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Hello everybody.

I finally upgraded my program from version 10. I am very happy with all the new features. Great program!!!

I am a remodeling contractor that uses the program for helping the customer get a better understanding of the final product. I have only designed 2 large houses with chief. I was approached by a friend that is using a licenced architect for his design but wants me to do some renderings for him. Don't understand why it is not included. Anyway the house is close to 5000sqft under roof.

I was wondering how long it would take for an average user to manually enter the model from the plans?

I am not to sure if the architect will part with his autocad file so I could import it. How much time would I save if I could get the file?

This could help me decide if I want the job and how much to charge.

Thanks for any advice..

Eric

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Eric - A lot depends on the amount of detail you have to include. i.e. a full kitchen? bathrooms<br />with the tub/shower/vanity/ lights, Any furniture(probably not).<br />I am ow working on PART of a house. I imported the scaled pdf and have about 2 1/2 hours into it but this included the kitchen with cabinets, lights and some furniture. IN fact that is most of it. MAybe others that do full homes can chime in with their thoughts.

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Importing the AutoCAD file would not save anytime at all, in fact it would add hours to the process. I have been using Chief for many, many years, and cannot get the CAD to WALLS option to save me anytime at all. 

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The main advantage you have from using a dwg is that you can import it, place it on its own layer and lock that layer (not blocking). Now you can trace over that dwg and Chief will follow the AutoCAD lines exactly without dimensioning. You can control how Chief traces the lines by using your "AltQ" or wall defaults. You still have to place everything else like windows and doors but you can place the over the ACAD items. It does save a little time. You could also import an image, size it and trace too. You do need elevations to show you the plate heights for roofs and see how the roofs are done, window heights. etc.. Good to know the ceiling heights in case they are not the same as the roof plate heights. As you can see, not everyone agrees with me. That's okay.

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Importing the AutoCAD file would not save anytime at all, in fact it would add hours to the process. I have been using Chief for many, many years, and cannot get the CAD to WALLS option to save me anytime at all. 

Totally agree,  the only advantage is you can trace the walls.  If you can't get a dxf to trace,  import a pdf of the plans and trace that.

 

You do not need the dxf file,  an imported pdf of the plans is as good as it gets.

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Hello everybody.

I finally upgraded my program from version 10. I am very happy with all the new features. Great program!!!

I am a remodeling contractor that uses the program for helping the customer get a better understanding of the final product. I have only designed 2 large houses with chief. I was approached by a friend that is using a licenced architect for his design but wants me to do some renderings for him. Don't understand why it is not included. Anyway the house is close to 5000sqft under roof.

I was wondering how long it would take for an average user to manually enter the model from the plans?

I am not to sure if the architect will part with his autocad file so I could import it. How much time would I save if I could get the file?

This could help me decide if I want the job and how much to charge.

Thanks for any advice..

Eric

Trying to understand your couple of questions. IF you had the ACAD file, or a PDF file of the plans, it would save you LOTS of time over measuring the house yourself and creating a plan from scratch. PDF's can be re-sized easily using the point to point re-size tool which will make your initial tracing much more accurate. See pic below.

 

Tracing over the ACAD file or a PDF is pretty quick, maybe an hour for initial floor plan(s). Filling in the details much longer. That's if you have an ACAD or PDF file. If you don't, and it's a new house, meaning there's nothing to go and measure, how would create the design - at all?

 

Do you have hard copy of the plans? If you do and no ACAD or PDF you can scan the hard copy and import it into Chief as a JPEG or PDF. I use this awesome phone app call CamScanner https://www.camscanner.com/ and scan full sized 24 x 36 drawings and send them to my e-mail as a PDF. Amazing quality. Then you have a PDF which is a great starting place to trace over the existing plan by drawing new walls over the existing plan - after you re-size the PDF to scale.

 

post-302-0-54881000-1439386628_thumb.png

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I never trust anyone else's measurments ,as I have never found a plan not measured by me, that is accurate. Tracing works good but you must then verify exact measurements. For me 6" off is not good and you will hear about it later. I like to always verify.

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I often trace over pdf or cad files and Camscanner app works great!!! What ever happened to the old saying "anything with in an inch, WE NAIL". lmbo

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Wow thanks for the great advice. The house has not been built yet. I am also sure the plans are not finalized yet as my friend wants the renderings as a double check.

I am sure I can get a pdf of the plans. So the import of pdf and trace would be a great time saver. I did not know I could do that. Awesome tip.

The house has 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, great room, office, large kitchen, pool and 3 car garage.. I believe the construction cost to be 1.5 million.

So with tracing the pdf it would take about 5 days to get the model ready for rendering and let them play with the model in the client viewer?????That is with all materials and terrain. The five days would have some buffer safety time if I get stuck. I just want to make sure I would meet his budget with how much I would charge by hour.

I usually use chief with condo remodels so don't understand yet the time involved in a much larger project.

I really appreciate everybody spending the time to help me.

Eric

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Here's a trick I used when I was first starting out and didn't know how much to charge. I would get the PDF's and tell the client I would review the plans and get back with a proposal for the work in a couple days. Then I would madly begin drawing the plans (trace PDF's whatever) to see how much time it would really take me, then prepare a proposal accordingly. Still do that today if the job is different enough to warrant it.

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Thanks for the tip Larry. I think I will give that a try. Hopefully the next question will be how do I do _____ with the program?? Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Eric

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I used to get plans either printed out or in PDF form. For a custom home that size with several custom features, I want to say 24 hours for the model, basic cabinets, basic terrain. Then it might be 6 additional hours for cabinet detail if I get cabinet elevations, and 6 additional hours for terrain elevation, retaining walls, landscaping, etc. Add about another day for walkthroughs, renderings, special floor plan views, etc. I think the turnaround used to be around two weeks.

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