Home design software

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Acadia, Mar 9, 2008.

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  1. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Has anyone here ever used any brand of home design software? If so, can anyone give any recommendations, likes or dislikes? Thanks.

    Acadia
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Interior design? And such?
    My wife uses Chief Architect Better Homes and Gardens software and it's really simple and cool. If you get confused with links, I'll post them when I get back home...
    Mrk
     
  3. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Yeah, I should have been more specific. We are looking for a program that will do everything, from the foundation on to a 3-D picture of the final product. At this point in time we are working on floor plans of the entire house and need something that will help with room arrangement, square footage, etc, etc. Thanks.

    Acadia
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Then Chief Architect Better Homes and Gardens sounds perfect ....
    They have quite a few packages, so it might get confusing, so I'll go through all the links I have and post them here when I get home...

    BTW, Amazon is a good place for such a research - type interior design into the search field and you get 10-15 products, with 20-30 reviews each. Pretty accurate if you go through all the reviews... Takes time, but it's quite effective.

    Mrk
     
  5. Coolio10

    Coolio10 Registered Member

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    Chief Architect is suppose to be the easiest but Punch Software makes the most in-depth software with many features. Which are you looking for, ease of use or feature-ful?
     
  6. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Hmmm, I would probably want the program that can do the most because I have lots of time to learn. We probably won't be submitting any plans to a builder for a couple of years. Thanks.

    Acadia
     
  7. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    You may need it :)
    You'll find that "simple" design is ridiculously easy, but with many of these proggies, when you attempt anything out of the ordinary (i.e.: dormers, vaulted ceilings), patience and study will be necessary, as frustration can set in.
    Also a caveat:
    If you don't know what you're doing (re: construction methods, beam sizing, etc.), you may want to have someone review your plans at various intervals to make sure you don't get into trouble.
    Being in the business, I've made construction documents / framing plans for many "home-brewed" designs. Some looked really nice on paper, but were problematic to design / frame / construct (and subsequently more expensive). Some of these resulted in going back and changing their "base" design (that they were so happy with) in order to comply with a more logical / buildable design.


    Good luck, it can be a lot of fun as well as rewarding.
     
  8. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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  9. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Nice :)
    Bob D,
    Do you have some app to recommend?
     
  10. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    I have little experience with the budget proggies, but Chief Architect's products seem as good as anybodys.
    [I do most all drawings / construction documents in 2D.
    I only use the (expensive and time consuming) 3D modeling programs rarely (usually per client request).
    If you're serious, you may also want to invest in a simple single-member beam calculation / sizing software program.
    ]

    Cheers
     
  11. Firebytes

    Firebytes Registered Member

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    Have a look at this: Envisioneer Express, it is free which is surprising for how feature rich it is.
     
  12. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    That's a good freebie, but it's rather easy to find its limitations :)
    OK.
    Do you have a favourite CAD app?
    Well, 3DS Max has become quite popular here (Argentina) and it usually makes difference between the architects (sad but true). Everyone wants to install and learn 3DS Max.
    Sorry, I'm lost here. Which type of applications are these?

    Thanks :)
     
  13. Firebytes

    Firebytes Registered Member

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    Oh well, I thought I would offer up a free alternative. I am aware it won't come close to many paid programs but for a free program I thought it was very good.
     
  14. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    It's good, don't take me wrong :)
     
  15. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    AutoCAD
    [Although there are many lower priced options available (depending on your needs). One of the many IntelliCAD flavors, for example.]
    Studio Max is a great program. Not best suited for architectural, though.
    Good! (I have Autodesk stock.) :)
    Proggies to size joists / beams (dimensional lumber and engineered lumber products).
    i.e.: depending on span lengths and floor loads, can I use 2x10s @ 16" on-center? Or maybe 2x8s @ 12" on-center?
    Ditto with beams, headers, depending on span lengths and loads, will two 2x10s be adequate or do I need to use engineered lumber (LVLs), is so, what size, etc., etc.

    Cheers
     
  16. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Great, thanks :)
     
  17. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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  18. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Great software, but, you know, 3DS Max (and some others) is starting to be hard-wired in the minds here.
     
  19. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    I know very little about these programs, but as far as i can tell, Blender rules, or it seems to rule :)
     
  20. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    The CAD/CAM sector is fairly competitive and moves tons of money in hardware (professional VGAs, high-end workstations) and software.
     
  21. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    IF (big if) you need to create animated elves and gargoyles, and spend many months learning the proggie, Blender may do well (3DS is more battle tested, though). Unless you're a game builder, though, this isn't for the "typical Joe".
    For me, I find SketchUp (recently bought by Google) to be the best modeler for basic wireframe modeling and rendering.
    Criteria here being cost and intuitive ease of use.
    I use it often for architectural modeling (more so than the proggies I have/had that cost >$1,000).
     
  22. Rilla927

    Rilla927 Registered Member

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    Yes, Punch Software is tops when it comes to this stuff.
     
  23. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far, folks, keep them coming! :cool:

    Acadia
     
  24. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    The days of old where AutoCAD, Microstation, (and maybe a couple others) were the only options, is long gone.
    There are a dozen or so CAD programs now that are dedicated just for landscaping!
    There are CAD proggies solely for parking lot design.
    BIM (building information modeling) integration is the latest thing.
    The list is endless. Decision making for people in the industry is duanting.
    This ain't like choosing a new AV. :)
    You agonize over a decision for an appropriate soft, climb in bed with a vendor, spend thousands of dollars, spend many months (maybe take special training courses) to become reasonably proficient. You had better find that this new soft is useful / productive.
    I digress...... Back OT
    Cadalyst (periodical dedicated to CAD) has reviewed many CAD proggies:
    http://www.cadalyst.com
     
  25. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    I understand your opinion, and that it comes from someone used to these.
    But i didn't think Acadia would learn how to build houses, and in a precise manner (ie, design - print - construction workers getting on it).
    I would think Blender could serve the purpose, and learning to use Blender will mean he will always have Blender to use, no matter what computer he uses it on. Blender ist GPL :)

    Of course, i still do not know if Blender is better or worst than others to sketch a house, or if simpler/ more complicated. I think any of these programs require time.
     
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