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Re: [chief-users] Residential Construction Drawing Package

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  • Globedesigninc@aol.com
    im a little confused. no disrespect but with so much background your initial post sounded like you had very little to work with? chief arc is an easy program
    Message 1 of 19 , Aug 31, 2003
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      im a little confused. no disrespect but with so much background your initial
      post sounded like you had very little to work with? chief arc is an easy
      program to use, albiet there is a lot more than meets the eye. with a daughter,
      son in law, engineers and builders and everyone else, why is designing your
      own home becoming a project that usually takes less than 2 weeks if you know
      what you want and have such a wealth of personell supporting you? im not being
      nasty im just confused...i do everything myself, paperwork, design,
      construction drawings, talk with builders, excavators, im a one man band with no "close"
      support. dont make this mole hill into a mountian larry. just get started if
      you already havent. especially if the house is less than 3000 sf and its
      going to be your house. practice with chief, the only way to learn it is to use
      it. you might consider just doing this house using software you are familiar
      with if you are under any time constraints, and unless you are building the
      house yourself, wouldnt going to a designer/builder be simpler, especially if
      you are unfamiliar with the software or have one of your support people do it?

      will


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Fitch R. Williams
      On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 21:38:03 -0000, Richard Morrison, AIA ... Point well taken. I forgot to mention that my middle sister is a licensed interior designer.
      Message 2 of 19 , Aug 31, 2003
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        On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 21:38:03 -0000, "Richard Morrison, AIA"
        <richard@...> wrote:

        >An experienced designer can add qualities to your home that are
        >likely not even in your consciousness right now, but which you may
        >grow to appreciate as you live there over the years. Qualities like
        >soft natural light, spatial interest, consistency in detailing ...,
        >well, I can only suggest Sarah Susanka's books (Not So Big House
        >series) to direct you along those lines.

        Point well taken. I forgot to mention that my middle sister is a
        licensed interior designer. She has volunteered to take a look at the
        plans from that point of view.

        But, in the interest of stimulating blood flow to the allegedly
        totally atrophied right side of my brain, I've read and enjoyed
        Susanka's books (much more fun that reading the IBC). I have the
        pattern language book as well (a left brain book me thinks), and I'm
        looking things up in it from time to time to try to get deeper into
        the essence of using space.

        That said, I confess I'm not a fan of prairie style architecture, but
        I liked her theories about a small house possibly being more
        satisfying than a big one. Our plan in its current state has a CA
        defined living area of 1,887 sq-ft on PL2 (the main floor) with a
        fully finished walk out basement where my wife's 476 square foot
        sewing/quilting studio will be located along with a fabric stash
        closet, theater room, exercise room, and two guest bedrooms each with
        its own bath. The house as we will live in it only has 3 bedrooms,
        but it is designed to be convertible to as many as 6 two on PL2, 4 on
        PL1 (if the office, theater, and exercise room were used that way).

        In honor of my families stroke history, I researched chair lifts and
        determined to make the stairs 4'-6" wide and straight with a minimum
        8' landing area at the bottom, pre wired for a chair lift. I'm also
        planning night safety lights in the stair well. The hall is 4' wide
        and all the essential living areas and access to them have 3' doors.
        The shower in the master bedroom is a LASCO shower that can be
        converted to allow a wheel chair to roll in as well as having a
        transfer seat. Since I'm designing the house, I decided to make it
        handicap accessible. There is a ramp to the garage floor level as
        well. The master bedroom and all essential living facilities are on
        the main floor, PL2. We are planning on having a light switch next to
        the door where one leaves the bedroom that turns on a suitable light
        in the kitchen.

        I am looking forward to doing the electrical plan. I've never ever
        lived in a house that was wired like I'd like to be, but then I'm an
        electrical engineer and I'd like to hang all electricians that use
        Edison circuits. They are all over the house we are living in now
        which is in the contest for worst wired houses built in the 1980s -
        but its better than our first house which had aluminum wire. I pig
        tailed that house in 1971 after an outlet smoked - it became code to
        do that shortly after I did it. What a pain that was.

        Fitch
      • Fitch R. Williams
        On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 23:28:22 EDT, Globedesigninc@aol.com wrote: Hi , my name is Fitch and I love to do it myself. I hope I don t get over that any time soon
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 1, 2003
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          On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 23:28:22 EDT, Globedesigninc@... wrote:

          "Hi", my name is Fitch and I love to do it myself." I hope I don't
          get over that any time soon - life would get incredibly boring.

          >im a little confused. no disrespect but with so much background your initial
          >post sounded like you had very little to work with? chief arc is an easy
          >program to use, albiet there is a lot more than meets the eye. with a daughter,
          >son in law, engineers and builders and everyone else, why is designing your
          >own home becoming a project that usually takes less than 2 weeks if you know
          >what you want and have such a wealth of personell supporting you? im not being
          >nasty im just confused...i do everything myself, paperwork, design,
          >construction drawings, talk with builders, excavators, im a one man band with no "close"
          >support.

          You did the first house you ever did in two weeks? Wow. I'm
          impressed.

          >dont make this mole hill into a mountian larry.

          Who's Larry?

          >just get started if you already havent.

          I am started. I'm on the 4th iteration of a floor plan using CA -
          there were other iterations and about a month of studying floor plan
          books and deciding I didn't like any of them, and none of them were
          close enough to be practically modified into what we wanted.
          Designing this from scratch seemed like the way to go. The CA
          "wizard" has been a wonderful resource - if you count the variations
          that were tried and discarded using that feature, I'm probably up over
          25 floor plan concepts. It took a few iterations to get my brain able
          to routinely think on two floors at once - but I got there.

          >especially if the house is less than 3000 sf and its
          >going to be your house.

          It has a foot print of less than 1,900sq-ft (not including the garage,
          porch, or rear decks), but it finishes to about 3,600 sq-ft of living
          area including the finished basement area. It takes me time to
          converge on a design. Writing a short letter takes longer, so does
          designing a smaller house. The first try had a 3,400 sq-foot first
          floor. Its taken time to work down to what is on the screen now.
          Reading about handicapped access, researching chair lifts, figuring
          out how to work around the 22' long 4'-6" stair foot print into the
          plan, getting 5' turning circles where they are needed, etc. and still
          keeping the house a size we want is taking time. I'm not into knee
          jerk design. If I struggle with it, that is just fine with me.

          I still have all the gravity load analysis to do - it will be
          documented. That will take me more than two weeks all by itself, and
          I will have my daughter check it. My daughter will help with the
          rebar design in the retaining walls for the basement after I make the
          first try myself. I paid attention during the recent discussion of
          BeamChek (sp?) and the Struk(??) SW and the other SW (which looks very
          good to me), bought a copy of the IBC and a book about the IBC that
          helps me find and understand the places in it that are of interest.
          Being an electrical engineer I already had a copy of the NEC and a
          handbook for that. I could ask my daughter to do the gravity load
          analysis, and she would, but I want to have the experience of doing it
          my self. I have her foundation design book to look at so I can at
          least make a first approximation of the rebar design.

          >practice with chief, the only way to learn it is to use
          >it.

          Right. The iterations on the design are giving me lots of practice.

          >you might consider just doing this house using software you are familiar
          >with if you are under any time constraints,

          As I wrote earlier, I have almost a year left - it seems like enough
          to me. Construction won't begin until August '04. The mechanical
          design SW I use to make drawings and program the CNC mill in my garage
          really can't hold a candle to CA when it comes to house design.

          >and unless you are building the
          >house yourself, wouldnt going to a designer/builder be simpler, especially if
          >you are unfamiliar with the software or have one of your support people do it?

          I'm not going to do the physical work of building the house my self -
          I'd love to but my back just isn't up to it. I will probably put in
          the computer network and RG for TV outlets. The house will eventually
          be sold, hopefully several decades from now, so it needs to have the
          TV cable - and since cable modem is available at that location I will
          take advantage of it. This 26.4 connection is better than nothing at
          all, but a cable modem connection would be wonderful.

          Like I said before - I'm doing this because I "want" to do it my self.
          I am enjoying the challenge and I want to live in a house I designed.
          My wife is loving this process as well. We spent about two hours
          yesterday sitting side by side in front of the monitor working on the
          kitchen cabinet layout. Which ones have drawers, which ones doors,
          the height of the kitchen island, where the pantry cabinet will be,
          how it looks from the dining room and family room, how to get an extra
          window into the kitchen to see nice woods view, etc. It was a good
          time for us. We have spent maybe 80 hours together so far working on
          the floor plans. Today we are going to focus on the laundry room - it
          is a major issue with her, it is about 8' wide and 12' long with tall
          cabinets split by a shelf and clothes rod on one side, sink, counters,
          washer and dryer on the other side. So we will take the time, this
          morning (we are both disgusting morning people), to get it all worked
          out.

          My family members are a wonderful resource, but I want to do this. I
          suppose it is confusing to have someone design their own house just
          because they "want" to do that. In this day and age people seem to be
          so challenge averse and focused on easy that they don't understand the
          person that just wants to do it themselves even if it is harder and
          takes longer. I make things in my machine shop that I could buy for a
          fraction of the cost just because I enjoy doing it (learned to program
          CNC mill over the last 5 years just for fun). Same in my wood shop.
          I'm building a custom pool fence at our current house (with some over
          a hundred parts made on the CNC mill) that will be sold in less than a
          year, that I could have paid someone to do, but I wanted to build it
          myself. I don't watch television either. Life is not a spectator
          sport, its a first person experience. Holding a remote and watching
          other people do things is not my idea of living.

          Fitch
        • Bill Shideler
          It is going to take Fitch about 3 1/2 years to complete the drawings for his home.................. Unless, of course you people leave him alone to actually
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 1, 2003
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            It is going to take Fitch about 3 1/2 years to complete the drawings for his home..................

            Unless, of course you people leave him alone to actually work on it and not spend all his time explaining himself!

            ;^)

            Bill Shideler
            Homes By Design
            http://www.HomesByDesign.ws
            Vancouver, Washington
            360.254.0972
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Fitch R. Williams
            To: chief-users@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 6:22 AM
            Subject: Re: [chief-users] Residential Construction Drawing Package


            On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 23:28:22 EDT, Globedesigninc@... wrote:

            "Hi", my name is Fitch and I love to do it myself." I hope I don't
            get over that any time soon - life would get incredibly boring.

            >im a little confused. no disrespect but with so much background your initial
            >post sounded like you had very little to work with? chief arc is an easy
            >program to use, albiet there is a lot more than meets the eye. with a daughter,
            >son in law, engineers and builders and everyone else, why is designing your
            >own home becoming a project that usually takes less than 2 weeks if you know
            >what you want and have such a wealth of personell supporting you? im not being
            >nasty im just confused...i do everything myself, paperwork, design,
            >construction drawings, talk with builders, excavators, im a one man band with no "close"
            >support.

            You did the first house you ever did in two weeks? Wow. I'm
            impressed.

            >dont make this mole hill into a mountian larry.

            Who's Larry?

            >just get started if you already havent.

            I am started. I'm on the 4th iteration of a floor plan using CA -
            there were other iterations and about a month of studying floor plan
            books and deciding I didn't like any of them, and none of them were
            close enough to be practically modified into what we wanted.
            Designing this from scratch seemed like the way to go. The CA
            "wizard" has been a wonderful resource - if you count the variations
            that were tried and discarded using that feature, I'm probably up over
            25 floor plan concepts. It took a few iterations to get my brain able
            to routinely think on two floors at once - but I got there.

            >especially if the house is less than 3000 sf and its
            >going to be your house.

            It has a foot print of less than 1,900sq-ft (not including the garage,
            porch, or rear decks), but it finishes to about 3,600 sq-ft of living
            area including the finished basement area. It takes me time to
            converge on a design. Writing a short letter takes longer, so does
            designing a smaller house. The first try had a 3,400 sq-foot first
            floor. Its taken time to work down to what is on the screen now.
            Reading about handicapped access, researching chair lifts, figuring
            out how to work around the 22' long 4'-6" stair foot print into the
            plan, getting 5' turning circles where they are needed, etc. and still
            keeping the house a size we want is taking time. I'm not into knee
            jerk design. If I struggle with it, that is just fine with me.

            I still have all the gravity load analysis to do - it will be
            documented. That will take me more than two weeks all by itself, and
            I will have my daughter check it. My daughter will help with the
            rebar design in the retaining walls for the basement after I make the
            first try myself. I paid attention during the recent discussion of
            BeamChek (sp?) and the Struk(??) SW and the other SW (which looks very
            good to me), bought a copy of the IBC and a book about the IBC that
            helps me find and understand the places in it that are of interest.
            Being an electrical engineer I already had a copy of the NEC and a
            handbook for that. I could ask my daughter to do the gravity load
            analysis, and she would, but I want to have the experience of doing it
            my self. I have her foundation design book to look at so I can at
            least make a first approximation of the rebar design.

            >practice with chief, the only way to learn it is to use
            >it.

            Right. The iterations on the design are giving me lots of practice.

            >you might consider just doing this house using software you are familiar
            >with if you are under any time constraints,

            As I wrote earlier, I have almost a year left - it seems like enough
            to me. Construction won't begin until August '04. The mechanical
            design SW I use to make drawings and program the CNC mill in my garage
            really can't hold a candle to CA when it comes to house design.

            >and unless you are building the
            >house yourself, wouldnt going to a designer/builder be simpler, especially if
            >you are unfamiliar with the software or have one of your support people do it?

            I'm not going to do the physical work of building the house my self -
            I'd love to but my back just isn't up to it. I will probably put in
            the computer network and RG for TV outlets. The house will eventually
            be sold, hopefully several decades from now, so it needs to have the
            TV cable - and since cable modem is available at that location I will
            take advantage of it. This 26.4 connection is better than nothing at
            all, but a cable modem connection would be wonderful.

            Like I said before - I'm doing this because I "want" to do it my self.
            I am enjoying the challenge and I want to live in a house I designed.
            My wife is loving this process as well. We spent about two hours
            yesterday sitting side by side in front of the monitor working on the
            kitchen cabinet layout. Which ones have drawers, which ones doors,
            the height of the kitchen island, where the pantry cabinet will be,
            how it looks from the dining room and family room, how to get an extra
            window into the kitchen to see nice woods view, etc. It was a good
            time for us. We have spent maybe 80 hours together so far working on
            the floor plans. Today we are going to focus on the laundry room - it
            is a major issue with her, it is about 8' wide and 12' long with tall
            cabinets split by a shelf and clothes rod on one side, sink, counters,
            washer and dryer on the other side. So we will take the time, this
            morning (we are both disgusting morning people), to get it all worked
            out.

            My family members are a wonderful resource, but I want to do this. I
            suppose it is confusing to have someone design their own house just
            because they "want" to do that. In this day and age people seem to be
            so challenge averse and focused on easy that they don't understand the
            person that just wants to do it themselves even if it is harder and
            takes longer. I make things in my machine shop that I could buy for a
            fraction of the cost just because I enjoy doing it (learned to program
            CNC mill over the last 5 years just for fun). Same in my wood shop.
            I'm building a custom pool fence at our current house (with some over
            a hundred parts made on the CNC mill) that will be sold in less than a
            year, that I could have paid someone to do, but I wanted to build it
            myself. I don't watch television either. Life is not a spectator
            sport, its a first person experience. Holding a remote and watching
            other people do things is not my idea of living.

            Fitch

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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Globedesigninc@aol.com
            5 tops [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 1, 2003
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              5 tops


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • medvetzb
              Hi Fitch, I ve followed this thread and thought I d reply to your original E- mail. I did what you are planning to do - design and build my retirement home. I
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 3, 2003
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                Hi Fitch,
                I've followed this thread and thought I'd reply to your original E-
                mail. I did what you are planning to do - design and build my
                retirement home. I have some suggestions for your consideration.
                1. Construction documents - check out the following URL address.
                http://www.aibd.org/min_plan_standards.htm
                The AIBD lists minimum plan standards.
                2. Building code - If you haven't obtained a copy of the 2003
                International Residential Code I'd highly recommend that. Check out
                the following URL: http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/adoptions/adoption.html
                and click on PA.
                3. I'd also recommend obtaining the Code Check guides (Building,
                Electrical, Plumbing, & HVAC) for cross checking your plan.
                4. Additional books worthwhile to look at are as follows:
                Graphic Guide to Frame Construction by Rob Thallon
                Graphic Guide to Interior Details by Rob Thallon
                Wiring A House by Rex Cauldwell
                Plumbing A House by Peter Hemp
                Builders Guide to Cold Climates by Joseph Lstiburek
                The last three books may influence your floor plan design.
                HTH
                Bob Medvetz

                --- In chief-users@yahoogroups.com, "Fitch R. Williams"
                <frwillia@m...> wrote:
                > We will be building our house in Cumberland (township? - near
                Carlisle
                > anyway) PA which has essentially no building code and doesn't
                require
                > much if anything more than a pencil sketch, nitrate testing, perks
                and
                > probes, and two suitable leech field sites to get a building permit.
                > Sure is different here in Southern Kalifornia!
                >
                > So given that the bank is happy with not much more than that, I have
                > very little in the way of guidance for what drawings it makes sense
                to
                > have in a residential construction drawing package to get the house
                > that is in my CA computer model to appear on the site. To that end
                I
                > think I need something like at least the following sheets in the
                > drawing package:
                >
                > 1) Cover page - maybe showing a 3D view of the house
                >
                > 2) Plot plan showing buildig foot prints, septic locations, planned
                > well location, electrical access, and geothermal heat sink well
                > locations.
                >
                > 3) Drawing with floor plan thumbnails and all 4 elevation views.
                >
                > 4) Main floor plan with dimensions to locate the walls and some
                > details of how the walls are to be built.
                >
                > 5) Basement floor plan with dimensions to locate the walls and
                > details of how the exterior EPS is to be applied, the underfloor EPS
                > insulation, drains and backfill.
                >
                > 6) Roof Plan
                >
                > 7) Detailed kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom wall/cabinetry
                plan.
                >
                > 8) Main floor electrical plan
                >
                > 9) Basement electrical plan
                >
                > 10) Floor finish plan showng carpet, tile, hardwood, etc.
                >
                > 11) Sheet that itemizes Doors, windows, kitchen and bathroom
                > cabinets, etc.
                >
                > What have I left out that should be in there? What can I eliminate?
                >
                > I haven't attached any un-expendable ego to this list so please feel
                > free to give me any and all comments.
                >
                > Thanks
                > Fitch
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