A common question we receive from potential clients is why someone should hire an architect versus a drafting service. We love this question because it gives us the opportunity to share about our training and experience and highlight the value we add to construction projects.
To understand the difference between drafting and architectural design, it is helpful to think about a project as a 3-dimensional complex building system to be approached with a level of expertise that delivers healthy, functional, and sustainable results. Beyond providing construction documents, architects approach a project through a holistic lens that considers building science, budget, flow of space, and aesthetics. As visionaries, architects guide the design process by considering the life clients want to live in a space. We are experts on the entire scope of a construction project and are often involved in all stages from envisioning and planning, design development, construction budgeting, and even observation over construction.
Drafting is the translation of a design to technical drawings. Drafters focus on documentation and the delivery of construction plans. Unlike an architect, drafters are not required to have a specific education background and do not hold a license. All architects are drafters; all drafters are not architects.
Architects lean on their education and years of training to serve as visionaries and provide expert oversight on projects. The journey to becoming a Licensed Architect involves 5-7+ years of higher education, an internship process under a licensed professional, and the successful passing of rigorous licensure examinations. Training covers art, science, math, psychology, sociology, and we infuse this blend of knowledge into each design. Additionally, architects hold a license once they successfully pass a series of exams and therefore hold liability for each of their projects.
So, should you hire an architect or a drafter for your project? If you want a fully custom design that is uniquely tailored to your vision and is healthy, functional, and efficient, an architect is the best option. If you want to know more about the process and how an architect can support your project, visit our previous posts here, here, and here.
If you already have a design and need to make a few simple changes, a drafter might be an appropriate option. Either way, feel free to reach out and discuss your project. We are happy to answer questions and help you understand the value we bring to a project.