DO YOU NEED A DRAFTSMAN OR AN ARCHITECT?
An architect's main function is to design and oversee the entire project from inception to completion, with a strong a focus on function of all components within the structure as well as the aesthetic details of the facade and the layout of the rooms within. Most Architects visit their projects with some frequency as the construction progresses and verify that the project is being built in accordance with the plans and specifications. A draftsperson's job is mainly to create 2d and/or 3d illustrations and get your ideas on paper, to scale and they are typically not involved with the project after construction begins. If you are looking to construct a custom house or you want to do a residential addition or remodel, a good draftsman is typically sufficient. If you’re going to be performing renovations on a historical home and you intend to maintain or restore the design elements that were originally incorporated, you'll probably need the skills of an architect. If you’re building a commercial project, you will absolutely need a licensed architect or engineer involved with planning and oversight during the course of design and construction. Draftsmen are not as thoroughly trained in the design aspects associated with commercial structures. We will be glad to work with you to develop your project on a Design - Build basis or we can work with the plans provided by an independent professional.
Modern Plan Sets:
Back in the “good ole days”, plans were all drawn by hand, but now (as with many aspects of modern life) the computer has entered the field to allow drafting to be done more quickly and accurately. The latest Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD) software can do 3D renderings and drafting which includes floor plans and elevations as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing details to meet the standards set by the International Building Code. Naturally, the more detail required by an owner or governing authority, the more time it will take for the plans to be developed which in turn adds to the cost for the plan set. Technology such as 3D renderings and modeling are extremely beneficial once you get into the construction phase but sometimes the expense outweighs the benefit on small or simple / straightforward projects. We will be glad to consult with you on an individual basis to determine the best course of action.
Zoning, Restrictions, and Ordinances:
Before you get too far along with developing plans, be sure that the project will be acceptable at the intended location and that the building footprint will fit within the property line setbacks required by your municipality and/or deed restrictions. Also you need to be sure that your project and its intended use are allowed in its respective zoning district. If not, sometimes a waiver or exception may be issued by the local governing body, other times you’ll have to seek a different site for the project.