If you are planning on building or renovating a home you will probably need the help of a few professionals to get started. So who should you hire: an architect, engineer or a draftsman? It may seem like they all perform very similar functions, however there are actually distinct differences between what these professionals can do for you.
Let’s take a look at what some of these differences are and help you determine whose services you will need:
Hiring an Architect
Architects design and build structures for others to live, work, eat, shop and worship in. These structures can include homes, schools, office buildings, rooms and complexes that are for indoor, outdoor, public or private use. In addition to being in charge of the overall aesthetics, architects must also make sure these structures are safe, functional and economical. As licensed professionals, architects are legally responsible for the work they do. An architect may specialize in one type of architectural project, but generally, architects have experience in a variety of areas from residential architecture to historical preservation.
If your project requires inspections and the approval of a building permit, hire an architect. This is often the case with commercial projects. While not all agencies require architect approval to get a building project done, hiring an architect will cover your bases and save you the hassle of ensuring your project satisfies council requirements
To be registered an architect must have 5+ years of college, a 3 year internship and pass a board exam. Course topics in an architecture program might include CADD, architectural history, construction methods, math and technology. Architecture students are also expected to gain work experience through internships.
Hiring an Engineer
An engineer is trained in civil engineering and is involved in designing & building structures including bridges and roads. They often work alongside draftsmen and architects to create as well as complete plans for residential and commercial structures. A civil engineer goes through an intensive 4-year bachelor’s degree program and must obtain a license to practice. Since their primary focus is commercial construction, rarely are they used in residential building, unless it’s a very big project.
Hiring a Draftsman
The main responsibility of a draftsman is to translate the rough sketches that are made by civil engineers and architects, into detailed technical drawings. An architectural draftsman specializes in drawing commercial & residential structures, to-scale and these are made using CADD software programs. The type of work a draftsman depends on the scope of his or her area of expertise.
A draftsman does not need a license to offer architectural drafting services. Because of this, a draftsman generally works under the supervision of a licensed architect or a building designer.
Hiring a residential draftsman is best for small projects and renovations that require clear drawings for builders. Before hiring a draftsman, it’s best to decide what you want and be certain that the work you desire is possible. A draftsman is generally more affordable than an architect, but you have to note that their drawings need to reflect every detail of the construction process and that the specifications in the drawings need to satisfy council-mandated standards.
Regardless of your project, it is highly recommended to screen each candidate thoroughly, check on their licensing credentials, and look into their project history.
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