T Nation

Building House, Program Wanted


#1

Hey guys ill be building a new house for myself, and i would like to draw it in a program just so architect could get the idea i want. it doesnt have to be fancy or anything but simple so i can easily explain. anyone got an idea?


#2

5/3/1

(Sorry I had to)


#3

Depends on what you’re comfortable doing.

Sweet Home 3D is the best free option I found. Has a bit of a learning curve.

The most useful feature – beyond actually laying things out and dimensioning things – is that you can import 3D models of various furniture and other items. That was very useful for visualizing counterspace and room sizes. E.g., grab a couch model, set it to the size of your actual couch, and place it in the room.

Multiple floors are a bit tricky, and rooflines are difficult enough to almost be impossible.

But as far as communicating ideas to the architect, and visualizing things for yourself (the 3D view is pretty good), it’s a good tool.


#4

thank you very much


#5

Drawing up your house is what an architect is for, you need to go in and talk about your ideas.

Trust me, they are better at this than you.

  • The guy with architectural training.

#6

I tried that method a couple times and gave up.

Magazines are much, much better.

“I like this house. Except taller. With Palladian windows. And a tile roof. And a 6 car garage visible from the street.”


#7

I’m going through the same thing. Check out the Chief Architect Home Designer software. I used the demo for a while and it really seems ideal. You could probably do everything you need for the $100 suite.

I’m currently using an old version of Punch! Design Suite because I already had it. It’s not as user friendly, but has the necessary tools. I’m debating taking it to an architect when I am done or drafting it myself.

Depending on what you are looking for and if you know a little about construction, designing a house is not as difficult as it seems.


#8

Are you going to hire a builder or be your own GC?


#9

Since everyone’s throwing you the advice you want, rather than the advice I think you need:

SketchUp. Free version available and it’s an industry standard, albeit not necessarily for production of construction drawings.


#10

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
Since everyone’s throwing you the advice you want, rather than the advice I think you need:[/quote]
Why do you see “I’m going to take a stab drawing something I want” as a problem?

Just trying to understand where you’re coming from.

I mean, obviously (?), the things people come up with are often unbuildable, impractical, and overall undoable, but it seems to get people thinking a little more critically about things. And I do think it helps with communicating stuff like “I kind of like how this looks, and I want the rooms to lay out kind of like that”.

Of course, so do paper drawings.

The software just helps put some of those paper drawings into scale, and helps visualize things from a plan.

I dunno. I see the value.

But I genuinely want to know what you see as the problem with it.


#11

definitely hire a contractor, i have no knowledge about building house, and i dont want to learn on my house.


#12

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
Since everyone’s throwing you the advice you want, rather than the advice I think you need:[/quote]
Why do you see “I’m going to take a stab drawing something I want” as a problem?

Just trying to understand where you’re coming from.

I mean, obviously (?), the things people come up with are often unbuildable, impractical, and overall undoable, but it seems to get people thinking a little more critically about things. And I do think it helps with communicating stuff like “I kind of like how this looks, and I want the rooms to lay out kind of like that”.

Of course, so do paper drawings.

The software just helps put some of those paper drawings into scale, and helps visualize things from a plan.

I dunno. I see the value.

But I genuinely want to know what you see as the problem with it.[/quote]

Because that is how he makes his money…

Seriously, I get his point though as most professional accountants would. For example, my wife is a tax accountant and every single year someone asks her to do their personal return. It always and I mean always turns out they fucked up the prior years. Always. I don’t blame them, the code is difficult to understand and the forms can be as well.

Point being, leave it to the professionals.


#13

The learning curve is steep (like C++ :wink: but autocad architectural is a great program. Im pretty sure you can get a student version for free for 3 years.


#14

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Because that is how he makes his money…

[/quote]

I actually do not work in the industry because it’s a trash place to be, from a worker’s standpoint. Ask around, 99/100 people in the field get the shaft.

I’m just being truthful here. Have you ever thought about where a master bedroom should be, in relation to the street, a main bathroom and a utility room? You don’t just slap a good design together by way of blind luck.

Do you even understand the yearly path of the sun around your property? These are real, tangible considerations that have enormous impact on your end result. Which way do seasonal winds blow, and what are you going to do to harness/battle them?


#15

yeah you kinda went too far with this. i asked because i think that i could explain much more easier if i show him how i would like room arrangements etc. and then he can work with it. so based on my wishes ( i am really sure a picture can explain this better) he can rectify my mistakes and make it more safer and more efficient


#16

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
I’m just being truthful here. Have you ever thought about where a master bedroom should be, in relation to the street, a main bathroom and a utility room? You don’t just slap a good design together by way of blind luck.

Do you even understand the yearly path of the sun around your property? These are real, tangible considerations that have enormous impact on your end result. Which way do seasonal winds blow, and what are you going to do to harness/battle them?
[/quote]
Yeah, actually, we thought through all that stuff. As well as noise, hvac design, plumbing design, [daily and seasonal] natural lighting, seismic issues, room-to-room traffic flow, kitchen workflow, future expansion/renovations, neighborhood CC&Rs, and a whole bunch of other stuff. All that stuff impacted the design and material choices, and we’re well aware of tradeoffs we made. There was plenty that affected lot selection too.

And we did involve a number of professionals, eventually, to iron out some of the details.

But I see your point. I do think an architect should be involved somewhere in the process, just not necessarily from the beginning.


#17

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

Because that is how he makes his money…

[/quote]

I actually do not work in the industry because it’s a trash place to be, from a worker’s standpoint. Ask around, 99/100 people in the field get the shaft.

I’m just being truthful here. Have you ever thought about where a master bedroom should be, in relation to the street, a main bathroom and a utility room? You don’t just slap a good design together by way of blind luck.

Do you even understand the yearly path of the sun around your property? These are real, tangible considerations that have enormous impact on your end result. Which way do seasonal winds blow, and what are you going to do to harness/battle them?
[/quote]

As a Project Manager, sometimes we will do some schematic design work with the end-users before turning the drawing over to an architect. This gives the architect an idea of what we are looking for without spending $150 an hour for having him sit though our brainstorming meetings.

This process works so long as the end-users know that the design will probably change substantially.


#18

[quote]daracv wrote:
yeah you kinda went too far with this. i asked because i think that i could explain much more easier if i show him how i would like room arrangements etc. and then he can work with it. so based on my wishes ( i am really sure a picture can explain this better) he can rectify my mistakes and make it more safer and more efficient[/quote]

If that’s the case, why don’t you just get some graph paper, a straight edge, and a #2 pencil?


#19

[quote]mutantcolors wrote:
Since everyone’s throwing you the advice you want, rather than the advice I think you need:

SketchUp. Free version available and it’s an industry standard, albeit not necessarily for production of construction drawings.[/quote]

I’m experienced with AutoCad and Solidworks. I tried SketchUp and could not stand it, FWIW.


#20

I work with architects every day. In fact, my job is to manage them and ensure that owner’s goals are met! My advice, similar to Dr P and mutantcolors, let the architect do what they do. I have sat in hundreds of design meetings and despite knowing what occurs, I wouldn’t try and design my own house. Design is dictated by program (in commercial), or in your case, use. A good architect will ask you questions and determine a house that fits your needs and, specifically, see the whole picture; as others have noted, orientation, flow, roof type, etc.

NOTE: I said good architect. I have many gripes with architects and so do others… which is why my profession exists, in the commercial world. Find an architect that is qualified, but also that you connect with.

  • Don’t draw the house in a program
  • Do research ideas of what you want, floor plan wise. Ie. I want my master on the second floor near a small nursery, or I want 12 foot ceilings in one portion of the basement, with a separate air handler and structurally reinforced ceiling for my home gym.
  • Don’t pretend to understand code or AHJ requirements
  • Do set a minimum requirement scope of work for the architect to work off of. (This is important)
  • Do have an idea of finishes.

Again, the best thing you can do is just begin to think about what is important to you now, and 5-15 years in the future. Not sure where you are in life, age, family, etc. Write down things that you would like, and let the architect worry about fitting that into a floor plan. Once they get you a schematic design, agree upon direction or further refinement. Then you’ll proceed to Design Development and really nail down what you want and where. Before finally moving onto construction documents that will be used to build the house.

One thing I can’t state enough, to anyone engaging in construction related contracts, is have an agreed upon, clear scope of work. Also, ensure that any changes that affect scope, schedule or budget are sent in writing (email) and accepted prior to beginning work.