frequently asked questions

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What is the difference between a draftsperson, building designer and an architect?
Most simply: an architect is a specialist in design whilst building designers and a draftspeople specialise in documentation and delivery. The three professions often work together on larger scale projects. 

Building designers and draftspeople are predominantly taught how to draw, and understand the construction of buildings so they can represent them accurately in their documentation. This inherently includes some design but not with the same rigour and focus as an architect.

Building designer can offer the best of both worlds. Less intensive design process than an architect but potential for more guidance than a draftsperson. Services are often more efficient and affordable than an architect, paired with with a greater understanding of construction costs and detailing.  
Why design your home before engaging a builder?
Dealing direct with a building designer instead of dealing with a builder to design your home has one distinct advantage – copyright!

If you use a builder to design your home, you are locked into a contract with that builder alone. How will you know that the final home price is competitive? You can’t take that plan and use it with other builders as there can be a copyright breach.

Other things to consider when using a builder is that they may limit the design elements: construction techniques, materials, aesthetics, innovation etc. A building designer is not constrained in the same way.

If your relationship with that builder fails, you may have to start again with an entirely new floor plan even if you have your heart set on the original design.

If you deal with a building designer first, you are dealing with someone who puts him or herself in your shoes to create a design that suits your specific needs and budget whilst making certain that the building is ‘buildable’.

The design, once finalised can be built by any builder you choose, based on whatever criteria you choose – affordability, value for money, experience, reputation for quality finish, or even if they just ‘get you’.