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Old 11-07-2012, 09:28 PM
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architect or draftsperson?

Hi there

Just about to begin feasibility on developing 2x725sqm blocks (side by side) into townhouses and wondering what the difference between using an architect or a draftsperson to do the plans might be? I'm not sure why you would go with an architect (more expensive?) than a draftsperson - is it only for build design quality or are there other reasons?

I was searching for a thread that might explain the development process, but couldn't find one that talks specifically about the process, could someone please point me to a thread if they can think of one as I turned up multiple results that weren't quite what I was looking for.

Looking forward to being able to write a new post at some stage around the development

thanks
jerkygirl
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:12 PM
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the long and the short of it is

1) a draftie will provide a good level of quality at a reasonable cost. most drafties are well immersed in their local building game and learn via a baptism-by-fire. a good draftie can provide a good eye for quality design that should meet the market well.

2) an architect, especially on the east coast, for some reason, seem somewhat removed from the construction process, unless they are contracted for the build as well. in my limited experience with architects, they appear to be haapy to indulge their design with your money, and a $50k + cost blowout is seen as generally acceptable as long as the overall vision for the site and dwelling is maintained.

you dont need to be a genius to work out which is not only going to cost you more money upfront, but who will continue to cost money until the project is compete.

thst said, i am NOT tarring all drafties and architects with the same brush. you will get good ones, ignorant ones, great ones and bad ones.

my advice is to ask around. those that dont advertise because they dont have are in that position for a reason.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:50 AM
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I'm currently using a draftie because I'm building something fairly standard (4/2/2 house) with a bit of funk ... strangely enough, the draftie seems to know more about what is available, and recommended, in regards to insulation, building products and systems than architects I've used in the past.

And at less than half the price.

An experienced draftsman/woman has enough flair to produce something out of the box, but also appears to be more grounded in what things cost and what is actually easily do-able by the builder.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:01 AM
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if you're building someting standard - then by all means just use a draftie - but if you're looking to design more complex that may require an architect's input or in a suburb where you need to stand out - and architect may be more applicable.

But architects are known to charge a lot as well as design to suit their styles etc rather than a more cost sensitive approach. an interior designer was wanting to charge me 20K for a design for an apartment once which i tot was a bit on the high side.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:36 AM
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Ok great advice thanks guys, will start looking for a local draftsperson to have a look.

Cheers!
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:19 PM
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Go to a local draftman or a builder who do both design and construction. If you go with draftman, make sure your design to be checked by builder so that you can get recommend to reduce the cost. draftman may give you unrealitic design and costly.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
I'm currently using a draftie because I'm building something fairly standard (4/2/2 house) with a bit of funk ... strangely enough, the draftie seems to know more about what is available, and recommended, in regards to insulation, building products and systems than architects I've used in the past.

And at less than half the price.

An experienced draftsman/woman has enough flair to produce something out of the box, but also appears to be more grounded in what things cost and what is actually easily do-able by the builder.
Hi Lizzie,

Is your draftsman/woman in Sydney? If so can you share their details? I can't seem to find a good but relatively cheap person in the Sydney area.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:06 PM
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For residential I prefer drafties. Especially if it is a standard dwelling on a standard block.

For commercial/industrial I use a really good architect who does very quick turnaround and doesn't have the ego associated with most architects.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFinanceShop View Post
Hi Lizzie,

Is your draftsman/woman in Sydney? If so can you share their details? I can't seem to find a good but relatively cheap person in the Sydney area.
I used this company for a complying development. http://www.technicaldesigns.com.au/

He was good, easy to work with, prompt, well priced (I thought), followed up council etc.

It was a simple job though, so not sure how that would relate to a more complex design etc
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TheFinanceShop View Post
Is your draftsman/woman in Sydney? If so can you share their details?
Nah - mine's in Newcastle.

Problem at this stage is trying to get the our concept verbally onto paper ... and hubby being as clear as a lump of mud about how he wants the house.

My ideas plans are very detailed - right down to the kitchen sink - with measurement for everything .... hubby draws a series of squares and triangles scrambled together with no references ... feel sorry for my draftie
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:28 PM
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I'm a draftie and have worked for both drafting companys and architects.
Use a good reputable draftie everytime. Ask a few local developers who they use. Make sure you use someone who does work with your council. Also make sure they have had a good stack of design experience. Not all drafties and architects for that matter can design well.
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Old 13-07-2012, 08:38 PM
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Architects provide more in the way of detailed design, resolution of concepts & a greater degree of creativity albeit at a price. Designers on the other hand may not have the skillset to resolve design issues, conflicting levels etc.

Why not consider an architect for the concept & planning then a draftie for final plans? Or go to a multi unit project home builder?
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:24 PM
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The architect is best choice as compere to draftsperson because architect knows structural things like weights that can be born by wood/beams of such and such size;They are very trained to build things that will stand up to weather, to mate well with the original building.
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by samuelkwilliams View Post
...because architect knows structural things like weights that can be born by wood/beams of such and such size...
Not in my experience. For real answers to stuff like that you want an engineer, who all draftys and archis will send their plans to. For best guess while designing, most draftys know this better than most archis.
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Old 27-07-2012, 11:07 PM
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My bf is a builder and building designer. So for his clients he can do everything from conceptual design, to technical drawings to the construction itself. Some come to him for one or other or both.

His jobs can rang from 4/2/2 standardish houses, to great big mansions with complex designs - a lot of structural steel and suspended slabs etc, all the way to multi dwelling residential.

Maybe you should try a local building designer with a good reputation, that way you get the best of both worlds. As they understand the construction inside out they can advise you if some things in the design you want are going to be too costly and offer an alternative solution. But if money is no object they can design you anything your heart desires.
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Old 28-07-2012, 04:09 PM
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Love the blog name "hammerandheels"...

Project Forde looks great and love the stair-case.. not sure if its mentioned in the blog but out of interested (if you can) whats your husbands company name? (or his).

Cheers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel13 View Post
My bf is a builder and building designer. So for his clients he can do everything from conceptual design, to technical drawings to the construction itself. Some come to him for one or other or both.

His jobs can rang from 4/2/2 standardish houses, to great big mansions with complex designs - a lot of structural steel and suspended slabs etc, all the way to multi dwelling residential.

Maybe you should try a local building designer with a good reputation, that way you get the best of both worlds. As they understand the construction inside out they can advise you if some things in the design you want are going to be too costly and offer an alternative solution. But if money is no object they can design you anything your heart desires.
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Old 28-07-2012, 05:10 PM
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Jerky

Make sure you personally own copyright of the plans you are paying for so you can get builders to quote or if you know which builder you want to use in advance ask for the person they generally use.

I have personally never used an architect but work out the brief you want in advance to achieve best results.



For future builds - Orientation of building living areas to face north and energy sustainability are now my main requirements.

Cheers
Sheryn
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Old 28-07-2012, 09:53 PM
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Love the blog name "hammerandheels"...

Project Forde looks great and love the stair-case.. not sure if its mentioned in the blog but out of interested (if you can) whats your husbands company name? (or his).

Cheers.
Thanks Tcocaro, I love the staircase too The glass barrier is up now (finally), I have to take some pics and post them. His company is called Solution Homes.
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Old 31-07-2012, 08:51 AM
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Hi Jerky,

On my website (link below) is a complete flow chart of the subdivision process for Melbourne suburbs.

Have you considered a private town planner? You'll get the same services as a building designer with the added project management, liaising with council, submission of forms and streamlined processes to save you all the hassle. Most of my clients choose the planner option over architects or draftspeople for that reason.

If you had any questions on subdivision please feel free to ask- think I'm quite possibly the only surveyor on this site!

Cheers,
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Old 31-07-2012, 12:21 PM
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Thanks all, very good hints Sheryn.
I am meeting with a draftie tomorrow afternoon and have seen that little gotcha about the plans remaining their possession!

I have also got a meeting with an architect later this week, so will see what the costings are like.

Cheers!
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