Advice on workflow for remodel? Newly upgraded from older software


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Background:

 

I recently purchased Pro 2018. I had Arch 2014 and back in 2014 I stumbled through trying to plan a remodel. Well a kid came and I've been busy. Now I am back on the objective of an addition and remodel for my own home. I actually own two of the same home so I'm hoping to get some economy of scale for the efforts.

 

Me:

I'm a software engineer. I have a degree in fine art and have some experience in drafting (yes, with paper) and cad/3d with things like rhino and older 3dstudio and autocad, but its been some time. I have taught vocational arts and furniture building. I do most of my rental property renovation work that isn't major structural changes. I enjoy doing things myself the first time so that when I hire someone else I know what I am talking about ... just a little.

 

Objective:

1) Document existing home e.g. create plan that details the home in most all details. This will include contour lines for the lot since I plan on some retaining walls and sculpting

2) Based on 1 plan some additions and structural changes. I'll probably create more than one concept based on 1. Things like replacing an attached garage with more living space and adding a detached garage with apartment. New windows, siding changed and roofline changes. Changing the look from a neo classical to modern farmhouse essentially.

3) Do the above to enough detail I can discuss with builders in detail and hopefully in one way or another share what I generated to their platform of choice.

 

Rationalization for buying Pro:

I really would have preferred to buy CA, but its more than I want to spend. I sort of have a belief that I can get far down the road with Pro and then when I am good and ready to polish things up and do things I cannot in Pro I can rent CA for a month and knock it out. No idea if that will work or is even reasonable.

 

Questions:

Is there any documentation etc that walks someone through an efficient workflow for planning a remodel of an existing home? I'd rather not reinvent the wheel. This seems like a common objective and a reason why someone would purchase this software, but I didn't find anything like this "use case" documented.

 

What I did not enjoy when I started going down this path a few years back is running into software license limitations that are most likely intentionally applied to create the price tiers. I'd very hard to determine from a purchase perspective what limits will cause a specific use case to go off the rails. You an see feature comparisons, but this is meaningless until you try to string them all together to do something meaningful.

 

When I have planned at the moment is something like this:

1) Measure the house. All interior, diagonals, windows, doors, outlet locations, vents etc.

2) Import my lot survey

3) swipe contour lines from the available GIS sources and import. I can get 2' contours for free or I can map it out myself. I may decide to use the GIS data and then add more accurate points by hand.

4) draw the house from measurements. (the city does not have a copy of the plans from 99). It does not use prefab trusses so I will need to manually draw the roof and attic structure.

5) Baseline the existing house with lot. Store this in source control like github or similar

6) Using a copy of the baseline begin to plan remodel and additions plus grading and retaining walls.

 

Any experienced advice is greatly appreciated. Highlighting any areas where I would find challenges is super helpful before I start down the path. I really don't want to mess around for days and days. I want to learn just enough to achieve the goal and get it done as quickly as reasonable. Once I am done I would be happy polishing things up.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

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You can help everyone by filling out your signature (see mine for an example) by clicking on your user name at the top right of the page, click Account Settings, then Signature on the left.
 
Doing so makes the info always available, and keeps others (me) from having to hunt for it.

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12 minutes ago, pounce said:

Is there any documentation etc that walks someone through an efficient workflow for planning a remodel of an existing home?

 

Are you asking in general, or about using the software?

 

 

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13 minutes ago, solver said:

You can help everyone by filling out your signature (see mine for an example) by clicking on your user name at the top right of the page, click Account Settings, then Signature on the left.
 
Doing so makes the info always available, and keeps others (me) from having to hunt for it.

You just want to know where I am from? Sorry, I would not assume location is all that important, but I added it for anyone that is interested.

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10 minutes ago, solver said:

 

Are you asking in general, or about using the software?

 

 

The question is entirely related to using Pro 2018. Strictly In general would not be terribly helpful since I know I will be facing software limitations. I'm sorry if this wasn't clear from the detail in the post. That said I would not turn down any advice including random advice. Life is short.

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25 minutes ago, pounce said:

You just want to know where I am from? Sorry, I would not assume location is all that important, but I added it for anyone that is interested.

 

I was referring to your signature.

 

ht1.thumb.jpg.f6434a4410eb70c0585f6c1593994a11.jpg

 

My advice is to read over the documentation, and review some of the videos available. Lots of good ones on YouTube. 

 

Tackle problems as they arise. Every project is different as are those using the software.

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10 minutes ago, solver said:

 

I was referring to your signature.

 

ht1.thumb.jpg.f6434a4410eb70c0585f6c1593994a11.jpg

 

My advice is to read over the documentation, and review some of the videos available. Lots of good ones on YouTube. 

 

Tackle problems as they arise. Every project is different as are those using the software.

Ok, what is useful in the sig area. I ran a technical forum for enterprise software for 10 years. What can I put in my signature that is essential or useful relative to this thread asking for any advice on tackling a project? For what its worth I do not see signatures in your posts or anyone's posts using Chrome.

 

I've read a lot of the documentation. Nothing exists to practically walk someone through the use case I described. What I am hoping to get is a real world understanding or some recommendations on how to approach the sort of project I have outlined. I know there are going to be gotchas that can be avoided by proper planning. I am hoping someone like yourself with 3.5k posts in the forum may have some bullet points on what do do and not to do from a basic planning workflow perspective. Maybe I am hoping for something that just doesn't exist.

 

Can you save me time and headache on my project? Any actual advice?

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All I care about is seeing Pro 2018 in the signature. 

 

As far as workflow, this looks good to me.

 

Your problem will be the terrain and creating an accurate model. I would start with as few data points as possible. More tends to confuse the software. Contour lines the same. 

 

Without seeing the existing house I can't comment on any potential problems with modeling it.

 

Draw the terrain and house in the same plan. Draw the house square with the screen and rotate the terrain as needed.

 

1 hour ago, pounce said:

When I have planned at the moment is something like this:

1) Measure the house. All interior, diagonals, windows, doors, outlet locations, vents etc.

2) Import my lot survey

3) swipe contour lines from the available GIS sources and import. I can get 2' contours for free or I can map it out myself. I may decide to use the GIS data and then add more accurate points by hand.

4) draw the house from measurements. (the city does not have a copy of the plans from 99). It does not use prefab trusses so I will need to manually draw the roof and attic structure.

5) Baseline the existing house with lot. Store this in source control like github or similar

6) Using a copy of the baseline begin to plan remodel and additions plus grading and retaining walls.

 

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13 minutes ago, solver said:

I would start with as few data points as possible. More tends to confuse the software. Contour lines the same. 

 

 

What sort of confusion are we talking about? How can I recognize it?

 

Do you recommend doing terrain last or close to last?

 

Anyone using source control like Git or AWS Code Commit to manage file versioning and syncing? 

 

BTW: Does the Ruby Console exist anywhere for Pro 2018?

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5 minutes ago, pounce said:

BTW: Does the Ruby Console exist anywhere for Pro 2018?

No, that is Chief Premier only.

 

I create a relationally correct model (.plan file) of the existing home inside and out. Then I make a "save as" copy of that to use as "Version one.plan" and then start making changes in the copy of the existing.plan file. One commonly shows which walls are to be demolished or changed for plans in the existing.plan. Then you show printed pages of the proposed plan and elevations. More data can be found by Google Search relative to other drafting conventions and procedures (AIA conventions etc)

 

 

DJP

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My custom home and addition remodels always go to a State Licensed Structural Engineer who calls out all structural matters and designs the foundation, I do the rest and turn my plans over to he or she usually in AutoCAD format so they can do their work. It is the smart thing to do.

 

DJP

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2 hours ago, Robborito said:

I don't live in the USA - but in any case this HDPro forum is not limited to just USA members  - so my advice, for what it is worth here - would be to engage a professional.

 

Was this directed at me? If so I'm curious to know why you might make this statement. If I am not mistaken this forum in general is discussions on non professional software. I've outlined that I have some skills and am more or less not an idiot with an interest in mocking something up close to exactly what I want with the intent on handing it off to a builder to do whatever they feel is needed including making their own drawings.

 

Seems a bit odd to make a recommendation which is basically... "do not use the software we discuss and rather hire someone". Sort of anti-community ... unless you are soliciting. Is there something I wrote that indicates to you that I need or should have professional help? I'm not trying to be cheeky here. I'm really curious.

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4 hours ago, DavidJPotter said:

No, that is Chief Premier only.

 

I create a relationally correct model (.plan file) of the existing home inside and out. Then I make a "save as" copy of that to use as "Version one.plan" and then start making changes in the copy of the existing.plan file. One commonly shows which walls are to be demolished or changed for plans in the existing.plan. Then you show printed pages of the proposed plan and elevations. More data can be found by Google Search relative to other drafting conventions and procedures (AIA conventions etc)

 

 

DJP

 

Thanks. Shame there isn't any scripting or automation in the Pro version. 

 

What is the most common or recommended way to represent the walls that would be removed? I have a few of these. I search a bit and didn't find anything.

 

The CA features for layers and masks probably do what I want, but they don't exist in Pro.

 

Is my plan to get a lot done in Pro and then work it over in CA a reasonable one or am I wasting my time?

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Pounce, 

 

I'm currently in the middle of the same situation with my own home.  We are adding a 1400 sq/ft addition.  I'm working with my engineer to produce plans for our county.  The most our county (Multnomah in Oregon) wants to see is a differential between the new construction area vs a remodel area.  I submitted plans with a shading easily applied in the layout sheets and that was more than enough for them to sign off on our plans.  Not sure where you're from but most of the time, all they want to see is some delineation between the two areas or walls.  I was able to do everything in HD Pro 2018 without having to upgrade to CA.  It saved thousands of dollars in Architect costs and more than paid for the cost of the software.  I would stick with what you have and experiment with your layout pages since these are what  the municipality will actually see.  There are very few things that cannot be done with this software for a remodel.  In our case, I produced the architectural pages in the plans and let the engineer use my .DXF file to create his details, callouts, and cross sections.  

 

I hope this helps and good luck with your project!

 

-John

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5 hours ago, pounce said:

What is the most common or recommended way to represent the walls that would be removed?

 

It is called the "Hatch Wall" tool found under the "Build" Menu-Wall Catagory. Another good exercise for you is just looking through the dialogs of the software and main toolbar dropdowns to see what is there, especially anything that you are unfamiliar with, click on it, and use it in a TEST PLAN to find out. Do not explore while you are working on an important plan but rather in your study and practice time. You can distroy or corrupt a .plan file that contains too many wrong guesses, it is a common problem with new users too lazy to study and practice first.

 

DJP

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7 hours ago, AppleWalker said:

Pounce, 

 

I'm currently in the middle of the same situation with my own home.  We are adding a 1400 sq/ft addition.  I'm working with my engineer to produce plans for our county.  The most our county (Multnomah in Oregon) wants to see is a differential between the new construction area vs a remodel area.  I submitted plans with a shading easily applied in the layout sheets and that was more than enough for them to sign off on our plans.  Not sure where you're from but most of the time, all they want to see is some delineation between the two areas or walls.  I was able to do everything in HD Pro 2018 without having to upgrade to CA.  It saved thousands of dollars in Architect costs and more than paid for the cost of the software.  I would stick with what you have and experiment with your layout pages since these are what  the municipality will actually see.  There are very few things that cannot be done with this software for a remodel.  In our case, I produced the architectural pages in the plans and let the engineer use my .DXF file to create his details, callouts, and cross sections.  

 

I hope this helps and good luck with your project!

 

-John

 Thanks, John,

 

I'm involved in the city zoning process and have a good relationship with the community development/building department. Like your location they are pretty flexible if you check the boxes for basic things. Setbacks, retaining walls, distance between buildings, estimates costs etc.

 

I think I am focusing on some of the greater detail as it will potentially impact my design choices from a technical perspective. If I can get more detail I might also be able to avoid problems when transitioning to a builder. I'm a detail sort of person in my career. In working on my designs I will focus on reducing complexity and will remain open to cost saving options.

 

After watching a lot of the CA videos on remodels with layers and layer sets I am envious of the features. I think I will be able to get down the road with Pro and then convert if needed. Once in CA I think the conversion process is initially painting objects and such to layers and then creating layers that didn't exist.

 

I'm interested in layers for plumbing, hvac and electrical if I can make those happen. I know there these are in the walls of the two houses after doing some drywall work and lighting changes. This may help some with planning bathrooms and whether I can extend the existing hvac or need to add secondary systems like mini splits.

 

Being a software engineer I am the sort of person that studies the menus and options and sometimes even read manuals front to back before using a new system. Its good advice.

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