Do I Need An Architect or A Draftsman?

An architect and a draftsman offer different services. Deciding on the professional who best suits your build will partially rely on the scope and budget of your project.

Sheridan Building has extensive experience working with both architects and draftsmen, across a variety of builds, from new custom homes to luxury extensions and expert renovations. If you’re scratching your head over the difference between the two, we’re more than happy to answer your questions.


Becoming an architect in Australia is more time-consuming than becoming a draftsman. According to the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, the standard path includes an accredited Australian Architecture qualification and an Architectural Practice Exam.

Comparatively, in Victoria, a TAFE certification or a degree is required for work as a qualified draftsman. Considering the shorter accreditation timeframe, a draftsman is generally more affordable—but they do not perform quite the same tasks as an architect.

The tasks of a draftsman

A draftsman will create the necessary plans to help gain local council approval, so your project can access required permits and begin construction. If you have a very clear idea, and the build or extension is relatively uncomplicated, a draftsman may prove adequate.

They will sketch and then draw up plans with the goal of getting your project underway, and they provide the builder with a technical draft of your vision to follow. Today’s draftsmen also use computers and technology to communicate details about the project.

If your project is complicated—an extension that must meet very specific requirements or a build that needs to factor in several elements—an architect may be a better bet. It’s also worth noting an architect’s involvement generally extends beyond the drafting of plans.

What an architect offers

An architect’s role can be much more encompassing than a draftsman, dependent on their contract. For example, architects can attend to the preparation of documentation for council requirements and consult with an engineer for technical drawing.

Other elements of the build they can also then address, include (but are not limited to):

  • Energy Reports
  • Site/Soil Report
  • Interior Design
  • Exterior Landscape Plans
  • Joinery/Cabinetry Drawings
  • Electrical Plans
  • Project Management

Keep in mind that if you opt for a draftsman, these technical elements are still required. An architect’s potential participation across the lifespan of the project is a popular selling point; a draftsman appeals for simple, small or straightforward builds or renovations with a very clear process.

Working together

Some architects have a draftsman working with them who creates plans during the initial stages. An architect is generally considered more adept at conceptualising and altering artistic elements of luxury home design. A draftsman focuses primarily on the technicalities of planning.

Whomever you choose, just make sure they are qualified and have a stellar reputation. Luckily, our Moonee Valley team has partnered with Melbourne’s best over the years. Being award-winning luxury home specialists means working with exemplary talent in the local industry.

We can offer advice

If unsure of the wisest choice, our team will help you weigh the options. Sheridan Building makes sure your needs are met, within your budget. Contact us today to discuss your next high-quality build, whether that includes an architect or draftsman on board to help your dream project shine.