How Much Does It Cost To Draft House Plans?

How Much Does It Cost To Draft House Plans?

A drafter, also known as a “draughtsman,” is responsible for creating blueprints and technical requirements for building projects. For example, suppose you plan to construct a new home or make significant alterations to an existing one that requires a building permit. In that case, you will likely need the services of a drafter, architect, or building designer to submit plans for council approval. While hiring a draftsperson may be costlier than working with an architect in most instances, what is the typical fee for their services?

Finding the Right Company to Create Your Home Plans

When designing a building, we usually consider an architect the first option. However, there are other professionals like drafters and building designers who can draw out house plans. These professionals are equally qualified, with drafters more suitable for smaller projects. 

Navigating Government Regulations for Building

After completing the design of your home, submitting your plans to the city for approval is the next step. Depending on the specifics of your project, a Development Application and a Construction Certificate may also be required. Once your plans are approved, you can begin construction and solicit supplier bids. It’s crucial to remember that the council approval process is in place to safeguard the rights of property owners and the public. The time required for approval may vary from 30 to 100 days, necessitating patience. Providing all necessary information and documentation in your initial submission ensures a quick review.

Average Fees for Architectural Services: What to Expect

  • A licensed architect is an experienced design professional responsible for the public’s health, safety, and welfare.
  • When designing your project, they consider zoning and code regulations, site characteristics, environmental challenges, and cost estimates.
  • They also consider your needs, desires, and preferences in their client-centered role, assisting you in making informed decisions about things like contractor selection.
  • Licensed architects have greater design expertise, more accountability for their work, and can perform more work, reflected in their fees.
  • Fees for full architecture and design services typically range from 8 to 20 percent of the project’s budget.
  • Architects’ fees may be based on an hourly rate, a flat rate, a percentage of the entire building cost, or a combination of these factors.
  • Complete architectural design services from a licensed architect may cost over $30,000, with larger projects requiring more planning, detailing, and care.
  • Architects can help even if you only require a subset of their full range of services, such as in the project’s early stages, when obtaining the necessary permissions, or when adjusting the floor layout.
  • Hourly or flat fees are commonly used to display pricing for less critical services.

What to Expect in Terms of Fees When Working with an Architect to Design a House Plan

Architectural designers are not licensed design professionals and cannot provide stamped papers required for building permits. Their education and experience requirements vary widely, but their prices are generally lower since they carry less liability insurance and fewer licenses. Design fees for a designer can range from $75 to $150 per hour or 5-15% of the building cost. Interior designers can charge up to $300 per hour. Design charges are generally cheaper for designers than architects since they cannot provide the same level of assistance. Custom home planning and documentation services typically cost between $15,000 and $20,000.

Typical Expenses Associated with Hiring a Draftsman for Your Project

Draftspeople are skilled in construction drawings and CAD software but may not provide extensive design options. They charge $50 per hour or 3-10% of the total project cost, which is more affordable than architects and designers. For small projects, you can expect to pay $1,000-$2,000 and up to $6,000 for whole-home makeovers. Additional costs for inspection and stamping by an architect may be required. Working directly with a builder or using a stock plan are alternatives to hiring an architect or designer. 

The Cost of Purchasing a Stock Plan for a Building Project

Stock home designs are available in books or online, with costs ranging from $750 to $2,000. According to the designer’s hourly rate, modified design versions are subject to additional charges. Extensive improvements to larger homes could cost up to $4,000 more.

Comparison of Architectural Service Fees and Draftsmen Fees

Drafters are less expensive than architects, charging between $50 and $130 per hour, compared to the latter’s $80 to $200 per hour rate. Architects are ideal for more complex and large-scale projects, such as commercial buildings, but they may cost more than twice as much as drafters, with an average cost of over $5,000. Some architects also have experience in drafting and may handle routine tasks like creating floor plans for individual homes.

Price of Independent Drafting Services

Freelance drafting services charge between $50 to $150 per hour, with varying rates based on experience and location. They often charge per project, and the average cost is around $1,750.


Whether you hire an architect, a building designer, or a draftsman, it’s essential to understand the differences in their roles, responsibilities, and fees. Each expert has a unique skill set that they can use to help you realize your ideal home. By considering your budget, project scope, and timeline, you can decide which expert is the right fit for your specific needs for house plans. You’ll be one step closer to realizing your vision with the right team.

Read More: What is the Fish Song on TikTok?