How long is a piece of string? Well that's one way to open up a can of worms! Lets start with a loaded question then shall we? All kidding aside, this is a very common question, and quite frankly, a very important one. Why? Because what you pay in design and drafting can be a significant cost in your final project. And let's be honest, spending thousands of $$$ on paper and lines before you even break ground on site is not everyone's idea of fun!
The not so secret... secret
...the truth is that, the individual project scope of works and needs can vary significantly from project to project. You will be fighting an uphill battle to try and find a universal figure for the drafting on every project. The best way to find out how much the design and drafting on your project is going to cost, is to call up an architect, building designer or draftsman and get a quote. See our blog post: What is the difference between an Architect, a Draftsman, and a Building Designer?
Ok so we knew that would be the case. But anyway, how much does it cost?
The DOLLAR COST...
To cut to the nitty gritty, with no more explanation, our fees for most typical residential projects usually fall somewhere in the vicinity of $900-$3900 depending of course on the type of project and the required scope of works, and what options you choose to include in the plans. Read on for the REAL COST!
Expectations of cost can vary from person to person. Taking into consideration that the design and planning stage is arguably the most important part of the project, this should be carefully weighed up when choosing a building designer or draftsman, however it should not necessarily be the ONLY factor to consider when choosing a building design company.
The REAL COST...
The REAL COST is what the total project costs you design and build, including the design, drafting, engineering, certification, planning fees and of course the build cost. This REAL COST is highly dependant on the quality of the plans.
For instance, if there is too little detail shown on the plans, it may pass building approval and council approval simply because all of the basic planning details are there, however it may not show enough detail to lock in a smooth build when the builder starts your project. Mistakes and assumptions can be made without seeking approval from you (the client) and/or the building certifier when the necessary items are not specified and detailed to the required extent on the plans. If this happens, then the project halts, things need to be changed, and builder's variation fees invoices keep coming, and your bank balance keeps dropping! Not everyone's favourite idea! And the majority of which could have been avoided (and dollars saved!) if the plans had the right amount of detail. A few hundred more at the start could save you thousands down the track! Imagine if everyone knew that before starting their projects!
So to mitigate these potentially expensive (and to be honest, quite scary!) issues, we generally advise every person we come across, to not just choose the cheapest quote for your building design plans. Why? Because the amount of effort the designer or draftsman puts into the project, can often be directly correlated to his fees. ie: cheapest quote = often the 'skin-of-your-teeth' amount of detail.
There is certainly a dollar sign you can put next to the piece of mind knowing that your plans have enough detail for a smooth sailing certification, approval and building process. Our recommendation would be to go with a company that has either come highly recommended to you from a personal friend or a reputable builder. Internet reviews are great and can add weight to a great recommendation, however they should not be the sole factor in choosing a company.
Here comes the shameless plug...
So if you want to know how much your building design plans will cost from a highly reputable and experienced building design company, please give us a call or email with the specifics of your project, and we will provide a carefully worked out quote so that you know all things have been accounted for in the quote, with no hidden surprise fees, and all the necessary detail has been included in the quote for a 'smooth-as-butter' build.