AllenStoker

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About AllenStoker

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Nottingham, NH
  • Interests
    Software, Music, Winter Sports
  1. AllenStoker

    Microsoft OneDrive as a cloud backup

    I use OneDrive for my HomeDesigner Pro 2020 and have not had any issues at all. The family 'office' package is a great deal for about $100/year you get 5 accounts with 1TB each and all the office software too. The only problem is that you have to organize your working folders into the OneDrive structure, you can't just randomly pick which folders to replicate.
  2. AllenStoker

    Software Process Flow

    I've found it best to put a LOT of focus on setting up the defaults, standard window and door sizes, materials, roof pitches, wall materials, all of it, it will save lots of time later. Much of it probably depends on what you are trying to build. I've worked mostly on modeling from a floor plan or existing homes. I find it most effective to do everything I possibly can before turning off auto-build features and I concentrate on getting the first floor as perfect and complete as possible. Once the first floor is spot on, I'll build the basement/foundation, then insert upper floors. I also recommend using the space planner to jump start, but still make sure you set up you defaults first. I've never seen a posted "road map" on best use, but wish the did one. I find it common for companies to go right past the context and dive into the details. The software does have a lot of power though and it's easy to find yourself going down a rabbit hole. The video tutorials are my go-to first stop for help. I guess that's not a great answer, but if you build a couple of simple plans you'll quickly figure out what feels best for you.
  3. Thought I would post about my journey attempting to merge plans and external media into a complete 'plot plan'. I found many helpful videos and Q&A topics that answered parts of the process, but I didn't see anything that brought them all together, so here I go! I'm using Home Designer Pro 2019 so your mileage may vary. My story begins with my family plans to move to a new state. We found several designs on various sites for new homes and I have grown in my skill as I have created personal designs using those ideas for floor plans and styling. We plan to rent short term as we find a nice piece of land and get ready for construction. We have found property for sale on various sites like Realtor.com and each time I need to consider how that land and our house would work together. I'm also planning some out-buildings (workshop, guesthouse, etc.), but only want them considered for an overall long-term plan (which I need to present to the neighborhood board, so those building are not part of my 'plan'. The real challenge I found myself facing is how to keep all the parts separate (as they may evolve and change independently), while also having a way to bring them all together. For most lots I've been able to get a land survey with property boundaries and setbacks, but I don't want to apply this information to my home plan because its temporary until we make an actual purchase. I made this all work well going through the following steps: I created a template from my original home design and organized it into a specific folder. I then used that template for two more buildings; a workshop, and a guest house. Each of these designs are maintained separately and I evolve and refine them. I take a potential lot survey and start a new plan. I use a separate folder for 'lots' and save those plans naming them by the location of the lot (address in most cases). In this plan I … I do all my 'drawing' on floor 0 to align with the foundations from each plan (I'll get back to this). Draw CAD lines to represent the outline of the property. I learned quickly that in the CAD line tool you can specify length and direction which is what you find on most surveys and this allows me to build an 'outline' of the property. I had to enter the direction as a string without the special characters (ex. 'N32 04 22E'). Next I use File -> Import -> Import Picture to read in a copy of the survey. If the survey image is messy, I may use Paint to crop it, or the windows 'snipping tool' to just do a screen capture and save that to a file. I then use the drawing order to push the picture to the back so I can see my CAD lines on top. I then rotate, move and resize the picture until the survey image lines up with the CAD lines. be sure to use the corners and not the sides to adjust the image so that you will retain the proper aspect ratio in your final view. ta-da! I have a 'scaled' copy of my Survey. This is a critical step since having all the parts in a common scale is an absolute requirement. I create a new Layout and save it with my lot plan and name it to match the lot plan file. I switch to my lot plan and send it to the layout. When doing this you will likely find that 1/4in. to 1ft. may not fit the layout. In my example lot I used 1in. to 50ft. I tried several different scale values until the resulting copy appropriately filled my layout sheet. What's most important now is that when you find the right scale, remember it because you will need to use it again. Now, I simply proceed one at a time through my other designs for each building. I move the 2D plan view to the foundation level, and send that view to the layout (file -> Send to Layout). Be sure to enter the same scaling values as you used for the survey plan when you sent it to the layout. When it lands in the layout page, it is now a single object that can be moved and rotated to adjust how you want it positioned on the lot. By capturing the Foundation view, I can see the footprint of the building in proportion to the lot and other features in the survey. And now I have a finished product. I can use the print features to scale the layout to my paper and perform what-if's as I move buildings around on the lot. Since you are moving and turning a single 'object' it's pretty easy to achieve the desired results. Also, it's quick and easy so I can do this with several different lots as I compare them. I do expect that later I may wish to bring them all into a single plan to do the full landscaping and other features, but for now this is a quick way to visualize the overall plot plan!
  4. AllenStoker

    Patio Skirt / Pony Wall

    Thanks for you response, not sure I understand your point … Changing the material covers the entire patio (skirt and surface) the same, are you suggesting two layers of slab? and if that is the answer, then won't that throw off the material volumes etc.?
  5. AllenStoker

    Patio Skirt / Pony Wall

    Working the exterior, I want to wrap the house with a couple feet of block at the bottom. I found it easy to create a Pony Wall, but I also need to wrap the patio, The pony wall doesn't work for a patio and I cant find a way to express the alternate 'material' on the patio skirt without changing the entire patio (including the surface ), If I create an actual wall, I can change it to a wall type of 'stone façade wall', but it's still a wall and generates ceilings and framing which isn't appropriate, and I can't figure out how to lower the entire wall either. What approach should I take to represent the patio skirt as 'stone covered'?
  6. I've been using Punch and recently moved to Chief Architect (Home Designer Pro) to get past some challenges. I am on version Pro 2019, Build 20.3.0.54x64. The design I am working on has a lot of glass at the entrance. I will have a double door with windows on each side and a row of windows across the top. The windows have a black finish, but the trim is white. I was able to model the appearance in my defaults and that is fine, but when I try to assemble the overall structure I don't understand how to control the trim to get the correct look. Having previously installed side-by-side windows, there is typically a connector making them a single unit, then the framing (and trim) is around the total combined size. The attached picture is not my finished design, but a start that illustrates 2 challenges I am hitting: The windows to the left are pushed together as close as possible. the trim collapsed to a smaller version (perhaps 2" vs. 4" for the bordering trim), but there appears to still be framing between them (this could be ok, but not sure yet). I want the space between to be black like the windows themselves so I need to either remove it completely, or be able to customize the 'joining' trim. My second challenge is similar related to the window to the right of the door. again, my goal is to have black trim between the door and window but white surrounding, and more importantly the baseboard overlaps the window. I want the overall panel to look like the door in that it is black to the floor, it just doesn't open. In Punch, I created the windows with thin black trim, then created another window to represent the entire opening with the white trim. It appears I can do that in CA using an 'opening', but that means every window throughout the house will require both an opening and a window with matched sized and offsets and it was a real pain to make minor adjustments. My question is really, am I approaching this the right way? what are the alternatives? … I would have also considered just building each window combination as a custom window and adding them to the library, but since some of them include both windows and doors, and couldn't figure out how to do that.