman makes detailed drawings of the building project, including new homes, additions, and granny flats. 

    How Much Does a Draftsman Cost?

    Depending on the project’s complexity as well as other factors, the cost for a draftsman’s services can range from $3,000 to $15,000. The average cost of a draftsman is $9,000. An experienced drafter can cost between $80 to $200 per hour. However, some draftsmen charge a price per square metre of the project, which is usually around $20 to $40 per square metre. 

    The cost of hiring a draftsman can vary according to the city and state where you live. The average hourly rate for drafting services in Australia is $25. The following reflects average differences in price throughout various areas of Australia. Keep in mind that these are hourly rates, and many drafting firms will cost about double these rates per hour for the final project. 

    City Average drafting cost per m2
    Sydney $20 – $30
    Melbourne $25 – $35
    Brisbane $20 – $35
    Canberra $25 – $40
    Perth $25 – $35
    Darwin $20 – $40
    Hobart $20 – $35
    Adelaide $20 – $30


    Factors Impacting the Cost of a Draftsman

    Draftsman cost can vary according to many different factors. When you ask, how much to draw up house plans, here are a few of the factors that will affect the cost of the project. 



    Where you live will affect the cost of hiring a draftsman. Not only does the state where you live affect the price, but the terrain and conditions that the draftsman must account for in the plans can affect cost. For instance, areas that are subject to frequent high winds or fires can drive up the cost of the building plans. 


    House Size

    Many drafters charge by the square metre. Therefore, the bigger the square footage of the home, the more it will cost. A simple extension of a room will cost less than a large, multi-story house. 


    Skill Level

    When hiring a draftsman, you can expect to pay more for someone with more experience than someone who is just starting. Of course, there are benefits to hiring an experienced drafter. For instance, they might be more familiar with the different situations that you might encounter. 



    The complexity of the project is another factor to consider. A simple wood-frame home will cost less than a more artistic design with unique features, such as glass walls or unusual building materials. 



    Altering plans that have already been approved can be less expensive than starting the entire project from scratch. Regardless of the project, you can expect to go through one or two rounds of revisions before the project is approved to begin. 


    Assistance with Council Submissions

    Some draftsmen’s pricing includes several submissions to the council for approval. For others, each submission will cost extra, so be sure to find this out before you hire someone. 


    Requiring a Structural Engineer

    If your project requires a structural engineer or architect, these are extra costs you will encounter. Many factors can affect whether this is needed. For instance, seismic activity and flooding potential can be a factor, as well as zoning restrictions.

    Price Estimates for Drafting Different Types of House Plans

    Residential drafting fees vary according to the nature and type of project. Here are a few examples of floor plan prices for various kinds of projects. 


    Building a New House

    Plans for building a new house can cost anywhere from $2,750 for a small home up to $10,000 or more for a larger custom home. 


    Renovating a Current House

    If you want to redesign and renovate your existing home, the average cost is around $4,000. However, if you are upgrading an older home that needs extensive work to bring it up to code, you can expect to pay quite a bit more. 


    Adding a Home Extension

    The cost of adding a medium or large two-room extension to your home is around $3,400 on average. 

    Three drawings showing different angles of a proposed home extension

    Example of house extension drawings / Source: Concept Architects

    CAD Drawing & Drafting

    What Is It?

    CAD is a powerful software package that takes the place of pencil drawings. Engineers and drafters must pay a subscription fee of around $1,300 per year to use the program. The advantage of CAD is that revisions to the drawings are easier than using the old pencil and drafting tools method. 


    How Much Does It Cost?

    CAD drafting servicing prices will add to the cost of the project, but these are minimal, compared to the time and money spent in revisions. They are standard practice in the business, and many local engineers now require them for any plans that are submitted. Also, CAD allows you to get complete house plans with cost estimates for materials.

    How to Hire a Draftsman

    Here are a few tips for hiring a drafter and beginning the journey to your dream home. 


    How to Create an Accurate Estimate

    You might call two different draftsmen and get vastly different cost estimates for the same project. However, there are some things that you can do to help make sure that you receive an accurate estimate. 

    • When comparing packages, make sure you understand what additional services are included.
    • Have a good idea of what you want, including pictures and examples. 
    • Hire someone who has experience with local codes and regulations. 


    Licencing and Qualifications

    Licencing and qualifications to become a draftsman vary by state. However, there are some necessary certifications and requirements that all must meet. They must be registered to practice in the state where they provide services. 

    • All architects and drafters must be TAFE (Technical and Further Education) certified. 
    • Many have college training and certificates.
    • Many have CAD training and certification. 


    How to Save Money Hiring a Draftsman

    Hiring the cheapest bidder might not always be the best choice. It is best to hire someone who has the experience and who is likely to have fewer revisions required in the process. 

    • Compare packages and know what is included in them. 
    • Changes cost money, so be sure about what you want beforehand. 
    • Look at factors, such as experience when choosing the right person for the job. 



    * The cost data is based on Oneflare and third-party sources


    What is the Difference Between a Draftsman and an Architect?

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    The difference between architect vs draftsman cost is high. An architect might cost between $80 to $200 per hour, where a draftsman is in the $50 to $130 range. An architect can perform construction management services during the project, but a draftsman cannot perform these services. An architect must have at least five years of study and two years of accounting from an accredited University. A drafter might have a certificate or associates degree, and they usually work under the direction of an architect.

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