Why should I hire a draftsman/designer over an architect?
It comes down to cost and how much control you want over your project/plans. An architect charges a percentage of the market value of the custom home or remodel, usually around 6%, which means on a 400K home you would pay about $24,000 this usually doesn’t include the cost of a structural engineer. The architect also then decides what type of windows, lights, cabinets, even paint you should use. Basically they control every aspect of the build.
A draftsman/designer usually charges by the square footage on a custom home, around $2.00 to $3.75 a square foot. Example a 4000 square foot home would run between $6,000 to $10,000. Room additions are usually between $1500-2800 depending on the size of the addition and the size of the existing home. A draftsman takes your ideas and drafts up the general floor plan, but everything else is up to you regarding color, cabinetry, lightening locations, etc.
Are there additional fees in addition to the draftsman’s fee?
Yes, once the plans have been drafted up to your approval, you will need to find a structural engineer to calculate and draft structural plans. The structural engineer works closely with the draftsman. Their fees usually run between $3500-$6500 depending on the design of the home or remodel. You also will need to pay for Title 24 Energy Calculations, they run anywhere from $150-$500 depending on the square footage and the company that you use.
No matter whether you hire an architect or draftsman, you will also need to pay permit fees to the city, fees to the fire department, school fees and sometimes depending on the area fees to the health department.
Does a draftsman have to be licensed?
No, a draftsman can draft up to a two story home without a license. They are required to have a business license to operate within the city their business is located.
How long does it take to get plans completed?
There is no cut and dry answer to this question. There are many factors that control the completion date. It depends on the complexity and size of the design, the amount of time the client takes to review the plans, the amount of time it takes the client to provide us with information needed on plans, such as Assessor’ number, location of outlets, type of roofing materials, size and model numbers of appliance are just a few of the factors involved. The average time is 6 to 8 weeks before they can be submitted to the government agency for the purpose of pulling a permit. This is never a hard and fast rule. I usually tell my clients to allow for at least 4-5 months from start of plans to the pulling of the permits.