architect brisbane blueprint with pen and ruler

Draftsman, Building Designers, Architects – What’s the Difference?

New Homes, Renovations, Services, Tips and Advice

We often get questions from people who are unsure what the difference is between architects, building designers, and draftsman.

In this blog, we will explain the differences between the professions.

architect brisbane blueprint with pen and ruler

The service offered by draftsman is to draft technical drawings of your proposed property. Draftsman are usually not trained designers, their role is instead to draw the exact design you describe to them.

Draftsman also often work alongside architects, however the role of a draftsman themselves is NOT to convert your lifestyle needs into a creative design.

To use a metaphor – Think of your home as a beautiful, delicious cake. The draftsperson’s job is to write down the recipe for it. They didn’t invent the recipe, they aren’t going to be baking the cake, they simply wrote down the instructions.


Building Designer

“Building Designer” is often believed to be a job title which is interchangeable with “architect” – however this is not the case.

Although, on paper, the roles of architects and building designers seem very similar – the difference lies in qualification, experience, and regulation of the industries.

For starters, an architect is required to complete a university degree in architecture, and then become registered with the board of architects. A building designer typically has to complete a diploma or certificate course in building design. Building designers can certainly have a good understanding of building codes and regulations, however they are generally far less qualified than architects when it comes to things such as project management, legal compliance, and lifestyle-focused design.

Building designers can often create aesthetically pleasing designs, however it is important to understand that they have NOT undergone the same training as architects, and as such typically do not have the same level of understanding when it comes to things such as climate responsive design, sustainable design, and creating houses which suit your lifestyle and location perfectly.



The role of an architect is to interpret a client’s vision, and turn this into a design which enhances their life. An architect has undergone university level studies, and has a firm understanding of things such as orientation, aspect, and other key areas of home design.

Registered architects are required to work under the board of architects, and are held to a very high standard of professionalism.

A good architect cannot be replaced by a draftsman, or a building designer. Whilst draftsman and building designers can certainly produce beautiful homes, the difference lies in the reliability, skill, and creativity of architect designed homes.

A draftsman or building designer will produce a home which suits your preliminary vision and current trends, whilst an architect will deep dive into your needs and lifestyle to create a home which exceeds any expectations you had.



Whilst the differences between draftsman, building designers, and architects can be confusing – the key difference between them is the level at which they can convert your lifestyle needs into a design.

Whilst a draftsman can produce high quality technical drawings, they are usually not trained in design.

Whilst a building designer can produce beautiful homes, they are usually not as knowledgeable about the science of creating liveable homes.

An architect on the other hand, will be able to understand your lifestyle needs, and convert these into a design which maximises your lifestyle outcomes.

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.