elgreco

UK & EU User Group

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I have been using Home Designer Pro for some 12 years (now upto HDP 21).

I recently upgraded to  Chief X12 and I am looking to set up a UK and EU user group to include Chief X.. and HDP users.

It would be useful to share ideas and tips on matters more relevant to UK and EU design practices.

 

If you are interested in joining please reply to my post.

 

Regards

George

Woking, Surrey, UK

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Hi George, would be highly interested in this as I am relocating from Canada to St Albans UK in about 4-5 months. Have currently completed two builds in St Albans and currently working on a third one. As you mention, there are differences in design practices including the planning process/requirements, building codes, build techniques and nomenclature. As a long term users of Chief Architect it became instantly evident that CA, due to it's North American focus, requires considerable modification to adapt it for use in the UK. Fortunately CA has the ability to be customized, just a bit of extra effort to set things up properly and some additional work to create custom symbols and CAD blocks. Would be my pleasure to take part in a UK/EU user group so we can share our experiences and techniques.

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Hi Graham

Good to hear from you and lets spread the gospel. I know there are a few UK and EU users out there but letting them know about this  Local User Group won't be easy.

I came across Home Designer accidentally, some years ago and I was so impressed I bought it within  a few weeks of seeing it. I used it primarily for conceptual designs and relied on AutoCAD for final drawings. I am hoping , with Chief X12 I can do everything in one package.

 

Other than including a Metric Unit option, CA have shown little interest in developing markets outside the  North American region. In that respect they are missing one hell of an opportunity. I even offered to take on the product as a UK reseller (I have a long history of IT Sales experience in technical software solutions),  but CA's management declined the offer.

 

Modelling some of the complex external architectural forms in the UK was always a challenge, even for AutoCAD/Revit/ArchiCAD.

But I agree with you that with a little effort, and some  help from Sketchup imports, many of the limitations can be addressed. CA is principally a single building product and it is difficult to apply global changes to one building when there are other building in the design (eg adding a new floor to one but not the others).

Perhaps CA can assist us in tailoring the product for local needs. We could also approach local kitchen, door and window manufacturer's for help in adding their products to the libraries.

 

IMHO, I feel that  CA X12 can address most, if not all,  of the needs of 80% of the small design practices out there.

 

Keep in touch and let's grow the group.

 

Regards

George

 

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5 hours ago, elgreco said:

I am hoping , with Chief X12 I can do everything in one package.

 

This upgrade will certainly provide you with many additional features and functions, I'm certain you will appreciate them. However, the primary single build premise/focus is no different. Not that one cannot coerce Chief into submission but I'm not certain this would be the best approach if a significant amount your work involves structures larger/taller than what Chief is programed to handle efficiently. For myself this limitation does not pose a problem as my focus is residential remodeling and within this it's more related to working with the home owner on the conceptual design elements, fittings, build feasibility and budgets, we then rely on and work with the Architect or Builder to develop the necessary detailed plans.

 

For myself, most of the shortfalls of Chief are the lack of specific models to replicate existing features. For example, in the UK the use of brick work is far more extensive than here, especially when considering the detailing done around windows and entrances, very difficult to accurately replicate using CA's current material catalogs and automated functions. This requires significant manual manipulation and model/symbol customization and as a result it makes alterations as the design process progresses extremely frustrating and time consuming. Just one of many examples where CA's North American focus makes adoption in other countries challenging.

 

Having been involved in serval UK builds I will definitely take a hard look at how things like this can be dealt with in a more efficient manner.

 

Cheers,

Graham

 

 

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On 6/17/2020 at 11:54 AM, elgreco said:

I have been using Home Designer Pro for some 12 years (now upto HDP 21).

I recently upgraded to  Chief X12 and I am looking to set up a UK and EU user group to include Chief X.. and HDP users.

It would be useful to share ideas and tips on matters more relevant to UK and EU design practices.

 

If you are interested in joining please reply to my post.

 

Regards

George

Woking, Surrey, UK

Count me in George!

 

On 6/17/2020 at 3:30 PM, TheKitchenAbode said:

Hi George, would be highly interested in this as I am relocating from Canada to St Albans UK in about 4-5 months. Have currently completed two builds in St Albans and currently working on a third one. As you mention, there are differences in design practices including the planning process/requirements, building codes, build techniques and nomenclature. As a long term users of Chief Architect it became instantly evident that CA, due to it's North American focus, requires considerable modification to adapt it for use in the UK. Fortunately CA has the ability to be customized, just a bit of extra effort to set things up properly and some additional work to create custom symbols and CAD blocks. Would be my pleasure to take part in a UK/EU user group so we can share our experiences and techniques.

Hey TKA. If you want an AV and Home Control/Automation specialist, that just so happens to live in St Albans, for any of your future builds. I'm your man.

 

Either way, let me wish you an advanced welcome to town!

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Hi Rickwookie

Thanks for responding to the invitation.

... and then there were three.!

 

So far St Albans is the Centre of Gravity of the UK/EU user group.

My claim to St Albans fame is having done a design job there some 5 years ago!

 

Spread the word.

Rgds

George

 

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21 hours ago, rickwookie said:

Count me in George!

 

Hey TKA. If you want an AV and Home Control/Automation specialist, that just so happens to live in St Albans, for any of your future builds. I'm your man.

 

Either way, let me wish you an advanced welcome to town!

 

Thanks Rickwookie. Will touch base with you once we get settled in. Would be interested in discussing AV and Home Automation control systems in order to gain a better understanding of the available technologies in your market. My initial impression is that the UK market appears to be more receptive to this. In my current region the average home owner seems to be only interested in a Nest thermostat and a Ring door bell. Audio Video is challenging as most just go to a big box store and buy a packaged system with very little appreciation of the systems ability to accurately reproduce content.

 

Cheers,

Graham

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UK “average” homeowner is probably the same then tbh. I’m always amazed how many people glue a Ring to their front door and have to regularly take out the battery to charge it (I actually thought this was I joke when I first saw this is how they work!) when for similar money they could have a hard-wired equivalent.

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed since lockdown though is that people are really starting to take notice of their networking and WiFi (or lack of it). I think is should be a requirement of Building Regs now days that any new builds should have a minimum amount of structured cabling installed. We acknowledge that we need powerwall of a building, so we should also acknowledge that we need data everywhere too. Trouble is, everyone thinks you can do everything “wirelessly”, until they try to.

My rule is this: if a device never moves, wire it!

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17 hours ago, rickwookie said:

My rule is this: if a device never moves, wire it!

 

Certainly my preferred position, but I understand the consumers attraction to wireless, order on Amazon, open package, stick the sensor(s) where ever you like and load up the app. No need to find an installer, no cost to retrofit wiring and no waiting to get up and running. I believe resistance is futile, especially as 5G becomes more established, you can see that this will bring a lot of new players into the market as traditional mobile providers will be able to expand into areas that only hardwire players were able to serve.

 

If I look at my home as an example, the primary TV signal enters my home via a hardwire cable but from that point all the TV's receive the signal wirelessly, unthinkable 10 or 15 years ago. No need for landline telephones, mobile phones have replaced them, no hardwired computers, wireless key board, wireless mouse, wireless printer.

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2 hours ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

I believe resistance is futile, especially as 5G becomes more established, you can see that this will bring a lot of new players into the market as traditional mobile providers will be able to expand into areas that only hardwire players were able to serve.

Installed a 5G router for a customer last week, since he insisted it's all he would need (getting internet service into the property was becoming boring). We had warned him that it would be anyone's guess if it would work or not, and what speed he would get. Sure enough, position the router in one spot (where it couldn't stay), got 220 Mbps download, then 25 Mbps, then 58 Mbps, moved it about 30 cm, got 0.4 Mbps. There are just too many variables with wireless. Now we'll have to find a spot that has reasonably consistent speeds, and then wire that point back to his network switch to distribute the the various WiFi access points around the property.

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16 minutes ago, rickwookie said:

Installed a 5G router for a customer last week, since he insisted it's all he would need (getting internet service into the property was becoming boring). We had warned him that it would be anyone's guess if it would work or not, and what speed he would get. Sure enough, position the router in one spot (where it couldn't stay), got 220 Mbps download, then 25 Mbps, then 58 Mbps, moved it about 30 cm, got 0.4 Mbps. There are just too many variables with wireless. Now we'll have to find a spot that has reasonably consistent speeds, and then wire that point back to his network switch to distribute the the various WiFi access points around the property.

 

Yes for sure, it's a bit premature to say the least. They are just starting to introduce 5G here but coverage is very limited and a lot of the other support hardware is not ready so upload and download speed is going to vary. Some are being a bit sneaky about it, they say it's 5G but it's actually a trimmed down version, I guess they need something to call 5G so they can sell 5G mobile phones. Even once they get their side of things sorted out there is still going to be the issue where signal strength is poor within a given structure. Look at the brighter side, you get to sell even more hardware.

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Hi Rickwookie

How do you use Chief X12.

In what context in your line of business?

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Hi Rickwoodie - Would it be possible for you to provide me with your e-mail address. I'm in need of some builder references for an upcoming project in St Albans, possibly some minor automation/security elements.

 

My direct e-mail is thekitchenabode@live.ca

 

Cheers

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