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CAD software in the industry

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In response to COVID related business loss, I’m trying to get my business built back up. I’m even looking for drafting jobs with other firms.  I was also planning to test for CA professional certification.  I’ve been applying for remote contract drafting jobs all over the country.  I am finding that MOST design and architecture firms use anything BUT Chief Architect.  They require experience with one of about 5 popular software programs.  Almost nobody uses CA.  I have invested so much time and money in CA and now I need to upgrade to X12 ($695) if I want to be up to date.   My question is what anyone else’s experience is, when doing work for other firms.  Thank you! 

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one can make a living using Chief alone

 

adding other software to your toolbox can't hurt either

 

as the saying goes "if all you have is a hammer, then everything begins to look like a nail"

 

I started part-time in 2006 with NO experience, same with my partner

2007 was our first full year of doing Chief and we had 13 clients, 18 projects, and made $56K

and won a Historical Merit Award for a renovation

 

all without advertising, just word of mouth via networking by joining AIA and NARI etc

 

then 2008 came ...

 

Lew

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Just curious, what are the 5 programs you hear are being used?

 

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34 minutes ago, Rpadge said:

Just curious, what are the 5 programs you hear are being used?

 

AutoCAD, AutoDesk, Revit, Rhino, ArchiCAD, SketchUp

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I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you're applying to Architectural and Drafting firms, if you use Chief.

 

You're more likely to get work from General Contractors and Private Homeowners looking to build on land that they own. 

 

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Just a question.  Does your building jurisdiction require qualification for the design of houses?   Where I live, Ontario Canada, a person who designs a house must be an engineer, architect or BCIN designer.  The BCIN designer is a designation that you can get by writing two challenge exams and passing with greater than 70%.

Once you have done that successfully, you have to get liability insurance a public design practice can be established. 

I am a BCIN designer and have been doing this for over 5 years now (my background is construction).  I make a comfortable income doing basement apartments, additions, garages and deck designs.  My advertising budget is almost zero using adds in Kijiji, real estate reps referrals and contractors.  It took about 6 months to get from no work to fairly busy.  

 

Representing homeowners to get building permits, and zoning relief is now a regular part of my work as well.   In Toronto, a homeowner needs to obtain from Toronto Urban Forestry to construct anything that the Tree Protection Bylaw deems to be within the tree protection zone.   Using a survey, doing a site plan that includes the proposed building, the location and trunk size of trees of concern, and tree protection zones is also part of the work that I do.  

 

There are opportunities to be your own business person, and not dependent upon an employer.  Just a thought.   

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7 hours ago, Michael_Gia said:

I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you're applying to Architectural and Drafting firms, if you use Chief.

 

You're more likely to get work from General Contractors and Private Homeowners looking to build on land that they own. 

 


Michael, GCs, carpenters and homeowners are who I get work from, so you’re absolutely right. I’m trying to think beyond that market, but you’re confirming that I’m probably wasting my time looking outside of that group. Thank you for the feedback! 

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7 hours ago, Doug_N said:

Just a question.  Does your building jurisdiction require qualification for the design of houses?   Where I live, Ontario Canada, a person who designs a house must be an engineer, architect or BCIN designer.  The BCIN designer is a designation that you can get by writing two challenge exams and passing with greater than 70%.

Once you have done that successfully, you have to get liability insurance a public design practice can be established. 

I am a BCIN designer and have been doing this for over 5 years now (my background is construction).  I make a comfortable income doing basement apartments, additions, garages and deck designs.  My advertising budget is almost zero using adds in Kijiji, real estate reps referrals and contractors.  It took about 6 months to get from no work to fairly busy.  

 

Representing homeowners to get building permits, and zoning relief is now a regular part of my work as well.   In Toronto, a homeowner needs to obtain from Toronto Urban Forestry to construct anything that the Tree Protection Bylaw deems to be within the tree protection zone.   Using a survey, doing a site plan that includes the proposed building, the location and trunk size of trees of concern, and tree protection zones is also part of the work that I do.  

 

There are opportunities to be your own business person, and not dependent upon an employer.  Just a thought.   


 

Thank you for your thoughts! I will think about everything you suggested! 

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