Q&A / 

Home Design Software

DIY Architecture

Let's say you are planning a room addition. Did you know that you already possess the talents which allow you to calculate a comfortable size for the room addition? You may even possess some good design skills. Now you might think that I am wrong on this one.

For sake of discussion, let's assume that your local zoning ordinances will permit you to do just about anything. Some cities have strict setback lines and so forth that may limit the size of your planned addition - you must be aware of these limitations.

Go into your present living room. How does it feel? Imagine if it were say 6 feet wider and 8 feet longer. Maybe this size would allow you the space for that new couch, or a fireplace, built-in bookcases, whatever. The point is this. Use your existing rooms as starting points. You can measure them and stretch them to suit your needs. You need to start thinking in terms of space and how much you need.

Putting it on Paper

Remember earlier how I told you that my drafting skills were poor. Today, you don't need to know how to draw! If you have a fairly modern computer and sufficient memory, there are many affordable computer design programs that will draw your planned room addition.

These programs are not intended to replace an architect. I feel that many homeowners can use these programs to help them get a feel for what the process involves. By using one of these simplistic programs, you can actually draft a floor plan, create elevations (pictures of how walls will look), and even do a walk through 3D tour!

Many of these programs cost less than $100 dollars. If you have the slightest amount of interest, you can possibly plow through much of your preliminary design work. The 3D features of some of the programs allow you to see what you are designing. This is very helpful, as many of my customers had great difficulty in visualizing a blueprint. They simply couldn't see what was going to be.

It is important to note that these programs, in my opinion, are not meant to replace an architect or an interior designer. These professionals can take your concepts and refine them. In many instances they can maximum the utility and beauty of your ideas.

User Friendly Homeowner Software Design Programs

Many of these programs are similar in several respects. You can develop floor plans, elevations and often take a tour of what you have created. Many have libraries of existing house plans that you can modify. They are very powerful. You must pay attention to the system requirements on the side of the program box. In other words, make sure you have 'enough' computer. Most of these programs can be bought for the same amount of money you might pay an architect for 1 hour of his/her time. You can do a lot of your own preliminary work and produce computer generated ideas in a jiffy!

  • CAD Complete House
    Deep River Publishing Corp

  • Home & Landscape Design
    Punch! Software
  • My House
    Designware
  • Turbo Cad
    IMSI

Column B106

SPONSORS / 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>