Selecting a draftsman or architect

When selecting a draftsperson or architect to design my building project, who should I choose?

My experience over the years has varied. We have been involved with architectural firms. individual architects, draftsmen, and drafting firms. All have a place in the market, and many times the project itself dictates the firm or person that should be used.

If you are thinking of working with a building contractor, many times it is wise to get their counsel first.

If you have already decided to work with; let’s say a draftsman, look at some plans he has finished in the past. Ask for references. Ask if he does work for builders. Ask those builders how they feel about that particular draftsman.

DO NOT BASE your final decision solely on price. Some draftsmen do not produce a good detailed sets of plans, and it becomes apparent when trying to obtain building permits. It also allows for interpretations in the field, that should be detailed for field crews. Much like a successful business needs a business plan, your building project needs a good set of building plans.

A good quick check is:

Are the beams sized and the dimensions detailed, or does the plan have the notation: “verify in field”, or “builder to verify”,or even notes like “lumber salesman to verify”. Obviously this draftsman does not know what he is doing, or does not want the responsibility of detailing the plans. Do you really want him designing your project?

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