• Lisa Mackee

What is the difference? Draftsperson – Building Designer – Architect?

A question we sometimes get asked is what is the difference between us as Building Designers, and Architects or draftspeople? Many clients do not know the difference and most, quite rightly, are more concerned with finding a suitably qualified person that they feel comfortable with and that understands their brief and needs.

Here is a breakdown of the choices you have when engaging a professional to prepare plans for you.

A Draftsperson may not necessarily have any formal qualifications and therefore not be licenced or insured to provide plans directly to a client. They often prepare plans for a licenced builder or could be employed by a building designer or architect.

A Building Designer will have undergone studies at either TAFE or University, will hold a QBCC Licence and also PI Insurance. Some Building Designers, such as ourselves, will also be members of the Building Designers Association of Queensland, which exposes them to support, links to industry professionals & professional development options.

Architects are required to undertake a lengthy tertiary degree and will be licenced with the Architects Board in their state. Both Building Designers and Architects are required to complete a minimum time period working in the industry before obtaining their licences.

So, as a consumer, how do you decide? In essence, Building Designers are licenced to carry out the same work as Architects. They can both assist you from start to finish in the process of designing your building and even assist during construction as required. Some may have more experience in commercial projects and others may feel more comfortable in the smaller scale realm.

Some of the deciding factors that help you choose may be cost, experience & personality.

Building Designers can often tend to charge a lot less than Architects, this does not necessarily equate to lower quality work. Building Designers are also very conscious of their client’s budget, assessing the project along the way to ensure budget is adhered to.

It is important to research the designers you are considering. Have a look at their website and social media feeds and see if their style and principles align with your own, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Irrespective of the amount of time spent studying, some designers will have more of a flair for design and problem solving and different designers may specialise in certain areas.

Meet with several designers and ensure you get along well. Over the course of your project, you will spend many hours with your designer and it is vital that you feel that they understand your ideas and needs and that you create a good rapport.

We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation at your home, block of land or our office to gain a full understanding of your project prior to providing a fixed fee proposal. Our proposal will also detail all aspects of the process and all fees or charges you may encounter along the way to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible.


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