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Everything posted by jmyers

  1. What would be the expected average range of gross earnings for a self employed, one person residential design/drafting office that is competitively priced, has adequate skills, has been in business a few years, and provides quality service in the Midwest (specifically the Indiana area)? Is there enough residential design/drafting work in the Midwest for a person to have 40-50+ hours of work per week? Thanks to all who reply!
  2. I have recently purchased HD Pro and have made great strides in learning the software. Obviously, I have a long way to go, but I have progressed significantly since first purchasing. For users who have used both Premier and HD Pro, I have a few questions regarding the ease of use between the two. When comparing the products, it's very to easy to see that Premier has much greater capabilities and options. With that understanding, how difficult is Premier to learn in comparison to HD Pro? Is the learning curve much steeper? Is Premier much more difficult to use, due to the advancements and capabilities? Thanks to all who respond!
  3. Thanks Gene!. I have added a pic of a crawlspace foundation for one of my homes. Inside the plan are 4 piers that I am referring to in my question. I can't find anything in any videos or tutorials that show how to create piers such as those that I am referring to.
  4. How difficult is it to create footing pads and concrete masonry piers on the footing pads inside of a crawlspace foundation to support beams? I have not purchased the software, but have been practicing with a trial version to see if I would like to purchase. I've tried to find videos and articles and can't find anything related to concrete masonry piers inside of a crawlspace. Typically, the piers in my homes are 2 courses of 8x8x16 concrete blocks on a 30x30x12 footing. Is there any automatic feature to use, draw by cad, etc.? Thanks to all that respond!
  5. Thanks Richard for the correction and reminder. Greatly appreciated!
  6. Other than general contracting/homebuilding (Design/Build) what would be a profession or service that would be a great complement to residential design/drafting or where residential design/drafting would be natural, beneficial compliment to it? In essence, what other professions or services could be provided by one entity that would be valuable to the housing industry and be a natural complement to each other for business growth and sustainability. Real estate sales? Home Inspection? Etc? All thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated!
  7. Is there enough residential new home construction and remodeling work in Indiana/Midwest for a one person residential drafting/design business to earn $80k+ per year after being in business a few years? The assumption should be made that the individual is good at what they do and is willing to put in the time and effort to be successful. If not, what could someone expect to earn with these assumptions and the current residential construction industry economy? I have a very extensive construction management background. Due to some unfortunate unforeseen events, I may need to make a professional change. Thanks to all who respond!
  8. Thanks to all who responded. There were some very interesting thoughts about what may be in the future for the residential design/drafting industry!
  9. I am from Indiana, but thought it would be interesting to hear from others as to what they think about the future of the residential design industry nationally. Many CA users have navigated the changes in the industry over the years in a very successful way. They must have done so by being able to adapt and by also having vision.
  10. Perry -- I believe you are right. It seems to me that most areas eventually follows California's lead, but it takes a long time to get there.
  11. By reading posts on this forum, I have noticed that many of you have witnessed many changes in the residential drafting/design industry over the years. Many of you were in the business when drawings were created by hand. Your success speaks volumes for your ability to adapt and stay ahead of the game. Even though I am not an architect, designer, or draftsman, I have spent many years in residential construction and have an interest in residential design. Due to the experiences that many of you have had, I thought it would be very interesting to get your thoughts/predictions concerning the short term and long term future of residential drafting/design. Some of the topics that may be of interest to all are listed below. * Technology advancements * Client demands * Regulatory changes (Building department/code changes) * Housing market strength * Office model (small firms, large firms, design/build) * Additional services offered * Design trends * Designer licensing/training/education requirements * Other What do you all envision for the future? I look forward to the interesting discussion.
  12. Does anyone have or offer, know of, or have any opinions of another business or additional services that would compliment residential drafting or design? Home Inspection? Real Estate sales/brokerage? Construction Cost Estimating? Energy Auditing? etc, etc,? I do know that many offer general contracting or construction management, but this wouldn't be good if your primary client for design/drafting is other builders. All ideas, thoughts, and opinions are greatly appreciated!
  13. How computer/tech savvy does one need to be to be successful using Chief Architect for drafting/design? Thanks to all who reply!
  14. Thanks to all who responded. I sincerely appreciate the feedback and advice.
  15. It sounds like many of you are self taught and self employed. From what I've gathered, your success has come from nothing less than hard work and dedication to learning along the way. The advice and the sharing of your experiences is very inspiring.
  16. This is great information. I sure appreciate all of the advice! I will take all that anyone is willing to share. This forum is incredible!
  17. To be more clear, I've considered the following options: 1. Attempt to sub work initially from another fairly local CA user to learn the "business" (CA and drafting). 2. Purchase the software. Get to where I feel comfortable in marketing my services. Pay a trainer/mentor to review my plans and assist when I have questions. 3. Purchase the software. Get to where I feel comfortable in marketing my services. Pay another CA user to complete jobs that are to complex for me until I get more experience. 4. Any other feasible option Thanks to all who assist with my inquiry!
  18. What is the best way to slowly transition into the residential drafting industry using chief architect? My ultimate goal would be to be self employed and earn enough to support my family within a couple of years or so. Background about me: * 15+ years in residential construction management * Been on thousands of residential new construction and remodel projects * Have designed new homes and remodels for spec and custom projects * Performed material take offs from hundreds of house plans * Have years of hands on construction experience in addition to the management * Bachelors in Business Administration I currently have a very good job that pays very well with outstanding benefits. However, I have a very strong interest in using CA to draw plans for other builders and individuals. I'm in southern Indiana and plan requirements for permits are not very stringent at this time. Most jurisdictions require a foundation plan, floor plan, and exterior elevations. The plans do not have to be stamped by an engineer or architect. I downloaded a trial version of CA and can draw a typical 2016 ranch home without much issue. However, I know that I am nowhere near where I would need to be with using the software to market myself at this time. I feel like I have a very strong background to succeed, but know that there is a ton about the "business" (CA software and residential drafting) that I do not know. So, what is the best way to ease into the residential drafting profession using chief architect? Thanks to all for the advice!
  19. I haven't purchased CA yet. I have the trial version and it seems fairly easy to learn the basics. However, I do understand that it takes years to become a very strong user.
  20. What did/do you do when you are drawing a set of plans for a client and run into an issue (something you don't know how to draw with CA) that you just can't figure out to complete the plan? You've watched videos, read training manuals, posted to this forum, etc. I don't currently have that issue; just asking as a hypothetical. Thanks to all that respond.