November 19th, 2017

6:00 p.m. EST

It's been quite a long time since I last wrote an entry, but since President Trump was elected into office, the economy has taken off and so has my business and I've not had a chance until now to write another entry.  

​I'd like to talk a little about the design process that I go through for all of my projects.  I've had a recent project where there may have been some confusion as to how I develop a client's vision into reality, so I thought I'd address the three steps in my design process.

First, Schematic Design:

​In this phase, I sit down with the client and discuss all their plans and ideas for a new renovation, addition, or new home.  They may give me ideas based on plans they have viewed on the internet or just from pictures they have downloaded.  I take those ideas and square footages that they give me an I begin to draw them into the computer into 3D.  Now, what a lot of clients don't know is that once I start drawing in 3D, I have to think ahead to all of the drawings to be done for the set.  When they give me the initial images or plans, I'm already thinking of wall sections and how the structure will be framed and supported.  I begin building the model into 3D and typically, the first draft of the addition or new home is NEVER the final version.  This preliminary version will always be a rough draft that will be built upon further by pushing or pulling walls to make the space larger or smaller than what the client wants. 

The Main Floor Plan is the first thing I work on and if the project has a second or third floor, those plans are taken into account when designing the main floor.  I develop a design for the floor system on all the floor levels as well as the roof system.  So, when a client views the first draft, they may look at the design and be completely distressed by the first round or they may look at it and say, "that's exactly what I was talking about".  If it's the former, then I begin to make changes to the design and try to get the plan within the project parameters.  The biggest problem on a lot of projects is that sometimes, clients want rooms that are a certain size, and a project of an overall total square footage, but in reality, when they lay it out on the computer and begin to see the plan in 3D, they realize very quickly that adjustments will have to be made to the square footages to maintain the budget they have set aside for their projects.  So, I work with each client to bring their project into scale on the computer to help them maintain their budget and also be able to build their project they way they want them built.  

​Once all of the pictures and sketches have been entered, we move into the next phase, which I will talk about in my next post:  The Design Development Phase.  

​Thanks for reading! 

​Until Next time.......

April 18th, 2018

10:06 p.m. EST

Second, The Design Develoment Phase; 

​In this phase, we take the schematics from the first phase, and develop them into a design that will eventually become the final building product.  We sit down with the clients, along with out laptop computer, and show them the preliminary design, in 3D, and make changes to the floor plans, usually on a room by room basis.  We also discuss the site and how the home or addition will be affected by the surrounding landscape and terrain.  We take into consideration how water will drain off the roof and away from the house, so that no moisture will gather around the foundation.  Once all of the criteria of the clients have been met, we create a set of preliminary drawings and they can start talking to contractors to start getting an idea of what costs are going to be.

​Thanks for reading! 

​Until Next time.......

August 21st, 2016

2:45 p.m. EST

In my last entry, I mentioned that I will discuss the AUDIT and PURGE commands in AutoCAD.  When you are working in AutoCAD and you notice that it takes forever to open a drawing or when you click on save, it takes several minutes for the file to save.  I've worked with AutoCAD for 20 years, and I have to admit, that on few occasions, I have received files that warrant an enormous file size of greater than 5MB.  For the most part, architectural AutoCAD files containing a basic floor plan, elevations, and a few sections, shouldn't be more than a couple of MB.  Most of the projects I have worked on or created within a project directory have been sized in the kilobyte range, which is less than 1MB.  When you look at projects and you see the sheet files are over 5mb, that is the number one clue that something is not right with the file.  So, AutoCAD developed the AUDIT and PURGE commands.  In my experience, I've always used the AUDIT command first.

Quite simply, you type in AUDIT in the command line and when it asks to correct any errors, you always answer yes, and the AUDIT of the file begins.  Once the AUDIT is done, you type in PURGE and another dialog box will appear.  All you have to do here is continue to click on PURGE until all of the little PLUS (+) symbols are gone from the dialog menu.  The purge commands gets rid of unwanted elements that are causing the file size to be so large.  Typically, if I see a file size of over 5MB, the first thing I do is and AUDIT and PURGE.  This will clear out any unwanted  problems within the file and it usually shrinks the file size back down where it should be, within the 0 - 2MB range. 

Typically, sheet files are composed of a titleblock file that has been x-refed (using the OVERLAY option) into the Layout space and a floor plan, elevation, or wall section that has been x-refed (using the OVERLAY option)into the Model Space of the file.  So, the only thing that is drawn within the sheet files are the notes and dimensions and drawing titles.  That's it.  That's why I say when you open a Sheet file and it's size is quite large, it should tip you off that something isn't setup correctly. 

​I realize that not every AutoCAD user doesn't setup their drawings like I do.  To let you in on a little secret, the way I set up my drawings isn't MY way, it's the way the AutoCAD Project Navigator sets up drawings.  I use AutoCAD right out of the box.  In my opinion, there isn't any need to go an customize AutoCAD so much, that only one or two people in your office can use it.  If you use it right from the box, it's one of the best project tools for drawing in the world.  However, if you don't use it properly, it can be your worst enemy.

​If you have any questions or would like for me to discuss another topic sometime, feel free to e-mail me! 

​Until Next Time.......