2 Jan 2017

Why is an architect’s fees so different to a draftsman or a building designer?

Tips and Advice

camp hill home renovationA lot of people can’t seem to understand why an architect’s fees are so different to a draftsman or a building designer. From my experience, this lack of understanding of the differences in fees is based on a lack of understanding of the differences between the 3 professions.

Architects design, draftsmen and building designers draw up

The main difference – apart from years of study and higher qualifications – is that architects design homes and draftspeople and building designers simply draw up what you tell them to draw up. In other words, when you enlist the services of a draftsman or building designer you are effectively designing your own home.

Stop and think about that for a moment and then ask yourself this question:

Can you think of ANYONE who would ask you to design their home for them?

If the answer is no then why are you designing yours? Because effectively that’s what you’re doing when you work with a draftsperson or building designer. They are simply drawing up what you tell them you want.

I mean sure they might throw in some advice here and there, but in the end, it’s effectively your design. And what do you really know about designing homes?

What an architect does

Now compare that to working with dion seminara architecture. We take the time to find out what you really need, your lifestyle, your budget, what outcome you’re after. And then once we find out all of that we give you advice on the best, most cost-effective way to achieve your goals.

Unlike draftspeople and building designers, we only design what you truly need so you’re not paying for things that you don’t need. Our designs come complete with sustainability already considered to help you lower the running cost of your home and reduce your carbon footprint.

And unlike working with a draftsperson or building designer who has been recommended by a builder, we are not linked to builders in any way shape or form. This means that you can get a number of builders tendering for your project which results in the best quality at the best price. In fact, we have saved our clients as much as 30% on their construction costs just by getting a number of quotes!

Why trying to save money on design is a mistake

Some people say ‘You’re crazy to pay for design when most builders throw it in for free’. Now let me tell you what’s crazy …

  • Crazy is designing your own home or renovation when you have no formal training or experience.
  • Crazy is only getting a price from one builder.
  • Crazy is thinking that a builder is going to use the very best materials and build to the highest standards when they know they’re the only ones who are quoting on the job.
  • Crazy is paying all that money to get a home built or renovated and putting up with compromises because the design hasn’t been tailored to your exact needs by someone with real design talent and experience.


Think about what the builder really wants. They want to finish your project as quickly as possible for as much profit as possible so they can move onto the next job.

It’s the same with draftspeople and building designers. They charge less because they do less – a LOT less. Their goal is to quickly draw up what the client wants, get paid and then move onto the next project. Architects, however, charge more because they take the time to create designs that suit you and your lifestyle needs. They bring enormous expertise to the table and work hard to find you savings that the others will never find.

So what you’re really saying when you choose to work with a draftsperson or a building designer is ‘The design of my home isn’t important. My lifestyle isn’t important. I’m happy to live with second best and put up with the compromises just to save a few dollars’.

But how do you really know if you’re saving anything at all? How do you know that when a builder says they’ll ‘throw in the design’ that they haven’t simply added it to their final bill? You’re not getting a number of builders to quote on the same design. You’re simply taking the builders word for it.

Save yourself rather than money

You have to live with your decisions and when it comes to your home those decisions can be hugely costly; so instead of trying to save a few dollars on the design, save your lifestyle and your sanity and get a custom design that’s made to suit your specific needs.

So why are architect’s fees so different to a draftsman or a building designer? It’s because we care enough to take the time to get to know what you truly want and what you truly need and we have the design talent to create it for you.

Don’t get stuck designing your own home or renovation and don’t put up with compromise. Contact us today and let us design your home for you.

Download our free resource

How To Engage An Architect

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dsarchitecture pty ltd
Trading as dion seminara architecture
ACN 108 272 760
ABN 68 108 272 760

Award-Winning Lifestyle Design Architects Brisbane <br> Est. 1993

Award-Winning Lifestyle Design Architects Brisbane
Est. 1993

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Your dream home can become a reality with dion seminara architecture. No matter what sort of building you’re working with or what stage you’re at, our award-winning Brisbane architects will breathe life into your vision and turn it into a stunning design. You are almost home.