I have a similar approach where I like as much screen area as possible. Here's a couple of things I do.
I auto hide windows task bar.
I reduce the command line to 1 line and simply F2 when I need more info.
I use a dual monitor with AutoCAD on my left (main) monitor. On the second monitor I have the aerial view always on which allows for super fast zooming.
My graphics card allows for easy switching to multiple desktops so I have several set up and open "outside" programs on other sesktops. This eliminates the need to minimize/maximize windows.