As I work with many clients who are building their ‘Forever Home’ I get asked a lot about whether to engage an architect or draftsman.
I thought it may be helpful to briefly run through the differences between an architect and a draftsman, as there can be misunderstanding about what the two provide.
An architect is someone who has completed a degree and has a minimum two years of experience. They must also register themselves annually, and that involves a certain amount of hours of further study each year. They have a qualification from a university (normally 5-6 years of study) and have passed relevant exams. They have studied design in great detail.
A draftsman has learned their skills in how to draw buildings from TAFE, and they don’t need to study as long as an architect. This doesn’t mean there are not some highly experienced and well-versed drafts people out there.
The key is to find someone you are comfortable with, and feel they have the right experience and knowledge to design the best home they can for you, within your budget. Look at their previous work and ask past clients about their experience. Having someone that understands your requirements is really important, as is someone who relates to you and that you get along with. They are going to be with you on the project for some time, so you need to have a have a good relationship.
The other skill set that is coming to the fore in more recent times is an architect or draftsman that really understands sustainability and passive solar design. These impact the amenity in your home and also how much energy your house will be using.
When we built our ‘Forever Home’ in 2014 our key drivers were to build a sustainable home that utilised passive solar principles and would be a home that was really comfortable to live in, year round, without using a lot of energy.
Make a list of the important elements for you, as this will assist you in finding the right team of people to design your home.
Ask other experts you’re engaging for your home about architects or draftsmen they can recommend, and also friends or family who may have used one previously. A personal referral is a great place to start.