Building Your Custom Home In Real Time

As a client, how can you avoid paying for a new custom home you don’t want? Here’s how. Make sure you know what you’re getting before you have it built!

There is no better way to understand and have a feel for a new design than to see it three-dimensionally! Rather than relying on imagination to see if the bathroom door will be far enough away from the kitchen, 3D drawings allow you to virtually walk through your home before even approving any specifications or designs. Want to see that great room with coffered ceilings? No problem! Want to check out the water view from the kitchen window? Step right up. Changed your mind and now want no windows? Hold on a sec!

3D design is a fast and efficient way to get involved in every part of the design process. And it’s fun! When architects actually design with you, and present other, different or better options, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions on a design that’s perfect for you!

How do you know if your architect works in 3D? It’s always a good idea to ask when you’re interviewing potential firms and to take a look at their examples of drawings and models. 3D design should be an industry-standard in the world of residential design, but sadly it’s not. Finding a great architect who works in 3D software is not easy. The good news is firms shouldn’t charge more for 3D capabilities. They either have it or they don’t.

At PCA, we are using the leading technological advancements in 3D design software, Revit and Enscape, to accomplish these goals for our clients:

1. Establishing and developing a clear vision of the project. Understanding traditional 2D floor plans and elevations can be difficult. Many people can get the general idea from a floor plan but still have trouble visualizing how the design is going to look. Being able to see and experience your design in 3D will help you understand how it is going to work. The more you understand the look and feel of your design, the more comfortable you’ll be at making decisions.

2. Designs can change and evolve in real time. Meetings are the best way to be included in the design process and to make sure nothing is overlooked. What does a design presentation in 3D look like? It could be a fly-through video or multiple perspective views of your project. We’ve found that the most efficient and productive 3D design meetings are in the conference room with everyone sitting around the flat-screen, walking through the project room by room. This usually always brings up design questions and changes can be made to the model during the meeting for instant results. If you’re a busy traveler and unable to make it into our office, these meetings can also take place via GoTo Meetings. PCA is well-versed at working with clients at a distance—even across the world—and also has the ability to sketch on a smart-screen to illustrate any changes before they are made.

3. 3D design can help cut down on changes after construction has begun. Reducing the amount of changes during construction can help save time and money. But it can be hard to do until you really understand what the space will look and feel like, which is where 3D design comes in.

4. It helps you avoid paying for work you don’t want. Having a clear understanding of your project before construction begins is the best method to significantly reduce the problem of unnecessary charges.

With all that said, there is definitely no substitute for having an experienced architect who understands the permit process, building codes and is well-versed in critical area law. While 3D design can be helpful to you and your project, know that great designs do not come from computer programs. They come from design professionals who have spent countless hours designing, reviewing plans, improving details and listening to everything you want in your custom home!

Architecture & Interiors