How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Draftsman?


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Draftsman Costs

Professionals & Services Cost Guides      Drafters      Draftsman Costs

One of the very first steps in new home construction is to draft a plan of the property that indicates how it will be constructed and what the final product will look like. In most cases, a draftsman will be required as part of a new home construction project. Banks will need a blueprint, or draft, for financing purposes and contractors will need them to determine the scale of the project and whether it’s in their capability.

Draftsmen generally charge less than architects because they have no formal education requirements and don’t provide as much in their drawings as an architect would. Many draftspersons charge by the hour, with a three-bedroom house taking about 10 hours to draft. Customizations and changes, as well as other special circumstances, may also affect how much you pay a draftsman.

Drafting services: cost per hour by service.

Item Cost
Hourly labor rate $100-$130 per hour
Rush drafting rates: for faster turnaround. $115-156 per hour
Customizations and draft modifications: charged at an hourly rate. $100-$130 per hour
AutoCAD CD-ROM $400-$1,000 per CD


Other considerations and costs

  • Drafting does not require plans to meet building, fire, or zoning codes. They must be approved by a structural engineer and an architect before use. In this instance, it may be better to pay slightly more and hire an architect to handle the entire process.
  • Prefabricated house plans that can be easily modified and drafted are much more affordable than custom designs, which can take over 24 hours to complete.
  • Permits will be required for any new construction. Usually, your general contractor or architect can assist with acquiring the appropriate permits from local authorities.
  • It’s best to hire a draftsperson or architect once you have a solid idea of what you want in a design. The more changes you make after the initial draft, the higher your hourly fees will go.
  • Although blueprints were traditionally drafted on vellum paper, by hand, technology has replaced that in most instances. Unless there is a special request for a hand-drawn draft, most draftsmen will create CAD drawings with the use of computer programs and then provide the blueprints on a CD-ROM as needed.

DIY considerations

  • Drafting is never a DIY job. This is a professional task that requires knowledge of building construction, blueprint creation and drafting technology, CAD software, and other technical elements. You may be able to help design your new house construction, but you will not be able to complete blueprints that can legally be used for building.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to hire a draftsman in your city?
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Cost by city

  • New York, NY$884
  • Bronx, NY$726
  • Brooklyn, NY$605
  • Philadelphia, PA$755
  • Washington, DC$655
  • Atlanta, GA$593
  • Miami, FL$539
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$565
  • Minneapolis, MN$662
  • Chicago, IL$772
  • Houston, TX$796
  • San Antonio, TX$534
  • Austin, TX$605
  • Denver, CO$511
  • Phoenix, AZ$539
  • Las Vegas, NV$592
  • Los Angeles, CA$667
  • San Diego, CA$605
  • San Jose, CA$731
  • Seattle, WA$535

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours:

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