I survey properties and currently draw out the basic floor plans by hand
on graph paper, showing walls, doors, windows, toilets, etc. - nothing
complex. Could anybody recommend a freeware tool that I could possibly
download and use?
I've done a lot of architecturals myself. Having used AutoCrap since day one
I can tell you AutoPimp's products are over-priced crippleware garbage. What
I recommend for floor planning property surveys is the use of an inexpensive
program such as 3D Home Architect (3DHA). There are programs in the under
$80 category that can be used to rapidly produce professional 2D or 3D
results that will detail and dimension accurately enough to obtain building
permits and get stamped by an architect or engineer if neccessary.
Furthermore I taught my 10 year old nephew how to use 3D Home Architect in 5
minutes. Honestly, 3DHA was that easy to learn and use.
Here is the 'gotcha' though. Its a long story I'd be happy to explain if
you'd like to talk mano-a-mano which is something I'd like to do myself as I
have some questions you might help me answer but the short explanation as
told to me is the apparent fact that while 3DHA was the best choice at one
point in time I've been told it is no longer being developed by the same
group of programmers and the new group has turned it into ca-ca when
compared to another product in the same category which was said to now be
the better choice. I haven't been using 3DHA for many years now so I can't
honestly say either way but I can say with all certainty this is the
category of software you want to take seriously. I've done a quick Google
search  for you and suggest you read through results to get insights into
what this category of CAD can do for you.
Contact me with Floor Plans as the subject and send me your # and I'll give
you a call.
No, these guys are full of baloney. You need the full Architectural Desktop
2006. It will only set you back about $4,000. Then you also need the
Autodesk Land Surveying package, plus 3D Studio so you can work in 3D. The
total cost should be only around $12,000. Plus, you'll need to upgrade every
time AutoDesk rolls out a new release--in other words, every year. With all
three packages, it should be a paltry $1,500 or so annually to keep your
licenses up to date. Of course, you're going to need a top-of-the-line
computer to run all this--the latest AutoDesk products require a minimum of
one gig of memory. Shouldn't cost you more than $3,000. You'll need a
plotter too, to output full-size drawings. HP makes a nice one for about
$20,000. Then you'll need to take classes in order to use all these
incredibly and unnecessarily complex tools. Plan on taking a year off from
work to get all your skills up to snuff.
Or you could stick to graph paper.
Try doing a search for ProgeCAD LT 2006 - it was free when I got it earlier,
but it may have changed to a cost option by now.
It does everything that I need, including having the ability to take in full
In the states we have this thing called fascism. Canadians have also lost
their freedoms and liberties to fascists; the melding of corporate interests
and government until the two become indistinguishable. They wave the flag a
lot and tell us God wants it this way.
Yes, it is against the law to draw a picture of a toilet in the US too.
Political opinions aside, the FACT remains that in my jurisdiction
architects cannot just stamp drawings created by others. This may be unique
to Ontario, or not. I just want to advise the OP that he should check into
the claim you made and its applicability in his jurisdiction.
Your observation is true is almost all jurisdictions and applies to both
architects and engineers. The operative language is usually some variant
of "documents must be prepared under the direct supervision of the
architect or engineer."
The "specifications" as you call them are indeed published. They are
called the building and zoning codes.
BTW, many jurisdictions do not require an architect's or engineer's seal
on the drawings for single family residences or other types of buildings
unless they are more than 4000 sq.ft.
That has changed somewhat with the adoption of the IBC and IRC codes which
now contain prescriptive requirements which must be met if you do not want
to provide calculations prepared by a licensed professional.
I have sufficient experience working on architectural and engineering
projects to know about building and zoning codes.
In the State of Wisconsin private sector government agents must be paid for
any residential projects larger than two family and any commercial project
larger than 50,000 CF. As I recall recently being told by a public sector
government agent, Wisconsin's regulations apparently coincide with the
adoption of the International Building Codes & International Residential
Codes you refer to as most if not all states have already adopted those
codes as the sovereignity of our nation continues to be surrendered to the
new world odor globalists.
I must acknowledge then my written comments that precede this reply were not
well conveyed and were misleading as there are in fact regulations that can
and do specify how drawings must be drawn.
I dunno. I work in the People's Republic of Massachusetts (props to
Clinton), which is about as Code-ridden a state you can imagine (new
buildings have to be earthquake-proof, an event about as likely as the
glaciers returning) and I've been at several firms where they kept "pet"
registered architects on staff just to stamp the drawings. Not that they sat
around doing nothing, of course, but they sure as hell weren't allowed to
design anything. At one of my early jobs it was my duty to forge the boss'
initials over the architectural stamps--he couldn't be bothered.
I work in the socialist paradise of New Zealand, and all this stamping
and registering of interested parties is just starting to creep in. I
have no problem with the new building codes, but with the way they are
being used to collect revenue for local councils. The new regs. have
added approx. 12 % to the cost of a new building for no added service,
and in the near future I am going to have to become a registered drafty.
No tests to make sure I know what I'm doing, just a fee to to be paid
each year. At the moment, I don't need an archtect/designer to sign off
my work, as long as it meets the building standard. I laughed at the
'forging' comment.....I have seen this happen many times when drawings
need to be out the door NOW!....use different pens and your left hand
for some of the sigs.....