Floor Plan Software

I need to make a floorplan for an engineer to work off of so he can work up a foundation rebuild. It's a 2 story 1925 square foot 95 year old house. I started trying to do it on graph paper, but I figure I'm just making things tough on myself doing it that way.
This floor plan will probably come in handy for some alterations I'm contemplating - tearing out a wall or two, putting in a door or two, etc.
What's a reasonably cost effective software for what I want to do?
Thanks.
Dan
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I use AutoCAD for a living and it would be more than you need to use or the learning curve would be to long. There is a simple program for basic things called deltacad. I used it to layout stairs etc.years ago. www.dcad.com I forget the price but it is simple enough to use but I have been doing this for 30 years now so YMMV. Or how about hiring it out so you don't need to waste your time and money?
Good luck, Rich

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Dan_Musicant wrote:

3D Home Architect is one of the easiest to use. Pick it up on eBay - it'll be ~$10 delivered.
Be aware that an engineer relying on someone else's dimensions, someone who is having trouble taking dimensions, is asking for trouble. If something is off, guess who's going to pay in spades?
R
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If I remember the OP's earlier posts correctly, the basic problem seems to be getting accurate measurements. If that's true, the OP and his engineer are in for trouble. TB
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On 6 Jun 2005 19:11:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:
:If I remember the OP's earlier posts correctly, :the basic problem seems to be getting accurate measurements. :If that's true, the OP and his engineer are in for trouble. :TB
Why? The thing is, working up a floor plan when you have a house and a tape measure is daunting, and I'd think for anybody. What's your trip with the trouble admonition? I'm not an idiot.
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wrote:
:Dan_Musicant wrote: :> I need to make a floorplan for an engineer to work off of so he can work :> up a foundation rebuild. It's a 2 story 1925 square foot 95 year old :> house. I started trying to do it on graph paper, but I figure I'm just :> making things tough on myself doing it that way. :> :> This floor plan will probably come in handy for some alterations I'm :> contemplating - tearing out a wall or two, putting in a door or two, :> etc. :> :> What's a reasonably cost effective software for what I want to do? : :3D Home Architect is one of the easiest to use. Pick it up on eBay - :it'll be ~$10 delivered. : :Be aware that an engineer relying on someone else's dimensions, someone :who is having trouble taking dimensions, is asking for trouble. If :something is off, guess who's going to pay in spades? : :R
I understand what you're saying. "Measure twice, cut once." Well, I'm something of a perfectionist (when I want to be) and I think I'm up to assuring that my dimensions are adequate. Well taken.
3D Home Architect on eBay. Funny you say that because I bought two different versions of that on eBay yesterday! I bought 5.0 and a couple of minutes later found reviews of it on Amazon.com and EVERYBODY said it was horrible compared to 4.0, which was developed by a different company (although both are sold as and by Broderbund). So, I bought 4.0 (MUCH better reviews), which I did get for $10 delivered, although the buyer insisted on $1.50 insurance, to bring it to $11.50. So, I'll sell the 5.0 without opening it, on eBay.
I've read many reviews but they vary quite considerably and don't generally address my specific (initial) needs - working up the floor plan.
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

Any of the versions will be fine for a floor plan. Version 2 of 3D Home Architect was the last good one I know of. I have v2 and v4 and was totally dumbfounded that they'd removed one of the most useful tools in the later version. You can no longer get a section through the entire building. You can only get sections floor by floor. I actually called them up and asked if I was missing something. Nope. It's similar to someone taking away the multiplication ability from your calculator. Totally daft.
Dan, do not jump on TB for his comment. From your original post you are in need of developing your measuring skills, not drafting skills. The danger here is in handing the (lazy?) engineer a very pretty drawing that's based on questionable measurements. It will quickly get you into trouble all the while looking very professional.
Let me explain. You kept coming up with different measurements. When you draw it up which measurement will you use? The CAD program won't tell you which is wrong. You might assume that the measurement that squares everything up is the correct one, but that's not necessarily true.
Your engineer will be relying on your measurements. If there's nothing critical going on, you wouldn't be getting an engineer in the first place. Since there are critical dimensions, the engineer, or one of his minions, should visit the site, deteremine the critical dimensions and measure them. The engineer would probably tack on fifty or a hundred bucks for field measuring. Anything else is giving the engineer a very convenient scapegoat - you.
If it's a question of you trying to save money, this isn't the place to do it. If I was going to give a first timer only one piece of advice it would be this: ALWAYS make people responsible for their own measurements.
R
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wrote:
:Dan_Musicant wrote:
:> wrote: :> :> :Dan_Musicant wrote: :> :> I need to make a floorplan for an engineer to work off of so he can work :> :> up a foundation rebuild. It's a 2 story 1925 square foot 95 year old :> :> house. I started trying to do it on graph paper, but I figure I'm just :> :> making things tough on myself doing it that way. :> :> :> :> This floor plan will probably come in handy for some alterations I'm :> :> contemplating - tearing out a wall or two, putting in a door or two, :> :> etc. :> :> :> :> What's a reasonably cost effective software for what I want to do? :> : :> :3D Home Architect is one of the easiest to use. Pick it up on eBay - :> :it'll be ~$10 delivered. :> : :> :Be aware that an engineer relying on someone else's dimensions, someone :> :who is having trouble taking dimensions, is asking for trouble. If :> :something is off, guess who's going to pay in spades? :> : :> :R :> :> I understand what you're saying. "Measure twice, cut once." Well, I'm :> something of a perfectionist (when I want to be) and I think I'm up to :> assuring that my dimensions are adequate. Well taken. :> :> 3D Home Architect on eBay. Funny you say that because I bought two :> different versions of that on eBay yesterday! I bought 5.0 and a couple :> of minutes later found reviews of it on Amazon.com and EVERYBODY said it :> was horrible compared to 4.0, which was developed by a different company :> (although both are sold as and by Broderbund). So, I bought 4.0 (MUCH :> better reviews), which I did get for $10 delivered, although the buyer :> insisted on $1.50 insurance, to bring it to $11.50. So, I'll sell the :> 5.0 without opening it, on eBay. :> :> I've read many reviews but they vary quite considerably and don't :> generally address my specific (initial) needs - working up the floor :> plan. : :Any of the versions will be fine for a floor plan. Version 2 of 3D :Home Architect was the last good one I know of. I have v2 and v4 and :was totally dumbfounded that they'd removed one of the most useful :tools in the later version. You can no longer get a section through :the entire building. You can only get sections floor by floor. I :actually called them up and asked if I was missing something. Nope. :It's similar to someone taking away the multiplication ability from :your calculator. Totally daft. : :Dan, do not jump on TB for his comment. From your original post you :are in need of developing your measuring skills, not drafting skills. :The danger here is in handing the (lazy?) engineer a very pretty :drawing that's based on questionable measurements. It will quickly get :you into trouble all the while looking very professional. : :Let me explain. You kept coming up with different measurements. When :you draw it up which measurement will you use? The CAD program won't :tell you which is wrong. You might assume that the measurement that :squares everything up is the correct one, but that's not necessarily :true. : :Your engineer will be relying on your measurements. If there's nothing :critical going on, you wouldn't be getting an engineer in the first :place. Since there are critical dimensions, the engineer, or one of :his minions, should visit the site, deteremine the critical dimensions :and measure them. The engineer would probably tack on fifty or a :hundred bucks for field measuring. Anything else is giving the :engineer a very convenient scapegoat - you. : :If it's a question of you trying to save money, this isn't the place to :do it. If I was going to give a first timer only one piece of advice :it would be this: :ALWAYS make people responsible for their own measurements. : :R
OK, thank you for your patient and extensive comments. Really appreciated. If I have one bit of doubt about any of my measurments I'll remeasure until I'm satisfied that they are correct.
I see what you mean about the multi-floor sections. That would indeed be nice. In fact, for my purposes, that would be very useful considering the type of 2nd story alterations that I think I'll be contemplating. I've been communicating with a guy who was an ART, Inc. reseller and he tells me that those people did some very questionable things which motivated him to cease relations with them. They are the folks who did version 4.0 and previous of 3D Home Architect for Broderbund. One expects subsequent versions of a software to be improvements. In most cases that expectation is rewarded. Occasionally, it's far from the case. Evidently in this case in particular. I'd automatically suspect anything from Broderbund at this point.
One reason I posted is just the daunting task of measuring all the dimentions in my house. I figured that there must be some tricks I can benefit from. I have various tape measures, nothing fancy. There's a 25 footer, a 30 footer. The ends have little slots that I figure you can hook over something to keep it from slipping. I had an idea (maybe stupid) of getting something I could affix to a wall surface, possibly a suction-cup affair. I could tie a fairly non-stretching cord to that and pull taught to an opposite surface and then measure the length of the cord and use the measurment in the floor plan. I was fishing for ideas like that. I guess I could just use the measuring tapes "as designed and intended."
I'll keep your suggestion in mind about making people responsible for the measurments they use. Thanks.
Dan
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RicodJour ( snipped-for-privacy@worldemail.com) said...

[about 3D Home Architect]

I have V3 and have found it quite good. I upgraded from V1 to V3, so I can't say if anything from V2 was lost.
We designed the house we now live in using it. Floor plans were exported in DXF format so that a draftsman I know could import them into AutoCAD to clean up into drawings used for the building permit application. He also had to create the elevation and section drawings from the floor plans.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

depending on your total objective there are different packages. Turbocad for complete accuracy, but its a general CAD program, not necessarily an architectural one. And there is also "Floor Plan 3D" which is usually on some kind of sale. Check www.imsisoft.com
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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Realistically, do I need a laptop to do this? It seems like it would be a whole lot easier.
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Dan_Musicant wrote:

I often use my laptop. Mostly because I bought it and I better use it or I wasted my money :) Sometimes I just use pencil and paper though. Draw rough outline of area and pencil in the measurements as I measure them. Else you end up walking back and forth to the laptop and to the walls etc. Of course you could get your spouce to help you.
--
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You can download an evaluation version of IntelliCAD. It's basically an AutoCAD clone mostly used by educational instutions. I'm not sure what limitations the evaluation version has, but if it just has a time limit and allows you to save, it should do the trick. Also, it does use the AutoCAD .dwg format.
http://www.cadopia.com/registration/login.asp?referer=download
Greg M
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Any of the Consumer home remodeling programs will work fine for basic floorplans and working up ideas and are actually better for visualizing remodeling plans but they may not produce the kind of drawing you want to take to the city to get a permit for a remodel. For this you might want to try one of the more generic CAD programs though the learning curve will be harder. If you are a student or a teacher, eduicational discounts are generally available for these programs and will save significant amount of $. There is an Archetectural version of AutoCadLT but it is expensive and has more than you will ever need.

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On 6/6/05 8:51 PM, Dan_Musicant wrote:

I have never found one that I personally like, but there are a number of products available if you want to check some out:
FloorPlan 3D Design Suite 10 http://www.imsisoft.com/all_products.asp HomePlan Pro http://www.homeplanpro.com 3D Home Architect Home Design Deluxe http://www.broderbund.com /
You can also use Visio for this sort of thing, which can do scaled drawings and comes with a number of object palettes for floorplans. Hope this helps.
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No PEng will accept your artwork. Unless he is insane he will measure and draft/design both "As Builts" and "proposeds". If he wants you to draft your own find another PEng because he is a slob. No Exceptions!!!!!!!!
-- Troweller^nospam^@canada.com
Remove the obvious to reply. Experienced and reliable Concrete Finishing and Synthetic Stucco application in the GTA.

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