Budgeting and Estimating

At Drafting Cafe, we believe homeowners should have accurate, unbiased information at their fingertips throughout their project. The builder should be independent from the architect, as separate entities and advisors. This provides a homeowner with multiple perspectives during design and the opportunity to compare competitive bids once the design is complete.

Design-Build Alternative

In the process known as Design-Build, the builder and the architect/designer are part of one company. They will often give a soft bid before a contract is signed, then bid their own design once it is complete. This process doesn’t allow flexibility for a competitive bid and locks you into one team without independent advisors. Drafting Cafe’s approach doesn’t lock you in.

Independent Advisors

Drafting Cafe has taken the best parts of the Design-Build process and integrated them into our process. We provide the insight of a contractor during the design process, along with support from Drafting Cafe’s team during construction, all without having to commit to a builder before design begins. It’s a team of independent advisors at your fingertips.

Flexibility to Build

Our process pairs you with one of our pre-selected builders based on their expertise, your neighborhood, and their availability. There is no obligation to hire them to build your project after the design is complete, and you are free to collect competitive bids from other builders.

Key Benefits

Hover over the sections below to learn more about the key benefits of Drafting Cafe’s Budgeting and Estimating program.

Independent Advisors

Because your architect and contractor are two separate entities, you have two independent voices guiding your decisions from their respective areas of expertise.


Designing and building a remodel or addition can be complex and stressful. With a closely integrated team from day one, there is far less need to rely on the homeowner for coordination.


When your architect and builder are working collaboratively and in an integrated manner, you have the best control over costs.

Faster Delivery

The collaborative nature of our process means your project is completed faster. The constant communication keeps things moving every step of the way.

Build Trust

Working with a builder during the design process is the best way to interview them for the job. Once construction starts, you’ll already know how they think and work.