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RyanDe

Best way to model an existing house?

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What's the best way to model an existing house so I can play with remodeling it? Should I measure the entire interior and build it out that way? Room by room? Exterior first? What works best for you guys?

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I measure the inside and set my dimension locate to surfaces. If you have the correct wall assemblies it should be correct.

scan.pdf

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Start with the exterior walls and get those set to the correct distances.  Then you can add interior walls, select each one and set it's distance from the exterior walls.  This can be done very simply by just selecting the wall, then select the displayed dimension and enter the correct value.  Do this for each interior wall starting from top to bottom and then from left to right.

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I do basically the same thing Alan does except that I would typically measure the exterior as well for use as a control/proof/double checking mechanism. In other words, I like to go back-and-forth making sure all numbers agree with each other. Sometimes they don't and I either…

A. Discover I made a mistake with one of the numbers or presumed assembly thicknesses.

B. Find a hidden chase or other construction abnormality.

And like Joe, I would typically start with the exterior walls (or basic permiter shape if it's only one area of the house) and go from there.

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Exterior and interior dimensions will never agree, but you will need to get all your interior dimensions correct. You can always open a wall and change it's dimensions if you really need to, but trying to account for every 1/8" change in  wall thicknesses is a wast of time, no one cares unless they are plumbing walls.  Always concentrate your efforts on the rooms that need critical dimensions for cabinets. Make foundation dimensions what they are.  I find it's rare that an old foundation lands on the whole inch.  You can cheat on the foundation below.  There's always a compromise.  

 

I block point to point dimensions for most of my dimensions because I find I always have to jog things around for hidden thick walls, unforeseen bump-outs, and angled walls.   This is why I've been asking for point to point lock so the whole dimension can be moved. Don't try to block point to point in place, do it out in the field then drag to where you need it.

 

In simple houses I try to shoot the furthest extents I can if there's a clear shot from outside to outside wall.  And yes, if you can, try to get an outline of the foundation first, but ultimately your'e not going to need to change the whole foundation, so perfect foundation dimensions aren't that necessary.  If you are adding on, then your new room will have perfect dimensions and will be tied to the existing foundation. 

 

If it's any consolation, I've never gotten an asbuilt from an architect that was perfect, in fact most of them are way off. I never trust them. 

 

Anyway, asbuilts with Chief is an artform...Real world buildings are quite different than new buildings and it will force you to learn a lot more about Chief than you ever thought was necessary.

 

I've done 130 asbuilts in the last 1.5 yrs.   I like doing them, but they are tricky.  

 

Good luck,

Barry

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Rashid:

 

yes, in 2005 I bought the Disto Plus for $700

 

tons of features - turns out I only used it in "simple" mode

 

a year later Leica had models being sold under Sears Fat Max label for $100

 

I measure to 1/16" - model to 1/16"

 

I allow for 1/2" discrepancy unless in a critical area

 

If discrepancy is 2" or more I go back to site and re-measure

 

I wrote all dims as 1/16"s - this made math much easier

 

7 1/2" write as 7 8/16  -  10 3/4 write as 10 12/16

 

when I create final plans I set dims to show as nearest 1"

maybe 1/2" if the area was "critical"

 

since I can't draw I would take lots of pics while on site for measuring

then I had a small printer in my car to print b/w

 

then take dims and write on prints - that way I don't forget to measure something

and I have a better archive of what was measured etc

 

Lew

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