Draftsmen: Bridging The Gap
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of home building? Sure, we can all appreciate the sight of a beautifully built home, but what happens to baby-step it all the way to completion? Well, if you didn't know, there are more players in the residential planning and building of your home than the home designer or architect and the contractor. They are the draftsmen and what they do is convert the designs of building designers, engineers, and architects into technical drawings and plans using either the traditional methods of calipers and T-bars or the more modern computer-aided drafting programs such as AutoCAD, Revit, ArchiCAD, or an old-time favorite, Visio, to name a few. Draftsmen specialize in ensuring the accuracy of measurements and the scale of the project's components. They also outline what structural materials are appropriate for the project. Without the work of an architectural draftsman who works closely with a licensed engineer to ensure homes are safe and sound, permit approval that we all must have to build and renovate our homes legally, would not be possible.
What Qualifications Should a Draftsman Have?
It varies from state to state but courses in mathematics, science, computer technology, design, computer graphics, and where available, drafting, are required. Professionals in the trade are encouraged to keep up-to-date with changes and additions to their field. Therefore, they seek further education and training at technical institutes, community colleges, four-year colleges or universities, and through online courses, as well as continuing education in certified programs.

Official Status:
Again, this differs from state to state but in Florida licensing is not required of drafters. As a resut, this is often referred to as an unregulated profession, creating an unfavorable impression that draftsmen are not qualified to produce the same quality of work as an architect or engineer and shouldn't be trusted to have your home properly constructed. Read on to find out why this is the case.
Why Aren't Draftsmen Required To Be Licensed In Florida?
Reputable independent draftsman and drafting firms submit their drawings to licensed Professional Engineers for review and signing and sealing of the plans. Structural Engineers specialize in the structural strength and integrity of a proposed building, plus, ensure it's code compliant. Therefore, no structural plans can be approved for a permit without first passing the expert scrutiny of a licensed professional engineer. Also note, that architects are not permitted to sign and seal drawings, unless the draftsman is employed by or is closely supervised by that architect.

Generally, draftsmen submit their plans for review to their architect or an engineer to catch any errors or omissions. Likewise, draftsmen help both architects and engineers by spotting any problems with the designs they've submitted to the draftsman regarding measurements and scale. The meticulous effort and open communication of all parties ensures that the final plans are technically accurate to the outlined specifications.
Ok, Got It. Uuhhh . . . If I Hire ArcDesign Will I Need a Draftsman?
First, what stage are you in of your home building or remodeling project? Realize that not all drafters are designers and not all designers are drafters. With that said, if ArcDesign is your chosen designer, know that we offer drafting services as well. But designing and drafting are separate services so that you are not locked into both and have the choice of seeking a draftsman elsewhere. Though, with our staff of very capable draftsmen, you may very well want to entrust both your designing and drafting needs with ArcDesign and honestly, we wouldn't mind that at all. Both our design team and our drafting team, along with our affiliated licensed engineers, are here to make your plans beautiful, accurate, safe, and ready to earn permit approval!
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