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Old 05-17-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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Building a ranch in Idaho! need software advise for plans!


OK, just thought I would say hi and check in. I am newer to this forum but not forums as a whole. I am a hotrod guy and on several hotrod and garage forums.

I live in Northern Nevada but own 175 acres in Idaho and am hoping to retire (again) in 2 years and build a home up there on my property, just off a 2 acre pond I have on the property.

I have done some building as I have a large 10 car shop where I am now and built that, which inbcludes a mother in law unit.

However my plans are to build a 2,000 sq ft barn home in Idaho. I currently am in the middle of building (in stages) a 1680 sq ft shop for my cars.

However the shop didnt even require plans in this are, just some insprections.

I am in the need of some good easy to use software, to design plans for my new home. As I said, we are going to build a basic barn home.

Because of the poor economy, our current home lost its 250K in equity and will more than likely have zero equity 2 years from now. However I wont work in my profession any longer and will have to sell and move. So that said, I have to build out of pocket and as cheap as possible, meaning what ever I can do, I will do and I no longer have expensive taste!!

But to start I need some good easy to use software. I do have an older version of HOME 3D ARCHITECT, which I would guess is obsolete and that there is better stuff out there???

Can anyone help with that and I will find an area to post this question in?

any help is greatly appreciated.

RUMBLON

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Old 05-17-2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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Building a ranch in Idaho! need software advise for plans!


Home Designer Pro from Chief Architect is a great program that is VERY easy to use for the novice.

You can also download a trial for free to see if you like it.

http://www.homedesignersoftware.com/...-designer-pro/

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Old 05-18-2011, 12:48 AM   #3
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Building a ranch in Idaho! need software advise for plans!


Like Harkness says Chief Architect is great. Its a little pricey but very easy to use.
And on another note I'm a refugee from Northern Nevada myself. I'm from Ely and live in Seattle now.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:15 AM   #4
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Building a ranch in Idaho! need software advise for plans!


Quote:
Originally Posted by HarknessConst View Post
Home Designer Pro from Chief Architect is a great program that is VERY easy to use for the novice.

You can also download a trial for free to see if you like it.

http://www.homedesignersoftware.com/...-designer-pro/

Harkness, thanks for the info I will look into it. I wonder if I can get by with the $199 version as it appears it may do most of what I need or all of it. I dont have any real need for the decorative stuff but it would be nice.

also, rock, I live on the west side of the state, Smith Valley, south of Minden and Tahoe. Cant wait to make the move, just wish the economy would come back as my home went from 600K to 300 and I am now under water.

Thanks again, I plan on lurking on this board for years.

RUMBLON
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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Building a ranch in Idaho! need software advise for plans!


I have a different opinion of Home Designer Pro.

It's relatively easy to use as a high-level planning tool, but don't expect to be able to build from any "plans" you come up with. It does a good job of showing how your floorplan flows (if you put enough effort into it), but it doesn't provide enough detail to help you understand how to actually construct anything. Instead of designing your dream home, you'll spend all your time trying to figure out why certain features don't work quite the way you expected (like why the roof is floating above the top of the wall plate). Like all software tools, you'll probably figure it out eventually, but not until after you've spent hours on the support forums.

I went down this road last year, and finally decided to just buy a real set of plans from one of the on-line services. There are thousands to choose from, so you won't have any trouble finding something you like.

Last edited by FlyingHammer; 05-18-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:39 PM   #6
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Building a ranch in Idaho! need software advise for plans!


For me, initial design work is easiest with a pencil and graph paper. You can draw a bunch of ideas, cut, copy, and paste. Really cheap too, and no learning curve.

Then you can use the back of the tablet to build a model (with hot glue).

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