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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any suggestions on software to do HT floorplan design & layouts? Basic architectural layout, plus furniture and equipment placement, possibly wiring.


Looking for something that will accept custom graphic objects and allow you to place them in the design if possible.


I've seen a couple of really nice designs recently posted in the gallery here (which appears to be shut down for now or I'd link to them here!)


I like the 3-d modeling capability I've seen as well, but not a must-have. I suspect that stuff will drive up the software cost considerably.


Thanks in advance!

David
 

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Some programs that I had access to from work and some that I am "demo-ing":


Microsoft Visio

- Great visual layout tool with easy drag and drop functions


AutoCAD

- Pretty much can do anything you want with this, but takes years of learning and experience.


Punch Home Design Suite

- Seen lots of people use this, haven't quite used it too much to get the hang of it, but can see its potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Patrick. I'm quite familiar with Visio for flowcharting, network diagrams, etc. but for some reason I find it difficult to draw floorplan items in it to specific scale and size for some reason. Autocad is a bit of a sledgehammer for my needs :), though I'm sure it would do the job quite well.


I'll take a look at Punch, have seen it on the shelves at a pretty decent price.


Do you have a recent gallery pictures of floorplans posted? May have been yours I was looking at.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Somniplex
Any suggestions on software to do HT floorplan design & layouts? Basic architectural layout, plus furniture and equipment placement, possibly wiring.
I'm a big fan of Autodesk Revit . Easy to use yet very powerful. You won't find it in any of your local big box software stores however. It's high end software with a price to match. Educational pricing is available, so that may be an option for you. I discovered this product a couple of months ago after a long search, and I LOVE it. If you have access to it from someone, give it a try.


Punch would be my pick if I was limited to "personal productivity" software, although I dislike Punch's 3D navigation, and it's drafting precision isn't up to the same standards of true CAD programs.
 

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I draw about 20 homes a year and use a program called Chief Architect. Very easy to use and quite powerful. But too expensive (about $800) if you are just doing one house or one HT.
 

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I'll echo each of Chris' comments above regarding Revit and Punch!.


If you visit my HT site (link below) you'll see my latest renderings done in Revit, and in the "gallery archive" the original renderings done in Punch!.


For floorplans I used SmartDraw , basically a Visio knockoff. I've never used Visio myself so I can't honestly compare the two, but I found SmartDraw to be very flexible. The floorplans on my "design" page were done in SmartDraw.
 

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TurboCAD version 9 ($80) will do most of what AutoCAD will do for about 1/40 th the price. TurboCAD 9 Professional is even better but costs about $600.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jonmx
I draw about 20 homes a year and use a program called Chief Architect. Very easy to use and quite powerful. But too expensive (about $800) if you are just doing one house or one HT.
I have Chief Architect v8.05. It's been collecting dust ever since I started using Revit. A professional designer such as yourself should give it a try. I found Revit to be superior to Chief Architect in every way. In fact, I was quite disappointed with Chief Architect when I started using it. It doesn't seem like much more that 3D Home Architect with expanded libraries and marginally better 3D rendering. Definitely not worth $800.
 

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What's better out of Architectural Desktop and Revit ?
 

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I'm using Punch! Professional Home design. I think it cost me $50. you can do floorplans and 3-D modeling. Comes with its own object designer so you can draw your own furniture, sconces, etc. Fairly easy to use. The 3D walk thru and Fly by modes are a bit touchy. for simple room design it's great! I do wish they had more objects already drawn..... as my artistic abilities leave much to be desired.


Here's the link:

http://www.punchsoftware.com/index.htm
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Armstrong
I have Chief Architect v8.05. It's been collecting dust ever since I started using Revit.
I design houses for myself to build and can design a complete house with Cheif including floor plan, elevations, electrical plan, cabinet layouts and site plan in about three to four hours. I can also make modifications to the house plan in seconds with my customers sitting there. I really don't bother with the rendering features too much, but I can't see how any program could be more efficient with the features that Chief Architict for drawing home plans.
 

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Cheers Chip just what I was looking for.
 

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I see everybody is using programs like Visio, CAD, or whatever to do their layouts. But if you really want to make a nice layout you should try NetZoomAV.


It's an AV stencil library that contains replica images of specifc products. They're pretty detailed images, different views, and are even embedded with product info/data. They're scalable and work right within Visio, PowerPoint, AutoCAD, or SmartDraw software.


Check out their web site at NetZoomAV.com, and they even have some free demos.


Hope you find this new info useful.
 

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Wow Altima, I've seen you pushing this NetZoomAV on several threads now. Getting a commission? Looks great, but at $300 for an add-on to Visio, it's probably beyond what most non-industry DIY'ers want to spend. I did enjoy using RackTools add-on to Visio for laying out my Middle Atlantic rack, and I think I remember it was free. :)
 

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Uh, "Altima Technologies" is the name of the company that owns NetZoom product line.


So maybe no commission, but definitely a profit!


Not too sure about the ethics of posting as an individual and not mentioning the company affiliation.


They do make some nice stuff. I am most familiar with their network drawing package..... which is really a subscription not a standalone packaged product. BTW, that $300 price tag, is only for a ONE year subscription. Unless you are an AV business, this is way over most folks budget to draw a couple of HT diagrams.
 
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