10:24AM | 06/26/06
Member Since: 06/25/06
1 lifetime posts

I am researching the use of home design software for a possible article. Has anyone used programs like Punch, Sketchup or Chief Architect in coordination with a professional architect, designer or builder? Have you encountered unexpected structural problems with your designs once you brought the plans to a pro?

If you'd like to share your experiences, please contact me at

Thanks so much!


07:45PM | 07/01/06
Member Since: 11/06/02
1284 lifetime posts
I use Softplan professionally.

You would do well to contact joe Stoddard at JLConline to discuss this subject froma professional POV.

Punch is a lower budget homeowner type of CAD with built in errors

Sketchup is a modeling program.

Chgief and Softplan are both object oriented computer aided design programs.

Vectorworks is also in that class.

These programs are all tools. That is all they are. Buy a license to use software no more makes one a designer than purchasing a saw and hammer makes one a carpenter. That means that HO plans wil inevitably contain flaws that need corrections. it is far better and less expensive to identify those errors and fix them well before the spade hits the dirt.

That said, Having your basic ideas placed on paper can be a valuable communications device to begin your relationship with a design professional. it is a starting point for discussion so that professional can learn what are your needs and desires.

As a professional, I find that one of the greatest strengths of a good 3D modeling and design program is the visualization. The old simple floorplan and elevation drawings do not speak to the larger part of the population, at least 85% of whom are dimensionally challenged, unable to understand what all thjose lines on paper mean. The possibility of digitally walking thru a house opens the door to understanding.

Excellence is its own reward!



Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

Deep blue grays like the shade shown in this example "have a nautical, serene feeling," says Amy Hendel, designer for Hend... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon