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Architectural drawing is the foundation of building and construction. It’s the blueprint for creating buildings that meet client specifications, aesthetic values, and local code regulations. At its core, an architectural drawing is an illustration of what a final building project could look like. It could show the overall construction or could focus on only one part of the building. The goal is to show as much detail as possible so that architects will be able to determine whether their building plans are accurate. 

Architectural drawings enable architects to tell if they need to rework a design. They also help them ensure the building is durable. While architectural drawings are often created in 3D, many architects still utilize 2D CAD drafting services. There are many benefits to 2D drafting: 

It provides quicker turnaround – Designers can create 2D drafts a lot faster than 3D models. These designers have likely developed shortcuts that enable them to produce drafts quickly and efficiently.

It furnishes greater accuracy – It can be easy to depend on 3D views. However, those utilizing 2D drafting have to become better at visualizing layouts, so they likely have experience creating more accurate and realistic 2D blueprints. 

It is still widely used – According to CAD Analyst, 60 percent of designers involved in a study “mainly” or “totally” use 2D drafting techniques and software. While there has been a push toward 3D drafting, 2D is still widely used. 

2D architectural drawing services are essential for any architectural firm. However, it can be challenging to find the right fit. Cad Crowd has a selection of freelancers who can provide expert architectural drawing services. 

We pride ourselves on connecting freelancers with architectural firms that need them. However, before you hire your next drafter or designer, it may be helpful to understand the types of architectural drawing options available. This will help you to make an informed decision regarding your next freelancer. 

Different types of architectural drawings 

There are a variety of ways to use architectural drawings to bring your plan together for a future building project. The drawings don’t just stop at general building blueprints. Two-dimensional architectural drawings can produce ideas for: 

  • Interior layouts
  • Technical construction drawings
  • Retail space plans
  • Urban planning and design
  • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering designs 
  • Marketing materials and presentations

Architectural 2D drawings can go beyond typical blueprints and can serve a variety of purposes. Most of the drawings mentioned above are involved in the layers of architecture. For example, you may have a client who cares just as much about the interior design as the external foundations. Because architecture can quickly become complicated, it is crucial to simplify when possible. 

Two-dimensional architectural drawings are an excellent tool for explaining layouts and displaying building materials and other construction details. In fact, the possibilities of architectural drawings are endless. However, while the past may have included paper and pencils, designers today use digital programs to develop detailed architectural drawings. 

Popular architectural drawing programs 

Before you hire your next architectural designer, it is helpful to know about some of the most popular and highly regarded architectural drawing programs out there. Knowledge of these programs will allow you to factor their costs into your budget, and it will help you understand the architectural drawing process better. So, below are four well-known software programs that can be used for architectural drawing (specifically 2D drafting). 

AutoCAD 2D by AutoDesk 

While not created explicitly for architectural designers, AutoCAD comes with a wide range of capabilities that makes the creation of architectural layouts more straightforward. It has both 2D and 3D drafting features and is known for streamlining design workflows. AutoCAD comes with computer-aided design (CAD) tools that make it easier to create detailed and precise models. So, there is no use for stencils or technical drawing instruments. 

AutoCAD 2D is known for its complete set of drawing tools, maintaining an intuitive user interface, using innovative technologies that make designing more manageable, and the ability to easily collaborate with other designers. While this program does come with a high price tag, it brings ease and speed to the architectural drawing process. Architectural drawing companies and freelancers will be pleased with this one. 

SketchUp by Trimble 

If a designer prefers a more traditional drafting experience instead of using only CAD tools, SketchUp is the answer. The program is designed to behave in a similar way to putting pencil to paper, and as such, it can be used to develop accurate yet straightforward designs. While the program’s focus is on sleek 3D design creation, it does have 2D capabilities. 

Most designs can be displayed with a 2D layout. Two-dimensional plans can include build details, elevations, sections, and title blocks. Three-dimensional models and 2D plans are connected—changes to the model are automatically reflected in the 2D layout. SketchUp even takes it a step further by allowing designers to display real-world models using virtual and augmented reality technologies. 

Vectorworks Architect by Nemetschek Group

Vectorworks is an excellent blend of the collaboration and CAD capabilities of AutoCAD with the intuitiveness and traditional feel of SketchUp. It is a robust program that allows architects to create detailed and sleek 2D plans. It has a lot of bells and whistles, but Vectorworks shines because of its precision drawing feature. 

With it, designers can efficiently adjust dimensions, easily add essential notes to plans, create models using priority snaps, and choose from sets of pre-defined layers and filters. Designers can indeed get a feel for traditional 2D drafting while taking advantage of new and innovative features. Vectorworks also allows designers to create site designs seamlessly and produce multiple drawing views with ease. With Vectorworks, the possibilities are plentiful for freelance designers and architectural drawing companies. 

Chief Architect Premier 

Chief Architect Premier is an excellent choice for architects who deal primarily with residential or light commercial building projects. The software is intuitive and is known for its ease of use in designing projects using automation and prediction. Once designers create 3D models, the software produces a materials list along with various construction documents (like site plans, section details, and elevations). 

Chief Architect Premier has a library of 3D objects that can easily be integrated into the design of the property, freeing users from having to create every item from scratch. This is an excellent feature for freelance designers and architectural drawing services firms with many orders to fill. 

While most of the focus is on 3D models, designers can easily switch between working with 2D and 3D views. They can quickly move between layers and update multiple construction documents at the same time. One of the ways this program shines is through 2D terrain models. Designers can integrate terrain survey data to ensure they are creating plans that work best with the property’s natural environment. 

While there are other software options available, these are some of the most popular and widely-used for architectural drawing services. Their prices may vary, and many programs offer some of the same capabilities. However, each provides a unique experience for designers. The goal is to find a designer who is proficient with a software package that can handle all the requirements of your project. 

The benefits of architectural drawings 

You may already have an idea of why you need to work with an architectural drawing services company. However, it doesn’t hurt to dig deeper into why architectural drawing (drafting) is a much-needed skill. Clients may fail to see the value in the cost of architectural drawings, as well as the reason for allowing time for the drafting process (and potential revisions). Here are some of the benefits of 2D layout models to keep in mind during discussions with clients and team members: 

  • Architectural drawings allow for a more straightforward explanation of the cost and time associated with construction. 
  • Architects can easily provide multiple building ideas and design options at one time. 
  • These drawings can help contractors calculate the construction time and materials requirements for a building project. 
  • All parties involved don't have to rely on only a written description of a project's specifications; architectural drawings can provide a visual confirmation of the requested features and designs. 
  • If a client requests a model design similar to a previous drawing, architectural drawing firms can work from an already-created plan instead of having to start from scratch. 

Architectural drawings are a perfect way to get a firm understanding of a building project’s scope, cost, and labor requirements. Understanding both the big picture and the small details will give you the ability to determine whether the design will accomplish all of your client's goals.  And once you have a solid design, you should be able to meet your client's expectations more easily. 

Allow us to help you find your next architectural drawing freelancer

Architectural drawings are a necessity for any building project, so you want to make sure you are working with someone who can quickly and accurately capture client needs. You need someone with experience and a talent for turning requests and specifications into detailed 2D drawings. 

Cad Crowd has years of experience connecting pre-vetted and expert architectural drawing freelancers with entrepreneurs and design firms. We can help you find the designer who is right for you and your next project. Contact us whether you need ongoing support for your business or specialized help for a one-time project. You can even hold a contest that allows you to choose from a variety of offers.

If you require architectural design services, we invite you to reach out to us today for a free quote. 

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