Structural Design And Drafting Services – Yorke Peninsula, SA


The price varies depending on the complexity of the structure: the fee quoted is common for simple building structures (eg. small sheds, freestanding carports). For simple drafting services lower prices are possible. For large industrial sheds and agricultural shelters higher fees would apply.

Available Productised Solutions

Productised solutions are more specific services, with fixed prices.

  1. Calcs-for-Council (To Suit DIY Projects)
  2. Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – less than 3m
  3. Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 3m and less than 6m
  4. Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 6m and less than 9m
  5. Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 9m and less than 12m
  6. Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 12m and less than 15m
  7. Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 15m and less than 18m
  8. Structural Design and documentation of Single storey building
  9. Structural Design Freestanding Canopy – cold-formed steel – span less than 12m
  10. Structural Design and documentation of a structure which is not otherwise considered a building

Design vs Engineering

We use the term design where others use the term engineering. For us engineering takes place at the frontiers of science and technology. Structures are an established technology, and as such we do not expect to encounter any frontiers: and therefore no engineering is considered to be involved. {NB: Your Local Legislation may define engineering otherwise. If you are in South Australia, then we provide the “engineering” which the council/regulator asked you to submit}

Technical Design: The Rational Scientific Approach to Design

The rational scientific design of a structure to assure that it is fit-for-function or otherwise suitable-for-purpose is expected to be based on an established body of knowledge, and solution techniques are expected to be found in the published literature. Design therefore can be carried out by drawing and calculation, rather than building and testing prototypes. However there maybe some situations where the accepted approach is to conduct routine tests to collect data. These are not experiments to derive new theory, these are tests based on established theory. For structures the most common routine test is the testing of unusual connections, for which there is no prior history of testing and no publicly available literature on the design of such connections. If stick with common structural forms and associated connections, then there is no “engineering” just routine structural design.

Design: Building on Paper

Design is a creative and qualitative activity. It typically takes place on a drawing board (or the electronic equivalent: CADD). Design is not simply an exercise in putting lines on paper. Design concerns building the structure in the designers minds eye, and then transferring this concept to paper. It is preferable that the designer has both a qualitative and quantitative appreciation of the behaviour of, structures, or other technology they are designing.

Drafting: Communicating Ideas

Drafting is concerned with communicating an idea to others. A drafters task is communication and presentation of information. A drafters role in a project, is not the design of the proposed implementation of a given technology, but the design of the documents presenting such proposal.

If you are an owner-builder and have an idea, then a drafter can aid in getting such idea down on paper, so that it can be communicated to others in a standard form. A drafter however can only provide minimal assistance with design.

The Documents: An Abstract Model

Once the idea is on paper then a designer can start making an assessment as to whether the proposal is fit-for-function. Any changes required can then be fed back to the drafter so they can change the documents. This however is a relatively inefficient process. It is much faster if the designer makes changes whilst they build the structure on paper: there are fewer errors this way, as every line aids the designers understanding of the structure. The designer draws additional sections and details as necessary to understand the structure.

Whilst such additional sections and details may not be necessary to get development approval (council approval) such details are important for producing accurate material take-offs, and determining fabrication and construction requirements.

The traditional paper based documents can be considered a model of the structure on paper. It is an abstract model and uses the minimum number of lines, to represent characteristics of the structure of critical importance. Compared to modern day computer based 3D virtual models, the traditional models seldom involved irrelevant redundant data.

If the abstract model contains valid information then it can be used to further assess suitability-of-purpose, not just qualitatively but quantitatively. The quantitative assessment of a structure involves calculations based on the branch of physics called mechanics, more specifically applied mechanics (statics) along with the mechanics of the strength and stability of materials.

If supply own drawings and the drawings do not represent a complete specification and description-of-intent, then delays will be experienced whilst the drawings are brought up to an acceptable standard.


Depends on the actual structure. If relatively simple and only making a structural assessment, and not producing any drawings, then within 24 hours (simple has little to do with how easy it is to build). If producing drawings and calculations then minimum time is 1 week. If there is a lot of work on then may be placed in a queue, and have to wait for 12 weeks. Currently (25/02/2019) only the work effort determines the time.


It should be noted that the design effort does not vary with size of structure but with the complexity of the structure. Thus a $500 garden shed may require the same effort as an $1 million industrial building if they are the same structural form and otherwise providing same level of service. The design can cost more than the small building, It is important therefore that smaller structures are designed once and made many times. You are therefore likely better off buying a small structure off-the-shelf, rather than getting custom design (“engineering”).

However larger structures tend to become more complex or at least more involved. For example a single steel section is viable for a shed frame up to a span of about 20 m, after which a truss may become more economical even though a single section is still feasible. Larger buildings also have larger wall areas into which to fit more doors and windows, such items may result in deviating from the typical structural grid. For example cold-formed steel sheds have a typical grid of 3 m, which doesn’t fit with roller doors 5 m wide: so if columns are removed to make this viable then additional structure needs to be assessed.

Fees for larger structures (as provided by the standard products) therefore include an allowance for common modifications as the structure gets larger, and also increased risk due to the usage of such buildings. Fees for an individual project maybe lower, once we have seen the building design (architectural) drawings and determined the specific needs.


The structure can be located just about anywhere if there is no need for us to inspect the site, and everything can be done by photos and documents. Otherwise restricted to South Australia, and more specifically the Yorke Peninsula, site visits beyond the Yorke Peninsula will incur additional fees. People not located on the Yorke Peninsula will have to pay upfront or via an escrow service (eg. Checkvault).

  1. Previous Project Locations by council area
  2. Past Concentration of Projects around Adelaide Metro