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How Much Do CAD Drafting Services Cost?

Hiring a CAD drafter to create original plans typically costs $111.20 to $124.20 per hour.
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Estimated CAD Drafting Rates
Atlanta, GA$105.16 - $115.68 per hour
Coral Springs, FL$121.00 - $133.10 per hour
Des Moines, IA$99.99 - $109.99 per hour
El Paso, TX$99.44 - $109.38 per hour
Fargo, ND$101.97 - $112.17 per hour
Nashville, TN$97.79 - $107.57 per hour
Rio Rancho, NM$104.61 - $115.07 per hour
San Francisco, CA$180.40 - $198.44 per hour
Topeka, KS$100.98 - $111.08 per hour
Wilmington, NC$108.68 - $119.55 per hour
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Items that may affect the cost of drafting services:

1. Size and complexity of structure

How much time will it take the drafting professional to complete your project? Plans for a commercial building with a lot of square footage will cost more than plans for a home addition. If you have a complicated structure with many rooms and unique architectural details, it will take longer to complete the drawing.

2. Level of detail needed for drawings

The complexity and attention to detail of each blueprint can vary widely. Do you need something very specific, such as the details of mechanical, plumbing, and HVAC systems in an office building?

What size and type of drawing do you need: a floor plan, elevation plan, section plan, and/or perspective plan?

The level of detail you need may depend on the purpose of your blueprint. If you need to submit construction drawings as part of a building permit application, it is important to understand how much detail your local authorities want to see in order to approve the project.

3. Expertise of drafting service

There are a few different types of professionals who can provide a CAD drafting service. In theory, anyone who knows how to use a CAD software such as AutoCAD can complete the work. However, you may want to hire someone who has an engineering, design, or architecture background - depending on the nature of the job. These experts usually charge a premium rate for their services.

If you are designing a house from scratch, you may to hire an architect whose work you admire and whose style you like. It also helps to find someone who is familiar with local building codes or an expert in a specific type of design. On the other hand, if you’re just getting someone to draw your existing building, this may not be necessary.

If you don’t use an architect or structural engineer, note that you’ll likely need both of those professionals to review and approve the drawings before construction can begin. This will be an additional cost later on.

4. Starting from an existing drawing

Is the drafting service helping you modify an existing blueprint or are they creating one entirely from scratch? Revising or modifying existing plans is usually less expensive.

If you are building a new home, you can save money by buying ready-made house plans. There are thousands of plans online to choose from. From there, a drafting service can help you modify the drawings to your liking.

5. Turnaround time

Usually, drafting services can provide a ‘rush’ service at a higher rate if you have a quick turnaround time for your CAD drawing.

If you don’t have any timeline restrictions, some services may offer a discounted rate to those willing to wait 1 or 2 months for their plans.

6. Your location

Drafting rates vary slightly from city to city. You can get multiple quotes to understand what is normal for a CAD drafting service in your area.

In your search, you may come across very low-priced drafting services provided by companies overseas. Although many professionals can learn to use a CAD drawing software, be careful of using an extremely cheap service as they may not have the design knowledge or engineering background you need.

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Cost to Hire an Architect →

Cost to Build a House →

Typical Architect Fees →

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Related Questions

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

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