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  1. #1
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    Default Need Advice - Designing House Plans

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    Hey, Iím new to Cad and was just wondering what cad type program would be the best for making house plans?
    I am a builder, but I want to get into architecture design.
    As a builder the plans I get to build with from architects, are sometimes so shocking, and the designs are quite bad really. Also alot of things they design do not work practically.

    So I am looking for the best program for this, I have tried standard AutoCAD before, but it didnít really seem like the type of program I wanted.
    It will be used for resisdential houses btw

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    When you say AutoCAD "didn't really seem like the type of program I wanted" just what were you referring too? I've used AutoCAD to do architectural drawings too. Once I assembled all my block libraries (windows, doors, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, etc.) the job became easier. If there's something you need many manufacturer's these days even provide, free of charge, online access to their AutoCAD block libraries (check out Anderson windows for example) for insertion into your drawing. The blocks can include plan, elevation and even sectional views. Select, download and insert. How easy is that? Maybe plain old AutoCAD is not "automatic" enough for you. Are you looking for something that is more intuitive or that will do most of the work for you? I'm sure you'll get some good suggestions here if you just stick around a bit. Good Luck. Let's us know what you decide and please share with us some insight into what influenced your decision. We can all benefit from the knowledge.
    "I have only come here seeking knowledge. Things they wouldn't teach me of in college." The Police

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    I'm now a full member of the Society for the Promotion of Mediocrity in CAD. Standards? We don't need no stinkin' standards! Take whatever advice I offer and do the opposite.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator f700es's Avatar
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    I would have to agree that "maybe" vanilla AutoCAD might not be the best package for you. I also believe that as a residential builder that Architectural Desktop might be WAY too much. Sure it will work but maybe not in the best way for you. We (the place I work for) are a residential design-build company and we have 4 people using ADT and I will be the 1st to admit that we use maybe 10% of the program. Now being familiar with Acad might be worth staying with say AutoCAD LT and perhaps trying an AEC add-on package. IIRC you can either order or download a 30 day demo of AutoCAD LT. Also you can download a 30 day demo of Drcauto's Smart Architect LT Pro - http://www.drcauto.com/products/smar...pro/index.html .
    Sure it's $1495 but still less than Vanilla AutoCAD and it is built for AEC drawings will vanilla Acad is really not.

    Other option...
    SoftPlan - http://www.softplan.com/

    there is another one but I can't think of it right now.
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  4. #4
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    Morning

    What part of the world are you from, not that will make any difference, just interested.

    If you want to go down the ACAD route, I would suggest you try the LT version, much lower cost and it will for a long time be more than sufficient for your needs.

    As an experienced architectural technologist I'm sorry that you are getting such bad service from our side of the industry.

    If you are in England please feel free to PM me for any help or advice.

    Alastair
    "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." --Isaac Newton

    ADT 2009

  5. #5
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    ^^Hi, im am from New Zealand.

    I heard about a program called ArchiCAD, anyone familia with that? Apperantly its the program i want to be getting?

  6. #6
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    There is no best software for making house plan. Base on my experience, there are many types of software that can do house plan, but they work differently. There are Vectorworks, Archicad, Revit, AutoCAD, InteliCAD, DataCAD, Microstation, SoftCAD, Arris and etc.

    My advice:
    1. Look for software support services in New Zealand. Typically you like to have local support instead of calling the HQ in US.
    2. Know the drawing format Architect & Engineer typically use. You always want Architect, Engineer & contractor to share same information and share the same digital format. Sometimes different CAD software can translate drawing differently and cause time & effort to correct it.
    3. See if there is training for the software. If there isn't a training center for a particular CAD software, it may not be beneficial to learn.
    4. Check the price. Not every CAD software cost the same. Some are expensive and will not be beneficial.

  7. #7
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    Question looking for plans

    hello im in ireland and only use autocad for simple agricultural shed designs to date i want to design a house is there anywhere on the net that i can download house plans and maybe just change them a bit to suit myself

  8. #8
    Senior Member James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athlone View Post
    hello im in ireland and only use autocad for simple agricultural shed designs to date i want to design a house is there anywhere on the net that i can download house plans and maybe just change them a bit to suit myself

    tbh it would be easier in the long run to draw it from scratch, but saying that there are various resources on ebay etc that provide house plans.
    10100.co.uk ONC/HNC Building Studies :: FCAD32 :: AutoCAD 2009 :: Revit 2009 :: Architectural Technician A.C.I.A.T ::

  9. #9
    Senior Member kduck63's Avatar
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    Get a CAD program you can afford and push it to its limits. If you know what it can and can't do, you will truly appreciate the more expensive packages.

    It has been my experience that producing any CAD drawing has far more to do with the person behind the keyboard than the program itself. Having the latest and greatest software will not necessarily make you a better drafter / designer.

  10. #10
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    Go with AutoCAD. If you learn to use it you will be suprised at the capabilities. AutoCAD is very customizable.

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