How Much Does It Cost To Draw Up House Plans?

You’ve got big ideas for the home of your dreams—more space for the family, a better kitchen and bathroom, a room opening out into the garden. You could move house if your current house doesn’t meet your expectations, but the price of the property in many areas of Australia continues to rise. With moving come all those fees to estate agents, lawyers, surveyors, plus the cost of a new mortgage and the disruption of moving. 

If you do decide to move, you’ve got to find that ideal home in an area that might not have all the local facilities you currently enjoy and rely on – doctors, schools, gyms and parks. So, do you stay put or find an alternative? 

Well, there’s one very suitable alternative – a house extension. Apart from giving you the features you want, it could also add value to the property, which is great when you eventually want to move or sell up. By extending your house, you can create the home that meets your precise needs or your tenants’ needs, rather than accepting a compromise in a different property that’s almost there.  Finding the right duplex build is an important decision. Check out our range of the best home design constructions at Home Builders. 

How Much Does It Cost To Get House Plans Drawn Up?

The cost of drafting services can vary between companies. Sometimes it’s an extra fee on top of the building, which needs to be accounted for. The amount to be paid for house extension designs can also depend on your intended extension’s complexity. Your draftsperson may charge a flat fee or by the hour, and if there’s a lot of consultation necessary for them to understand your ideas, it can cost more.

How Do You Start Planning A House Extension?

When initiating a house extension, the best thing to do is find a highly reputable builder to guide you through the process. It’s helpful to choose a company recommended by a close friend or family member. You can also search online for builders and choose one that has overwhelmingly positive reviews. Make sure you opt for a builder who can offer a seamless process, from your initial idea to creating the house extension designs, clearing regulations with the council, and building your extension.

What does a building designer do?

Building designers produce plans and design drawings for new homes, renovations/extensions and other structures such as granny flats. They will obtain a brief from their client and work to their budget to produce a preliminary design concept. They also assess the site, liaise with the local council to obtain planning permission and building approvals, and submit any other documentation that the council may require. They will often do the preliminary and final drawings for private clients and builders.

What Is The Difference Between A Building Designer And An Architect?

The fundamental difference between a building designer and an architect is their level of professional regulation and education.

Most building designers are qualified drafters who train via a TAFE course. Many will have all the creative and practical skills that domestic architects have, but their fees are typically lower and are therefore a cost-effective alternative to an architect.

Costs For Proposed Designs

If you’re looking to get your ideas drawn up professionally, ready for planting, then you’ll need an architectural service. This stage is ‘proposed design’.

The proposed design is one of the most vital steps in your home journey. It’s where you and your designer set out what you want your project to look like. This includes envisioning your future layout, exteriors, and the amount of glazing you wish to include. We can even drop in furniture to help you understand how the spaces will function.

These designs are mostly concerned with your household’s aesthetics and are used within the planning stage to get approval from your local authority, should this be required.

You’ll make a lot of key decisions while these drawings are prepared, such as setting out your ideal budget and assessing what is required under planning and the building regulations. You might need to obtain full planning permission, submit a pre-application, or you could benefit from something known as permitted development rights.

It’s worth noting because they lack structural details and other technical aspects, they shouldn’t be used for construction purposes. The proposed design will be upgraded for construction during the building regulations stage.

The Ultimate Guide

Decide on a budget

Before commencing any new home renovation or extension project, you will need to decide exactly how much money you want to spend. This figure will act as an essential guide as you make many decisions, particularly in the preliminary stages.

Renovations vary significantly in terms of the associated costs. Some factors that will need to be taken into consideration include style, size, complexity, quality and timeframe. The best way to get a realistic idea of the price you can expect to pay for your specific project is to arrange a no-fee consultation with a builder. By asking a series of exploratory questions, they will work to determine how they can best support you in the construction of your extension or renovation.

By taking the time to discuss your distinct vision, requirements and goals, your builder will be in a strong position to consider all options and present recommendations for a tailored plan that will meet your needs. At this stage, your builder should also provide a rough estimate of how much you should be expecting to spend to ensure you get the results you are seeking. Your rough estimate will give you a crucial tool to help you decide whether your budget will cover the work needed before you move further into the process.

Choose a builder

Because a home renovation or extension is such a significant investment, you will want to make sure you are working with a builder you trust. Of course, the price will factor into your decision, but selecting a contractor based on price alone is probably not the wisest move. Aside from a reasonable price tag, you will also want to ensure your builder is reliable and committed to high-quality workmanship.

To identify a suitable builder, there are several approaches you can take. You can start to draw up a long list of potentials by jumping online and searching for fully licensed, registered and insured practitioners in your area. As you do so, it is important to take a thorough look at their website, checking for positive testimonials and case studies of similar projects. Over and above this online research, you may also wish to consider speaking to friends, family or neighbours for their recommendations.

Home Renovation Melbourne

Once you have conducted your research, create a shortlist of three builders you like the sound of. Once you have made your final choice, you can then ask your builder to develop a rough estimate. As outlined in the Decide on a budget section of this guide, the builder in question will probably ask to spend some time with you to discuss and understand your vision, upon which they can base their initial estimate. Once your rough estimate is provided, assuming you are comfortable with the costs, you can officially engage your builder to conduct the work. 

Of course, some property owners might prefer to start the process by engaging an architect and worry about finding a builder once all plans are drawn up. In these instances, architects can often make their recommendations of trusted builder contacts and can even source quotes for you. These will be presented as what is known as a tender package.

Preliminary Work With Your Architect (Extensions)

If you are planning an extension, certain aspects of the project will mirror the process associated with building a new property, particularly in the planning. 

These early stages are likely to involve lots of back and forth between different professionals. Your architect or designer will develop working drawings (or construction drawings) that provide dimensioned and graphical information for use by the construction team and component suppliers going forward. These working drawings also offer all the detail relating to external and structural changes that need to be presented to the town planners at your local council to allow them to assess the proposed work before issuing the necessary permissions and permits.

Your town planning permit is a crucial aspect of the project because it will determine whether you can legally go ahead with the works. As the property owner, it is your responsibility to find out whether a permit is required before you start work on your extension. Before you go any further, it would make sense to find out about any specific requirements at your address by approaching the planning department at your local council directly.

During these initial planning stages, several other reports and plans will be required, including:

Soil report – Typically initiated and managed by the architect, a soil report involves an expert check of the soil upon which the extension is built. This is helpful for your architect and/or builder when determining things like how deep you’re going to need to dig and what sort of footings (or concrete in the ground) you are going to need. At Home Builders, we have the best dual occupancy selection to make your house a dream come true.

Engineering drawing – This is a type of technical drawing used to define the requirements of all engineering components. An engineering drawing’s primary purpose is to capture all features required from each of these components precisely, so the manufacturer or engineer can accurately produce them for you. Again, your architect should be able to engage the relevant expert to oversee this critical task.

Energy rating report – This report needs to be conducted by a certified energy consultant and will determine the factors required to maintain a comfortable living environment inside the property. Organised by your architect, your energy rating report will consider factors including insulation, ventilation, glazing, size and climate. For sustainability reasons, all work in Victoria needs to meet a minimum 6-star performance standard. This requirement will be incorporated into all designs by your architect. Additional benefits of this work to the property owner going forward will include increased comfort and money saved on power bills.

Get A Detailed House Extension Design

When you’ve finalised your wish list, it’s time to get a professional design.s drawn up. An architect, interior designer or renovation and extension company can help you. 

After discussing your ideas and explaining what can be achieved, a project manager and/or designer will visit your home and take detailed measurements as a basis for preparing plans. During the visit, the project manager can outline the scale of the work that will be needed and identify any potential problems.

The project manager and/or designer will also discuss style. The extension and all the fittings like doors, windows and brickwork should blend in with your existing home and be compatible with your existing architectural style, whether it’s modern, traditional or historical. If you have a period home or live in a conservation area, the designer can guide you through any regulations or restrictions.

The first thing you’ll see is a concept design – an ‘artist’s impression’ of how the extended building will look, plus an indication of room layouts. That helps you decide if the design reflects what you had in mind. 

When you’ve agreed on the concept, the designer will prepare detailed plans for every aspect of the extension. These are essential for obtaining planning permission and giving guidance to builders and contractors for pricing and getting the work done. 

There will be plans for electrical and plumbing work, a list of all the materials needed to complete the project, and detailed floor plans and elevations. Some of the work will also require structural calculations to ensure that the building is safe. The designer will ask a structural engineer to prepare those calculations and drawings. 

Home Extension Melbourne

How Much Does A Building Designer Cost?

All building designers have their cost structures, and their fees can vary considerably. On average, though, whether they charge a fixed or hourly fee, their charges tend to vary according to their level of service:

  • A basic service will include client consultation, site visit, project design and a briefing with relevant consultants (such as your builder). Drawings will be of a minimum standard only.
  • More enhanced service will also include coordination of other consultants, landscape design, electrical layout and interior design (including layouts of fixtures and fittings).
  • Full service will include all of the above plus assistance with contracts and ongoing assistance during the construction process.

In all cases, the fees usually work out as a percentage of the project’s total price, with less expensive projects taking up a slightly larger percentage than more expensive projects. For example, a new home or renovation cost $190,000 might cost 7.5 per cent of the total or $14,250 for full service or 5 per cent ($9,500) for basic service. For construction costs over $500,000, fees are likely to amount to approximately 7 per cent and 4.75 per cent, respectively. This is a rough guide only, though. To get an accurate quote, you will have to contact the building designer directly.

For a ballpark idea of costs for some typical renovation projects, expect to be charged:

  • $2,800 for plans of a small/medium single room extension
  • $3200 for plans of a medium/large extension, adding two rooms
  • $3900 for plans of a full redesign/renovation of a large house

What Makes The Price? 

Different companies

The price for house extension CAD drawings differs from service provider to service provider and from specialist to specialist. Different practices with the same type of specialists have different prices for the drawing up plans; an architect in Waltham Forest will probably charge different princes than one in Swansea.

Different specialists

As a general rule, architects tend to be more expensive than architectural designers (CAD technicians) or architectural technologists, even though they do the same thing for the most part, at least when designing house extensions. Sure, all architects will argue that their work’s quality surpasses that of the CAD technicians, but this boils down to experience, knowledge of the laws and standards, and drawing good plans in the end. The appreciation, generally speaking, is rather subjective.

Now, of course, it’s a matter of luck, too. Some architects are better than others, just like some architectural designers are better than others. It’s a fact of life.

Building regulations application

The quoted price may or may not include the mandatory building regulation price, but that’s something you should factor in or ask your architect / architectural designer about it. It’s usually not too expensive, but it should be considered in the final price. Some practices, like ours, offer this service for you along with a planning permission application (if required), so you don’t have to worry about that. Home Builders has the best range of dual occupancy builder services to help you create your dream house.

Other Considerations

One thing you can do is find out what’s the average price for house extension drawings on the local market (in your borough, for example, or London wide) and decide if the price asked by your architect or architectural designer / CAD technician is fair and within your budget. Don’t expect to do much with little money – good work should be adequately rewarded, but don’t expect to pay a boatload of money for nothing either.

You should also take into consideration unforeseen events and situations when thinking about developing a property extension. Sometimes drainage systems need to be implemented in order to start (or continue) the approved development, for example.

Building a new home or renovating starts with getting a professional to design plans. Without these, it is difficult to achieve functional and aesthetically pleasing results. Expect your house plans to cost between $3,000 and $15,000 or more, depending on the scope of the project and who you hire to produce the drawings. For this, you’ll need to engage the services of a building designer, drafter or architect. Architects charge more than drafter or building designers.

Which should you choose? What is the difference between these design professionals? How much does a building designer cost?

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