Draughtsman, Architects, Engineers & Surveyors

What is the difference between a Draughtsman and an Architect?

“A Draughtsman, also known as a Draftsman, is a term used to describe an individual with the experience of drafting technical drawings. These drawings can be used for different purposes, such as engineering or architectural purposes.

Draughtsmen originally drew on paper, but because of technology, modern Draughtsmen make use of CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) software aka Architectural drawing software , which helps the drafter to creatively modify, optimize as well as analyse his drawings and generate 3-D models and artistic renderings.

Draughtsmen work for Architects, Civil, Mechanical, Mining Engineering and Construction companies. They are the technical drafters of most engineering projects. Often Draughtsmen also work under the supervision of an Architect.”


Drafting plans Johannesburg

“An Architect is someone who loves to design, and is specifically trained and licensed to work on the planning and design of buildings. The facets of an architect’s role are as varied and fascinating as their work; these are professionals who lead the process of creating functional spaces, from concept and design to a full realization of those designs.

Architecture is an art that works hand in hand with science to design places where people can live, eat, work and play. As a leader of various projects, from something as small as an addition to someone’s home, to something as large as a hospital, college campus, or an entire neighbourhood, the role of an architect is to bring together the creative ideas and visions of the client and keep in mind the needs of those that will be using the new space.”


Architects design and build structures for others to live, work, eat, shop and worship in. These structures can include homes, schools, office buildings, rooms and complexes that are for indoor, outdoor, public or private use. In addition to being in charge of the overall aesthetics, architects must also make sure these structures are safe, functional and economical. Additionally, architects are often involved in every phase of construction projects, from initial planning to project completion.

Architects use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) tools and software, as well as building information modeling (BIM), to create construction drawings. They must be sure that these drawings follow ordinances such as zoning laws, building codes and fire regulations. Architects must also make sure these structures are handicapped-accessible.”





What Does A Construction Engineer Do?

 “Construction engineers who are usually professional engineers holding a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree in civil engineering or related field, are the ones who handle big construction projects. Handling these large-scale undertakings mean that they are responsible for preparing the blueprint for the project and then supervising the construction efforts. Their mandate is to ensure that infrastructure projects that are about to be built are not only functional but safe for those who use it.


The work of Construction engineers start even before the actual design and building of the proposed infrastructure takes place. One of the first things that they do is to look into the maps and other data gleaned from surveys which would prove that the area would serve as a stable foundation for the structure. If the information shows that the base is going to support the building, construction engineers then solicit the opinion of geotechnical specialists and other civil engineers on the materials that would be the most suitable for the project. They would also discuss how best to carry out the construction for the project.

It is only after these preliminary deliberations have taken place that Construction engineers begin to make blueprints. They need to be knowledgeable about the use of computer design software like CADD because this is what they will use to come up with the blueprints. Once done, they would show these to the landowners who will decide if the project should continue. Construction engineers will then fine-tune the plans after approval from the landowners have been given. In most cases, they will have to make different blueprint drafts before they are satisfied with the results. They then include other pertinent information like estimate time for completion of the project, how much it would cost, the materials required and others in the documentation that they will send to the landowners who will conduct a final review before ultimately approving these projects.

Once the construction phase begins, Construction engineers may have to spend a lot of their time on the site. They work together with supervisors in order to ensure that the project deadlines are met. They also see to it that the resources are allocated as planned and the people hired do their jobs. He makes constant inspections to determine if the different parts of the project are constructed as they should and are in accordance with the approved plans. In the event that he notices problems during construction, he should be proactive enough to think of solutions and implement them to mitigate any potential damage. After the entire building has been completed, the Construction engineer also does a final inspection to see if the structure is safe and durable.”


drafting plans
Construction Engineer

What is a Surveyor and what do they do?

“A surveyor is someone who establishes official land, airspace, and water boundaries. Surveyor work with civil engineers, landscape architects, and regional and urban planners to develop comprehensive design documents. They work outdoors in many types of terrain, and they also work indoors to prepare legal documents and other reports.

Surveyors typically do the following:

  • Measure distances, directions, and angles between points on, above, and below the earth’s surface
  • Select known reference points and then determine the exact location of important features in the survey area using special equipment
  • Establish official land and water boundaries
  • Research land records and other sources of information affecting properties
  • Look for evidence of previous boundaries to determine where boundary lines are
  • Travel to locations to measure distances and directions between points
  • Record the results of surveying and verify the accuracy of data
  • Prepare plots, maps, and reports
  • Work with cartographers (mapmakers), architects, construction managers, and others
  • Present findings to clients, government agencies, and others
  • Write descriptions of land for deeds, leases, and other legal documents
  • Provide expert testimony in court regarding their work or that of other surveyors

Surveyors guide construction and development projects and provide information needed for the buying and selling of property. Whenever property is bought or sold, it needs to be surveyed for legal purposes. In construction, surveyors determine the precise location of roads or buildings and proper depths for foundations and roads.

In their work, Surveyors use the Global Positioning System (GPS), a system of satellites that locates reference points with a high degree of precision. Surveyors interpret and verify the GPS results. They gather the data that is fed into a Geographic Information System (GIS), which is then used to create detailed maps.

Surveyors take measurements in the field with a crew, a group that typically consists of a licensed surveyor and trained survey technicians. The person in charge of the crew (called the party chief) may be either a surveyor or a senior surveying technician. The party chief leads day-to-day work activities.”


Do I need an Architectural Draftsman?

It is very tempting to use someone who has a basic knowledge of drawing plans – like your cousin’s friend who completed one year of architecture at uni or tech, because it is so much cheaper.  But the ultimate cost of not using a professional person (an architect or draughtsperson) who can “walk” the plans through from concept to council for submission and ultimately obtain that final approval can be a costly mistake.

The National building regulations and Building Standards Act, clearly state that all structures, beards new; additions; alterations require local authority approval. It is advised that you do employ a draftsman if you want the job done right. If at any point you need planning permission, you NEED a SACAP (the South African Council for Architectural Professionals) registered Architectural Draftsman Or Architect!

Without an Architectural Draftsman you are putting your hands in a builder whose judgement and vision is one you’ll need to trust, if this is the case then an Architectural Draftsman is less necessary.

Drafting plans

If you are not sure of what you want, then an Architectural Draftsman can help give you ideas and guide you in the right direction and produce drafting plans.

If you don’t trust builders, or are busy or inexperienced, an architectural draftsman can help you keep an informed eye on the builders and make sure the project stays on tract.

Plans submission & Approval