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How Much Do Drafting Services Cost?

CAD Architect Prices

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A draftsperson, or architect, is typically hired when you need to design something with a personal touch. They are the people to see if you need a set of plans for an airplane, vehicle engine, or other complex mechanical system. Drafting services are often synonymous with CAD services. CAD is simply the software that drafting service use to make their drawings.

Typical plans for houses, buildings, and parks, can be bought through an architectural firm without needing to hire a draftsperson individually. A specialty house, municipal building, or commercial building that can’t be found in pre-drawn plans will have to be drawn up by a licensed architect or draftsperson.

Architects and draftspersons differ in that, structural plans drawn up by a draftsperson must be signed off by an architect and structural engineer before they can be approved for construction- an architect’s plans only have to be approved by the structural engineer.

Average Draftsperson Costs

99% of all drawings are now done on a system called CAD (Computer Aided Design). It has made shop drawings a lot less expensive and much more accurate than older systems. The cost of a drawing is determined by the type of drawing you want and the size. Sizes range from A0 to A4. A0 are typical building plans, about 2x3 feet. A1 is half that size, A2 is half A1, etc. Different types of drawings include:

  • Floor Plans – overhead view of each floor in the building showing electrical, plumbing, walls, windows, doors, etc.
  • Elevation Plans – a 2-dimensional view of the building from the perspective standing in front of it. Shows the total height of the building and the height of each floor, doors, and windows.
  • Section Plans – similar to floor plans, but the building is cut vertically, showing staircase designs, room heights, interior door heights, etc.
  • Perspective Plans – a 3-D view of the exterior of a building. There are two types – birds-eye view and worms-eye view.

Average CAD Service Costs

A typical drafting company will charge $100 to $120 per hour. Architects charge slightly more, averaging around $130 per hour. A typical A0 drawing of one type of a house will take about 8 hours to complete, which would cost between $800 and $1,040.

Larger structures, such as a municipal building or an office complex, may take up to 24 hours to complete. More intricate drawings are required due to codes. Sprinkler systems, mechanical and HVAC drawings are required. Expect to pay upwards of $3,000 for these types of drawings. Remember that these prices are for one type of drawing. If you require a floor plan, elevation plan and a section plan, these costs will triple.

Author: Brian Eckert