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About MikeBaldus

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  • Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
  • Interests
    Historic preservation, residential building science, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, urban and small scale agriculture, in no particular order.

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  1. Does anyone know if local groups of users have ever formed anywhere, or if there are any users in Des Moines, Iowa that would like to get together to share what they have learned? I've spent a lot of time studying alone and I think there would be great value in a group of us being able to ask, share and learn together. Thank you, Mike
  2. Alexa, As a fairly new user of Home Designer (Pro) software, I would warn you that everything David J. Potter says about the commitment of time and practice is true. I would go much further to say that without a major commitment of time and practice you will get no results worth the cost of the software, let alone your many hours of toil. I learned drafting on paper at 19, spent 18 years as a contractor, but all that left me nearly at ground zero when attempting to learn the software. Home Designer software, in spite of being as David says: "for amateurs" is still so r
  3. Aargh! Yes, I see now that I didn't look closely enough at your instructions. I saw the "Copy the 2 outside walls that define the deck" part and didn't notice you said to "Cut/Paste Hold Position". And in addition to not knowing the "Hold Position" business even existed, I'm pretty sure I've never done a "Cut/Paste" either! Thanks, these are valuable tips. Ouch, it hurts to hear you could do that with so little effort! As soon as I get the permit process off the ground and have a little spare time I'm going to play with a copy of the plan to try to duplic
  4. Thanks for helping me understand a potential use for the Copy/Paste in Place tool. It took me quite awhile to find the Cut/Paste Hold Position tool! It wasn't available in the Edit toolbar or the right-click menu, I finally found it in the main Edit menu. So I did that, but with very unexpected results - see the screenshot. To clarify, the Cut/Paste Hold Position worked beautifully, the trouble wasn't until I tried to move the deck up. I admit that as soon as I attempted to set the 1st floor deck Absolute Floor Height to match the 2nd floor deck, something
  5. How do I copy decks or landings from one floor to another? And they behave differently - when I select the landing I get the whole thing, when I select the deck I get either a section of railing or the Room. If I get the Room the Edit bar has no Copy/Paste tool. I noticed when attempting to copy the landing "to the 2nd floor" as you first suggested, that there is a 2nd tool: "Copy and Paste in Place". Is that somehow related to the process of copying a landing to another floor? Let me go back to: How do I copy the deck to the 1st floor? And do you mean I
  6. Thanks again Eric. Well I studied your helpful post, but I can't see what I need to do to make it apply to my case. It definitely pushed me into new territory though! I did draw a closed polyline and positioned it directly over my landing (not being sure how that might help, since the stairs won't snap to my landing and the program ought to recognize a landing to snap to better than a polyline). So I think I'm barking up the wrong tree there. Your tutorial's approach is that of knowing what you want for stair sections, creating them to suit, then joining t
  7. Hello, I know this should be simple but I can't make it work and I haven't found any help in the reference manual. In the attached plan file I have spent much time placing and sizing the landing and I don't want to move it (changing height would be fine) because everything is a really tight fit. The upper set of stairs must pass down beside a 1st story roof overhang with gutter (so I can't move closer to house), and at a normal code width they almost peek out from beside the 2nd story wall (so I can't move farther away from house). The lower stairs must mis
  8. Ooh! Major learning moment! I didn't know that! I missed that along the way. I just tried creating a camera view, going to Layer Display Options, and sure enough found Framing, Posts turned off. I played with things, and am happy to see that my display options are saved across all camera views. Many thanks Eric!
  9. Apologies, I should have mentioned that I have "Framing, Posts" turned on in Layer Display Options. Yes, I used Build>Framing>Post to make them so they are framing members. Thanks for the tip, I can see them in Framing Overview. I wonder what the program writers had in mind to allow a user to draw exterior stairways and be able to show the complete picture in elevation views? Any permit official will want to see a drawing of the stairway complete with however I mean to support it.
  10. I have added posts under an exterior stair landing but I can't figure out how to get them to appear in the elevation view. Help? See the posts and round slabs off the south side of building. BTW I have the display of stairs turned off while I work on the supporting posts. And I'm working in this order because the location of the AC units is non-negotiable but the stair landing can be adjusted so the posts will miss the AC units. After I get the posts located to miss the AC units I will move the stair landing (and adjust posts) as needed. How do I make the posts appea
  11. Great workaround! Thank you Eric!
  12. Hoping for help: As you will see in the attached plan file, I have drawn two sections of 24" private sidewalk near the house on the West side (which is top of plan as viewed). The section to the right is existing sidewalk and goes out to meet the public sidewalk. The section to the left is proposed as new. I have changed the fill material to make it stand out because I need to show the permit people. As soon as I drag to extend the new sidewalk to the left to connect it to a small pad at base of stairs (off the SW corner of house), the program connects it
  13. Thank you Eric, that was the trick! Even though it didn't make sense to place a DW on a cabinet, I tried it before writing to the forum - but I tried to slide the DW onto the cabinet, which the program wouldn't allow. Just clicking the "in place" cabinet did it. I've never tried creating a materials list for anything yet, let alone a set of kitchen cabinets, but I can only assume that if such a thing is possible within the program they must compensate by deducting the cabinet. Or you end up with an extra B24 you didn't need... Many thanks Eric!
  14. That's what I assumed, which is why the dialog message had me confused. So that's what I did - placed the DW in the empty space between cabinets. Any idea why it appears as a DW door on the face of the wall in 3D view? I can locate it properly in plan view but 3D is wrong.
  15. Hope someone can help: As you will see in my plan file, the dishwasher I moved into the cabinet space in plan view changes in 3D view to appear as a dishwasher door on the face of the wall. I've tried more than one dishwasher with the same effect. Likely related is that the first couple of times I tried to place a dishwasher in plan view, the program popped a dialog saying something about the object being intended to install onto a cabinet face and do I want to make it freestanding? I'm sure that isn't quite the correct text but I can't reproduce the message now. It