Overwhelmed need advise


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I have had HDP for a few months and have tried to get some traction, but I seem to get overwhelmed as I progress on a practice project.


I'm look for suggestions on how best to tiptoe into the app. Do I start a one room project and add on details as I progress?


Does anyone have templates I could follow?



I appreciate any help I can get,


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Is there something specific you use some help with? What part of the process do you find overwhelming? 


Are you working on a new design, or modeling an existing place? Tell us a bit about your project -- post some pictures if it's an existing structure.


I started about 18 months ago by watching every video I could find, and by drawing plan after plan until I had a reasonable understanding of how the software works.

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First, take the time to really learn how to use the software, get any unfamiliar terms defined whenever you encounter them. There is a lot to learn so approach the knowledge gradiently ( a little at a time). Read a paragraph or two and then practice doing what you studied until you feel more confident that you really have learned and increased in competence.. Use your Reference Manual (Help - View the Reference Manual), it is searchable by topic,



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  • 3 weeks later...




OK, it was suggested that I ask questions in an effort to make some progress trying to learn the application.


I have a screen shot which shows my plot and the existing garage.


I am trying to understand how garage foundation, footings and slab work.


My current garage has a floor that is below to stem wall with the slab pitching towards the doors.


How do I create this with the settings?

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My advice.


Don't worry about the details of the foundation right now. Don't do a terrain or try to get the garage positioned on the lot.


Start by setting your defaults -- specifically ceiling height.


The accepted way to model with this software is to begin by drawing walls. Yours is a one room structure, so once you have 4 walls creating a room, set it to a room type of Garage with a monolithic slab. Build a roof, add doors and windows, take a 3D view. You don't need exact dimensions -- just some practice using the software, seeing what it will do.


Use the software to visualize the garage and addition, and once you have a design, then focus on the details.


The drawings I posted in your other thread took about 5 minutes each, because they were just concepts.


There are plenty of good videos on YouTube, spend some time watching, practice a bit, then watch some more.



When you build your foundation, there is a dialog where you can change settings (and a Help button). Draw a one room structure, build a foundation and see how your foundation settings look.


As for your questions, no Chief Architect product will do pitched slabs. There are workarounds, but common practice is to add a note on your construction drawings.


I posted Pro 2105 documentation in this thread. Lots of good info there too.

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I found it a bit overwhelming at first -- particularly roofs.  However after much practice and viewing David's videos on YouTube I can honestly say I have now mastered the subject.  As someone has said -- set your defaults first as it can get you in trouble down the road.


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