While it’s common for many house designs to be described as architectural or a building designer to be referred to as an architect, these are not the same thing.

An architect, building designer and draftsman are significantly different and will perform different roles in your home build. Before you start searching ‘builders near me’ for your next project, you must first understand the role of each of the above.

Architects, building designers and draftsmen all play similar and important roles in the building industry; all three can prepare computer aided designs and each can work on construction projects. However, the three have very different responsibilities and require different skills, experience and training.Importantly, an architect is a trained, accredited and registered professional whereas a draftsman and building designer are simply trained.

Education and Training

The key difference between an architect, building designer and draftsman is the education and training. In Australia, an architect is required to complete a 3-year university degree as well as a 2-year Masters of Architecture. After graduating, an architect must work for at least 2 years before they can register in their chosen state and be granted a license to practice.

In Tasmania, building designers can be licensed in one of three classes – each of which has different educational requirements. An architectural restricted building designer must complete an Advanced Diploma in Building Design, before working for at least 3 years in a relevant building design role. An architectural limited building designer is required to complete a Diploma in BuildingDesign and complete 2 years practical experience before they are qualified.Finally, an architectural domestic building designer must have aCertificate in Building Design and 2 years’ relevant experience.

A draftsman is required to complete a TAFE, or similar, course that will teach them computer assisted design. The study to become a draftsman is not nearly as rigorous as an architecture degree or a building design certificate and the average time required to become a qualified drafter is two years, as opposed to 4-7. It is possible for a draftsman to obtain a building design licence, allowing them to then practice as a building designer.


After 7 years studying and working to become qualified, architects obviously have more responsibility and are able to tackle more complex designs than a building designer or draftsman. Understandably, an architect can be involved in a building project from the very beginning, helping with planning, design, documentation, contract administration and project management.

While a building designer may be able to help with planning and documentation, you need to ensure they are licenced to help with your project from start to finish. In many cases, a building designer holds all the same qualifications as an architect, without the licence, but this varies greatly so it is important to check.

Unlike an architect or building designer, a draftsman oversees one part of the architectural process – computer assisted design. People in this role can produce drawings for construction projects and create concise drafts for builders to follow.

Should I hire an architect, building designer or draftsman near me?

Often when you find builders nearby, they will have a preferred architect, building designer or draftsman they like to work with; however, the decision is largely personal and generally comes down to budget, style & personality. While many of us would love a stunning architecturally designed home, not all budgets allow for this and it’s therefore necessary to create plans with a building designer or draftsman.That’s not to say your home won’t be functional and stylish – many experienced designers and drafters have an eye for detail and creative ideas for your space.

If you’re creating a huge construction project with many factors and elements, an architect may be the right option for you. However, if your project is relatively simple or you’re simply after a small-scale home renovation an experienced draftsman can help you achieve excellent results without the price tag.

As with everything, make sure you do your research and get quotes from a few options before making a final decision.A good tactic is to talk to previous clients about the process, build budget, fees etc.

You could always chat to builders near me about your selection too! After all, we do get to deal with a fair few of them & don’t for get there is also the Design & Build option if you are after the whole package in one.


To find out more about discovering architects, building designers, draftsman and builders near me, get in touch with the friendly team at Westwood Family Homes today!

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