What is the easiest way to draw a floor plan and to get basic working drawings for a home rehab?
December 30, 2010 5:05 PM Subscribe
Architects, builders, and engineers -- what is the best software for drawing up a basic set of floor plans? What's the most cost-effective way to get a set of working drawings for a basic house rehab?
posted by slidell to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is for a thorough rehab of an existing house. The floor plan will stay the same, so I'm trying to draw it up myself. I have the measurements. I drew the site plan in InDesign, and I think I can do the exterior elevations in Photoshop by converting photos of the house into line art, then adding in the few new elements.
What is the best software for drawing up the floor plan? I'm fairly decent at Photoshop, InDesign, and PowerPoint. AutoCAD offers a 30-day free trial, though after that point, I won't have access to it anymore. What would you suggest? I have the impression that AutoCAD would be much more functional, if the learning curve isn't unbearably steep. Is there some 2D-AutoCAD-for-beginners that would be easier to learn, or some AutoCAD freeware that wouldn't expire after 30 days? Google SketchUp?
I may then need more detailed working drawings. I'll know more after meeting with the city next week. I am trying to save money wherever I can because the project is underfunded, but I also want to do this right, so there's a good chance that I'll have to hand it over to a professional. (I would like to go ahead and do the floor plans for the meeting with the city, even if I end up hiring an architect later.) If I end up taking that next step, here are a few approaches that people have suggested:
Option A: Get working drawings from a particular architect who used to work in code compliance for the city. Possibly get drawings to a level of detail that we could sub out the work ourselves?
Option B: Work with a good general contractor. Do any contractors also do working drawings to show what needs done? (It seems like it would be a good match with hiring and communicating with subcontractors.)
Option C: I have talked to several people who drew their own plans, though it sounds like they then worked out some of the details later with their contractor. I could do that, and maybe augment it by paying the architect at his hourly rate to serve as an expert advisor, particularly on code compliance issues or to identify questions that need expert advice (e.g., an engineer). I would have assumed this was a terrible idea, but I've now talked to four people who successfully did it.
What would you recommend? Thanks for any and all help. I've been trying to research this, but I've received a very wide range of advice.