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Do I need an architect or draftsman for my home renovation?

11:09 AM

You’re sitting on the couch with a cuppa and observing your living room. You’re feeling pretty comfortable with everything around you, except the nagging feeling that the house needs a bit of a refresh.

As a result, you find yourself starting to think about renovating and you’re suddenly drowning in ideas. We’ve all been there.

Home renovation plans are an expensive exercise and you always want the best bang for your dollar. But who do you go with to get the job done – an architect or a draftsman?


The differences


The main difference between both professions is usually the length of study undertaken and the entry requirements for the actual course. This then contributes towards their individual skill sets and associated costs when you hire them.

Draftsmen are great at what they do – you tell them what you want and they provide you with a couple of designs with slight variations. But the onus is on you to ensure you have thought of everything, as they usually do not work on things that you haven’t planned out. You then have to seek out the necessary council regulations, ensure your job adheres to it and then get quotes from builders. 

Architects are naturally considered all-rounders, when compared to draftsmen. Not only do they spend twice as long studying to get their qualification, they are also inclined to spend more time working on your job.

The process with architects are generally lengthier, too, as there is a lot of going back and forth. But that’s because they consider all your ideas (and those that you hadn’t even thought of), your lifestyle and what restrictions there might be in terms of approvals.

Additionally, they conduct more groundwork and explore each and every possible option, so that the work is tailored to you completely. This allows you to make effective and well-informed decisions for your home renovations. While it’s time-consuming, it’s always worth it.


Going beyond construction


Architects then assist you in ensuring your renovation meets regulations within your local councils. That also means providing support in sourcing you builders and other tradespeople who can work together and complete the job for you on time and on budget – and to these standards.

Builders generally favour architectural drafting services, as the plans are more comprehensive. It may even be down to the detail of powerpoint placements and the type of insulation required.


If you choose a draftsman…


However, if you decide to proceed with a draftsman, make sure that you have covered all bases. Ensure they are aware of regulations and that the plan provided to you is not just a generic off-the-mill design that isn’t really suited to your needs. The most important thing is to be vigilant that the job is not going to end up costing you another 50% of the original quote just because they had to make unnecessary changes to align with building regulations.


So if you’re thinking “Should I hire an architect to renovate my house?”, it’s always important to consider whether you’re wanting something custom-tailored, or a more cookie-cutter approach. At the end of the day, the results will vary from this level of detail between the two professionals.