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Architects vs. Draftsmen

You’ve made the decision to build a log or timber home, so where do you go from there? You know you need a design plan, but how will that plan come about? Will you go to an architect to get started? Will you pick a plan that is already out there and then move forward? Perhaps you choose to go to a wood home building company, will that company have draftsmen on staff or will they have degreed architects? In most cases, your choice will come down to either working with a draftsman or an architect. What’s the difference? We discuss below.

What is a Draftsman?

A draftsman is similar to an architect in the fact that they prepare home drawings to be used by contractors in the build phase of a project. Where an architect typically has 5-7+ years of higher education, a draftsman may have a 2-4 year degree, or sometimes they have no degree at all. However, a draftsman is proficient in all aspects of technical and material designs, dimensions, and procedures. While this technical training is vitally important, artistic design and conceptual home understanding are not usually a part of their skill set.

What to Expect

If you choose to build with a company who has draftsmen on their team, you can expect design drawings, technical schematics, and material design drawings that are ready for construction. In most cases, draftsmen don’t have the artistic or comprehensive background to go beyond making minor changes to your plan. They lack the formal training to design complex layouts, or contemplate all aspects of the design.

Architects and What to Expect

If you build with a company who has degreed architects on staff, you options expand. You will be able to make drastic artistic changes to your plan with the expert advice of your architect. Where a draftsmen’s training is primarily focused on technical issues, an architect is trained artistically, technically, and holistically. They are better able to see the entire scope of your project and design to meet all your needs—contemplating not only the size of a space but how you move and live inside it. The flow of the layout, the functionality of the space, and how the architecture adds character throughout—these are all benefits of working with an architect.  The option of choosing an outside architect is sometimes considered as well. However, in the case of specific building techniques like log and timber homes, your outside architect may be less experienced designing these products.


Get more information about PrecisionCraft’s design process.

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