Probably. I was working hard on the plans for my new house over the week end and I now think that I’ve done as much as I’m going to. I have a meeting with the surveyor of the house-builder on the land itself on Wednesday to plan its ‘implantation’ ie where exactly it will be physically positioned, and I hope to come away with an agreement that meets my requirements and with the land marked out.

What reservations I have are centred on the ‘misunderstandings’ that the house-builder and I have already had and the time-slippage that we have already incurred (they disagree but I think so) and in order to avoid more of the same and any potential misunderstandings as a result of language, for example, I have now put down chapter-and-verse on paper in the form of a four page document that I will hand over to them.

After the house-builder provided me a few days ago with an incorrect initial plan of ‘implantation’ showing the house at only 15 metres from the road which I then had to redraw correctly and to scale with it at a distance of 25 metres, I’m waiting to see what transpires on Wednesday and naturally hope that the message got through. But I’ve also gone even further and addressed the key design issues to make sure that before we even get to the point of sticking a shovel in the ground, both parties (they and I) are fully in agreement about what the end product will look like.

I’ve stuck to the builder’s standard footprint for the house as I think that to modify that would be to incur unnecessary, and possibly quite high, cost. However, I can’t see how defining exactly where I want internal walls to be positioned, especially if they only vary by a few centimetres from their plan, will affect the cost in any way whatsoever, so that’s what I’ve been working on.

Only when I started getting into the nitty-gritty, did I realise that all of the other dimensions are dictated by the dimensions of the kitchen. This is because (a) the kitchen is at the heart of the house and (b) its dimensions are key, because only by specifying them exactly will it be possible to neatly and effectively install a range of kitchen units. Once you do that, you can work through the rest of the design modifying other dimensions as necessary as you go in order to preserve sensible proportions and living spaces, but all of that takes time, effort and understanding and whereas I had enough of the former two, only by getting engrossed in the job could I obtain enough of the latter to be successful.

So in order to ‘screw everything down’ and leave absolutely no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding I’ve therefore used Edificius to create a general layout, a detailed and accurately dimensioned building plan and elevation and section images, the latter to show the assumptions I’ve used for things like floor slab thickness, wall heights, door and window dimensions and the ‘delta’ ie height above floor, of the latter. I’ve shown all of these items below.

First, the general layout.

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Now the detailed building plan.

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And now the views that I mentioned – others possible but those shown sufficient for the purpose in hand.

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Now some new images of the house on the actual terrain. Edificius does a much better job than Sketchup although needing quite a lot more time and effort from me. However, I also had to create many of the items used eg kitchen, external guttering, shutters, in Sketchup before importing them into Edificius.

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And to finish off, a couple of overhead shots that are also in my view superior to the ones I originally created using my old Sketchup house model.

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So as you can see, an awful lot of work and effort involved. Was it all necessary and will it all be worth it? Who knows, only time will tell. But I’d say that the answer will be ‘Yes’ to both questions if in the end the project runs smoothly and to cost and I end up getting exactly what I want.

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