How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Draftsperson?

Typical Range:

$837 - $2,709

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 445 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data































  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Published January 10, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

How Much Does It Cost to Have House Plans Drawn Up?

the average cost to hire a draftsperson is $50 to $130 per hour

It’ll cost between $837 and $2,709 with an average $1,737 to hire a draftsperson for a blueprint or house plan. They will charge anywhere from $50 to $130 per hour. A set of plans for a typical 3-bedroom house takes at least 10 hours to complete and runs anywhere from $500 to $2,000.

Architectural draftspersons create blueprints for designing homes and additions. They prepare architectural plans and technical drawings for construction and engineering purposes. All modern drafting is done using CAD (computer-aided design) software, such as AutoCAD. Pros train on this software and traditional methods of pencil and paper for working on older buildings with no digital designs.

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National Average $1,737
Typical Range $837 - $2,709
Low End - High End $350 - $5,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 445 HomeAdvisor members.

Draftsman Cost

A drafter costs most homeowners between $837 and $2,709. The size and the complexity of the project will impact the price. A new home or office complex is more complex and time consuming than adding a room to an existing structure.

Pricing also varies significantly between urban and rural areas. Urban centers, like New York and Los Angeles, can see double or triple the rates of rural or suburban areas. Engineers, architects and draftspersons are all trained in drafting techniques.

Drafting Service Hourly Rates

These services usually run an average range of $80 to $130 per hour. A typical project takes 10 to 13 hours to complete, though larger complex and commercial projects take far longer.

Drafting Fees Per Square Foot

Fees run anywhere from $0.40 to $3 per square foot. Architects charge more, from $1.25 to $5 per square foot with some as high as $10.

Freelance Drafting Rates

Rates vary significantly due to freelancer experience levels and locations but are typically $50 to $150 per hour. Many freelancers charge by the project which will also run near the average total of $1,750.

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Blueprint Costs

Blueprints don’t cost anything extra besides printing costs. Modern blueprints, or architectural drawings - more colloquially just “prints,” are simple digital files. Architects and contractors usually include the price of printed plans in their bill. However, contractors sometimes request the homeowner to order prints from a professional reprographer.

They are used for several things, such as

  • Developing a design idea into a proposal.

  • Communicating ideas and concepts to clients.

  • Convincing clients of the merits of a design.

  • Enabling a building contractor to construct the building.

  • Recording completed work.

  • Making a record of a building that already exists.

Essentially, a blueprint is a manual for a building. The drawing is an illustration of what the final product will look like, plus an instructional tool on how to achieve it.

Blueprint Printing Costs

Printing costs range from $0.06 per sheet to $25 per sheet. An average house will have 10 sheets per level. A full set of prints includes all the sheets for an entire project. Though digital PDF blueprints are commonly used on the jobsite on tablets, laptops and iPads, there is still demand for classic prints.

  • Paper sheets are inexpensive from $0.05 to $8.50 per sheet and typically printed on 20# paper or thicker. However, it can get wet and torn on the jobsite.

  • Using Tyvek sheets is expensive, $3 to $20 per sheet, but they are waterproof and durable, eliminating the need for multiple sets.

  • Bindings and covers add an additional $2 to $20 per set.

  • The most common size for homes is 24” by 36” - called “architectural D” drawings.

  • Reprographic services specialize in blueprint printing.

  • Sizes range from 8.5” by 11” to 36” by 48”.

Cost of Altering Custom Architectural House Plans

Alterations on approved plans run anywhere from $400 to $2,000 depending on how in-depth and complex the change is. It’s best to submit all ideas and revisions to your professional before approving the final plans and moving ahead with construction.

Average Cost of Mechanical House Plans

These plans will run the same as any other drafting project and are often included in the project price. A mechanical plan is a technical drawing that includes the locations of outlets, HVAC systems, plumbing and appliances. It helps during the construction phase of building.

Civil Drafts

Civil drafts are plans made for bridges, highway, sewers or any government related project. They vary greatly in cost depending on the project.

Commercial Building Plans

Commercial plans have no relatable cost range as they are project-specific. Most local and state governments have enacted regulations that require that only licensed architects can design commercial building projects.

However, architects employ and oversee drafters. The architect designs the building and the drafter turns that design into technical drawings. Once the drawings are finished, the architect then reviews and approves, or “stamps,” the final blueprints.

As-Built Drawing & Survey Costs

Upon construction completion, the contractor submits final plans. They show all changes made during the construction process. Also referred to as “as-builts,” they are completed by the contractor, not an architectural firm, engineer or independent drafter for liability reasons. These are covered in the home’s construction costs.

From the as-builts, an architect can create an official record drawing. This is the final version of the building as it was constructed. These plans are useful for future owners of the home who want to make structural changes, like an addition or remodel.

For older buildings with no known up-to-date plans, getting an as-built survey runs anywhere from $0.40 to $2.50 per square foot depending on the complexity of the building, its size and the level of detail you need. However, this is usually for commercial properties as there is little reason for homeowners to have these done.

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Architect vs. Drafter Costs

Architects cost $80 to $200 per hour while drafters come in lower at $50 to $130 an hour. Architects end up costing over twice as much or an average of $5,000 per project. They tend to deal with large scale commercial buildings or large, complex homes.

Many are also trained drafting professionals and often do simple house plan projects outside of other architectural work.

DIY vs. Hiring a Blueprint Designer

It’s easiest to take your idea to an engineer, drafter or architect. They can do in 10 hours what might take you weeks or even months. Save yourself the time and hire a drafter near you today.

Accessible software for blueprint designing, makes it possible to create your own house plans. However, you will need to invest in AutoCAD or an equivalent program and spend hundreds of hours learning the program and building codes.

Floor Plan Drawing Costs

Floor plan software costs anywhere from $25 to $75 with some basic online free apps available. These apps create a 2D overhead layout of a single floor without elevation. They are a great starting point to help you convey your ideas to a professional. Whether you’re having a draftsperson or contractor lay out the final technical plans, having a visual representation of your ideas helps simplify the process.

These apps shouldn’t be confused with professional CAD software. They aren’t blueprints or technical architectural drawings and shouldn’t be used in place of them. They are for event planning, furniture layouts and sometimes to sketch rough design ideas.


What is AutoCAD?

AutoCAD is a popular drafting program by AutoDesk costing $1,250 per year for a subscription.

Who do I hire for architectural drawings?

You can hire an architect, draftsman or engineer for drawings. In most residential settings, you’ll need a draftsman or engineer. However, avoid delays by having an architect or licensed contractor review your blueprints prior to starting construction.

Can a draftsman design a house plan?

In most cases a draftsman can design a house plan, and many do. In most residential spaces, they can work up a complete set of blueprints without the aid or supervision of an architect. Check with your local building code agency to see if it’s permitted in your area. Only hire drafters who have an education and experience in drafting. The American Design Drafting Association also offers optional certification programs that demonstrate competency in the field.

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