Floor plan

The general contractor who I had evaluate my house before I bid on it said I could save some money by doing my own floor plan. The house needs:
1. foundation analysis, evaluation, rebuild, repair 2. new roof
...the list goes on and on.
Anyway, yesterday I started trying to work up my floor plan and it was frustrating to say the least. The house is about 40' x 30', two stories and 95 years old, and a bit weird.
I bought some graph paper, just a pad with squares on it - 43 squares in the long dimension, so I figured that a scale of one foot/square would do it. I figured I'd have two sheets - one for downstairs, one for upstairs. I figured to do it in pencil and when done, go over it, maybe in pen and then scan and print it with appropriate words here and there.
Doing a Google Groups search, I see that there's software to do something like this, which is a total revelation to me. Yesterday, I just started out by trying to get my outside dimensions, specifically the depth of the house. From one side I got 40', from the other side (which had things jutting out and breaking up the wall in several places), I kept getting different figures:
40' 40' 3" 40' 3.5" 40' 7" 40' 10"
I'm using a 30' steel tape measure and tried fixing up something so it doesn't come loose - a tripod with a sharp object affixed to it to hook the tape on, but the tripod would tip over! I tried taping a small piece of wood to the wall with a pin sticking out for the tape to hook over.
I'd appreciate any tips on how I can work this thing up satisfactorily. Obviously, I'm only at the very start. Thanks!!!
Dan
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house before I bid on it

floor plan. The house

repair
Try this software: http://www.punchsoftware.com/index.htm It's only about 50 bucks and it works. I made plans for my remodel with it. The drawings were accepted by the township for permits and it made it easier to get estimates.
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wrote:
:
: :> The general contractor who I had evaluate my :house before I bid on it :> said I could save some money by doing my own :floor plan. The house :> needs: :> :> 1. foundation analysis, evaluation, rebuild, :repair :> 2. new roof :> :> ...the list goes on and on. :> : :Try this software: :http://www.punchsoftware.com/index.htm :It's only about 50 bucks and it works. I made plans :for my remodel with it. The drawings were accepted :by the township for permits and it made it easier :to get estimates.
Thanks. Which of their products is the one to which you refer? It appears they have a number of products. How does this compare to Broderbund's 3D Home Architect? Thanks again.
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plans
accepted
easier
which you refer? It

this compare to

The one I bought is called Super Home Suite. I'm not familiar with Broderbund's but I have one called "Expert" 3D Architect and I like the Punch software better. It does more stuff and was easier for me to learn.
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wrote:
:
: :> wrote: :> :> : :> :Try this software: :> :http://www.punchsoftware.com/index.htm :> :It's only about 50 bucks and it works. I made :plans :> :for my remodel with it. The drawings were :accepted :> :by the township for permits and it made it :easier :> :to get estimates. :> :> :> Thanks. Which of their products is the one to :which you refer? It :> appears they have a number of products. How does :this compare to :> Broderbund's 3D Home Architect? Thanks again. :> : :The one I bought is called Super Home Suite. :I'm not familiar with Broderbund's but I have one :called "Expert" 3D Architect and I like the Punch :software better. It does more stuff and was easier :for me to learn.
I poked around and I think the versions that do this have "Floor Trace" included. People are pretty positive on Punch, in general, I can say having read a LOT of reviews of related programs the last day or so. I bought 3D Home Architect 4.0 for $11.50 and am hopeful it will be OK. Hope it isn't a waste of time. I've read some good things about it, but people don't seem to agree about ANY of the programs. Thanks for your help.
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You may be worrying about to much accuracy. For a general floor plan a fraction of a foot difference in 40 feet should not be significant for job quoting purposes. And in your bid information a statement that the contractor is responsible for verifying all dimensions should protect you.

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Dan_Musicant wrote:

Is the GC that inspected the house the same one that's going to do the construction? I've never met a contractor who actively sought out amateur plans. There are so many areas that inexperience would lead to unfortunate decisions, particularly in a house that is "a bit weird".
R
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wrote:
:Dan_Musicant wrote: :> The general contractor who I had evaluate my house before I bid on it :> said I could save some money by doing my own floor plan. The house :> needs: :> :> 1. foundation analysis, evaluation, rebuild, repair :> 2. new roof :> :> ...the list goes on and on. :> :> Anyway, yesterday I started trying to work up my floor plan and it was :> frustrating to say the least. The house is about 40' x 30', two stories :> and 95 years old, and a bit weird. : :Is the GC that inspected the house the same one that's going to do the :construction? I've never met a contractor who actively sought out :amateur plans. There are so many areas that inexperience would lead to :unfortunate decisions, particularly in a house that is "a bit weird". : :R
It was about 4 years ago, so I think I forgot. It was probably the engineer who said he'd be happy enough if I did the floor plan. I can't be sure. I seem to remember the GC saying that. Anyway, that engineer was semi-retired at the time and I believe that he's actually retired now and I'd have to use a different engineer. The GC may not want to do the job anymore. He's doing windows nowadays and doesn't like the idea of getting down and dirty doing foundation work. He's a friend and works with a mutual friend and I'm told that he'd make an exception for me, but I'm not sure. He's pretty good, or was anyway, and he told me he'd done 8-9 houses similar to mine. He seemed to know the right people to hire to do this and that task - things like the electricity, masonry, etc.
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What is the end use of the drawings?
I agree with some of the concerns implied by Rico's post. I know several excellent contractors. None of them are really good designers. One, who does inspections, makes a point of not bidding the work. There is too much chance for liability and the appearance of conflict of interest.
TB
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Couple obvious questions - What's wrong with the floor plan already in place, i.e., the original design ? Can you figure out what that was and go with that ?
Second, how much money are you going to sink into this and is it worth it ? If you buy a house for a 100k, put 100k into it, and in the end have a house that's worth 150k, you're upside-down. I should know !
Ditto the other comments, if the house is really weird, like it was cut up into apartments, you want to determine in general where things should be and which walls are add-on, which are original. Which walls are load-bearing, which ones are not. Where the plumbing runs, especially the stacks. Precision does not matter during that part of the process, if you hire a guy to come in and put walls where you want them, you don't need exact measurements.
Your bigger issue is the foundation and the roof, the floor plan is secondary at best to getting that big stuff squared away.
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On 5 Jun 2005 09:01:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
:Couple obvious questions - What's wrong with the floor plan already in :place, i.e., the original design ? Can you figure out what that was and :go with that ?
There's nothing wrong with the current floor plan. I think that the GC (and the engineer) wanted me to have the floor plan so the engineer can make the right decisions about how to design the foundation rebuild.
This was all done about 4 years ago. A while later I got a few tentative ideas about how I'd like to tear out a wall or two upstairs to help resolve certain problems - specifically there's several upstairs rooms that are tiny. Tearing out a wall or two will allow joining rooms - making two rooms into one room. That would make it possible to have a master bedroom that makes sense, and possibly have the upstairs bathroom have a door going directly to that bedroom. I figure that the floor plan will be helpful if not instrumental in making those alterations happen.
I don't believe that a floor plan exists for the house, that is to say, one on paper. : :Second, how much money are you going to sink into this and is it worth :it ? If you buy a house for a 100k, put 100k into it, and in the end :have a house that's worth 150k, you're upside-down. I should know !
Sorry that didn't work out for you! I figure that I will get my money out if and when I sell, but don't know that for certain, however it appears very very likely. : :Ditto the other comments, if the house is really weird, like it was cut :up into apartments, you want to determine in general where things :should be and which walls are add-on, which are original. Which walls :are load-bearing, which ones are not. Where the plumbing runs, :especially the stacks. Precision does not matter during that part of :the process, if you hire a guy to come in and put walls where you want :them, you don't need exact measurements.
Yes, indeed, the house WAS cut into two apartments during WW II ! One of the upstairs rooms was a kitchen and the sink and cupboards will have to be ripped out. I'm hoping that that room joined with my present bedroom will make the master bedroom, but the joining wall would have to come out. : :Your bigger issue is the foundation and the roof, the floor plan is :secondary at best to getting that big stuff squared away.
OK, so I guess the floor plan doesn't have to be precise. That'll make the job easier. I'm wondering if I should use software or just work it up on paper.
Thanks! Your comments seem very appropriate.
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