architect vs draftsman starbox architecture


So, you’ve decided to go ahead with your building project, but now you’re stuck at a fork in the road – do you use an Architect or a Draftsman? And what is the difference?


There is a lot of confusion and crossover when it comes to figuring out the differences. In this blog, we’ve explained the differences so you can make an educated decision on who is the best person for job in accordance to your building project.

Different Qualifications

The qualifications an Architect holds and those of a Draftsman are vastly different. A Draftsman has typically completed a diploma in drafting and will be trained in technical drawing and general construction knowledge. An Architect, however, typically has 5-7 years of higher education in the form of a university degree and two years practical experience where they not only learn technical drawing and general construction knowledge, but they also study history and contract law, technical design, form, functions, and the three-dimensional interpretation of space.


The Approach Is Different

The approach from a Draftsman vs an Architect is also vastly different. An Architect carefully listens to their clients and intuitively interprets what they want and need to create solutions within the building design that haven’t been thought about before. A Draftsman is qualified to take your sketches and makes them ready for submission, but it wouldn’t be typically expected for a Draftsman to suggest design improvements, enhancements or solutions to problems.


You May Not Be Protected

Working with an Architect means you have the peace of mind of being protected by the Board of Architects in each state of Australia. These organisations are there to protect you by ensuring Architects act ethically and professionally as well as ensuring they are operating their business correctly, such as insurance and compliance. Draftsman are not required to register with such organisations.


The Roles And Practices Are Different

The roles and practices between an Architect and a Draftsman are very different and need to be considered when selecting the right person for your building project:


  • Assists Construction Managers, Architects and Surveyors in planning and organisation
  • Interprets plans, regulations and codes of practice
  • Prepares, edits and revises plans, maps, charts and drawings


  • The practices of a Draftsman, plus:
  • The total design of buildings from concept to completion
  • Pre-design, scoping and feasibility work
  • Prepares preliminary sketches, working drawings and specifications
  • Coordinates works programs
  • Inspects work and materials for compliance with specifications, regulations and standards
  • Documentation of building projects
  • Procurement of building services
  • Contract administration
  • Calculates costs and estimates time scales
  • Oversight of building works
  • Post-occupancy evaluation
  • Other design services (e.g. interior design, urban design, landscape architecture)
  • Consultancy work, including project management and strategic planning
  • Training and education (e.g. adjunct and sessional university teaching)
  • Service to the profession (e.g. boards, committees and juries)

Time and Costs Will Be Different

The extra work at the design stages has an implication on time and cost – an Architect will take more time and be more expensive because of the skills and care they take in creating a design masterpiece, as opposed to ticking the regulation boxes.


There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing an Architect or a Draftsman. What is important, however, is you have a really good think about your building project. If you’re looking for someone who can draft up your sketches, and you’re not really focused on the creative design aspects of your project, a Draftsman would be a great choice. However, if you’re looking for someone who will listen to your needs, solve design problems creatively and create a beautiful masterpiece, hiring an Architect will provide you with long term value for money.