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How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Draftsman?

Most homeowners spend between $989 to $1,682 nationally.
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Before many run their first marathon, they come up with a training schedule. Similarly, before you build a new home or embark on a home addition, you should hire a draftsperson to come up with the plans. A draft, also called a blueprint, is the record of the building, what it will look like and how it will be built.

While they are required more often than not, drafting services come with a cost. See the average draftsmen prices near you and when ready, connect with local contractors who can help build your dream home!

National Hire a Draftsperson Costs

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Median Cost


Minimum Cost


Maximum Cost
Average Range:


National Average Cost $1,659
Minimum Cost $100
Maximum Cost $5,000
Average Range $989 to $1,682
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How do we get this data? This info is based on 241 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.

Table of Contents

  1. Drafting Services Cost
  2. What Is A Draftsman?
  3. Draftsperson Cost Factors
  4. CADD Vs. Traditional Draftsmen Costs
  5. Other Draftsmen Prices
  6. Drafter Licenses
  7. Draftsman Vs. Architect
  8. Find A Local Contractor

Drafting Services Cost

While drafting services rely on a few different factors, draftsmen with certification, engineering experience and architectural training generally charge between $1,585 and $1,973 to create blueprints for a new build or an addition. For more specific projects, please see additional draftsperson costs below:

  • Draftsmen typically charge between $100 and $150 per hour.
  • For a small addition (one room), the cost to hire a draftsman is between $1,000 and $1,500.
  • For a large addition (two rooms), the cost to hire a draftsman is between $1,500 and $2,000.
  • For a complete home remodel or home build, the cost to hire a draftsman is between $2,000 and $6,000.

Hiring a draftsman can be a big project, but it is necessary to create original blueprints for a new build of any kind. While it’s possible to purchase existing blueprints, most homeowners prefer to customize their own homes to suit their needs.

What Is A Draftsman?

Before you can begin construction on a new home or even an addition to your current home, you’ll want to have a draft of the build. The bank often needs drafts before they can provide financing. Likewise, contractors will need a copy of the blueprint to determine the price of the project and whether or not they want to take it on.

As you might expect, draftsmen, or “architectural drafters,” do scale drawings of your future home. They prepare computer aided design and drafting (CADD) drawings, including everything from dimensions to materials and order of operations. In fact, drafters often work with architects to flush out all their ideas on paper. Others worked independently.

Drafting Services Cost

Draftsperson Cost Factors

The draftsperson costs above are good starting points, but like most home additions, there are ways to lower your draftsman costs. You may not be able to affect all factors mentioned below, but knowing all will surely give you a leg up as you research reliable draftsmen near you.

  1. Size
  2. Complexity
  3. Tools
  4. Plans
  5. Timeframe


It’s easier to run a mile versus 26. Likewise, it’s easier to draft a one-room addition than a five-bedroom house. You won’t be able to change the project size, but as you can see via the average draftsperson prices above, size does play a major role.


All additions or homes were not created equal. Some jobs are more difficult than others. For example, it’s harder to draft a second-story addition with no floor beneath it versus a one-bedroom on the ground level. It’s also more difficult to come up with a blueprint if electrical and plumbing is not already set up (but needs to added). All in all, simplicity will keep your drafter costs down.


To come up with the actual design, draftsmen will use CADD or traditional drafting tools. Today, most drafters use CADD, but if you love the old-fashioned pen and paper, find a draftsperson who uses traditional tools.

Just know, most drafters use CADD, as it’s faster and cheaper for the homeowner.


Both drafters and architects can work off pre-created plans or create their own plans. As you might expect, creating custom plans is more expensive than working off pre-created plans. Simply put, usually, modifying a pre-created plan is less work then starting from scratch. Nonetheless, depending on your wish list, some custom plans are cheaper. Reason being, some plans are hard to change if certain structures are not in place.


Finally, the timeliness of your project will affect the cost to hire a draftsman. Like any other service, rushed work costs money. Changing schedules, reprioritizing and rushed deadlines always cost more than lengthy, organized timelines.

Draftsperson Cost Factors

CADD Vs. Traditional Draftsmen Costs

As you read under tools above, draftsman can either use modern technology to come with your brand new blueprint or, they can use traditional tools. Frankly, almost all drafts are generated via CADD. Unsurprisingly, updated technology brings a host of advantages:

  • It’s faster
  • It’s cheaper
  • It ensures accuracy
  • It’s easier to modify
  • It’s takes up less space

On the other hand, traditional tools like a drafting board, T-square, drafting pencils and erasers, and drafting pins do not require costly updates. Furthermore, no technology is perfect and as such, traditional tools will rarely die, freeze or crash. The same can’t be said of CADD.

Other Draftsmen Prices

Beyond the actual drawing, when you hire a draftsman, chances are, other related costs will follow. To fully prepare you for all costs associated with hiring a draftsperson, it pays to know expenses that tend to precede or follow a draftsman:

  1. Review: It’s important to remember that even after the drafts are complete, paying someone else to review them is a smart decision. This might be an architect or a general contractor, but the second pair of eyes is a good idea before construction begins. This cost should not exceed $200.
  2. Land Surveys: Surveyors tell you exactly where your property lines start and end. If you’re building a new home, you need a land survey. The average cost to purchase a land survey is about $450.
  3. Structural Engineers: For complex projects, many drafters work with engineers to ensure all is possible and correct. Approximately $500 is the average price to hire a structural engineer.
  4. Soil Testing: If you’re building a new home or building an addition on the first floor, you may have to ensure your soil or land can hold the load. As such, you’ll have to test the soil. The average cost to test soil is roughly $50 per test.
  5. Construction Manager: Once plans are in place, someone has to manage all the workers on site. Therefore, many draftsmen work with construction managers throughout the actual project. Construction managers generally charge between 10% and 15% of the total project cost.
  6. Permit Costs: Unless you’re working on a very small reno, chances are, you’ll need a building permit. Permits costs range from $400 to $1,500, with an average of $980.

Other Draftsman Prices

Drafter Licenses

A final factor that may or may not change your final drafter cost is their education level and whether or not they have a license. Unlike an architect, you do not need a license to operate as professional draftsperson. Some states do require licensures, but it’s pretty rare.

Nonetheless, more education demands more money. Therefore, if your draftsperson has a license, went to architecture school or has years of experience, chances are, their drafting services will cost more than average.

Draftsman Vs. Architect

As you read this draftsman cost guide, chances are, you’re starting to wonder what’s the difference between a draftsperson and an architect. While they sound quite similar, there a few disparities all homeowners should know:

  1. Architects work on buildings we live and work in. Drafters work on the same, but can also be applied to many other areas besides construction and architecture.
  2. Architects require at least a bachelor’s degree in architecture while draftsmen do not require any formal education.
  3. Drafters tend to specialize in one area of expertise, like residential homes, while architects work on various project types.
  4. Architects ensure all plans follow local zoning laws, building codes and fire regulations. A draftsman’s CADD drawings focus on technical details, materials and dimensions.
  5. The cost to hire an architect is generally more than hiring a draftsperson.

To hear more differences, please watch the video below:

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Draftsmen are essential to all new construction, addition and major renovation projects. Once you hire a draftsman, ImproveNet can help you find a general contractor to make his drawings a reality!

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