Useful Features of Home Design Software

Before building a new house, you surely need to create the design first. Designing your dream house can be confusing and complicated. Before hiring an architect, you should consider using a home design software to help you with the task. Home design software is a popular tool for creating design plans.

By using this software, you can totally express your creativity. It gives you the opportunity to design a home based on your personal tastes. You can also modify the design as many times as you like to get the perfect look.

This software is a great choice for both professionals and amateurs alike. It has many useful features to offer. Here is a list of features that you may find helpful:

1. Automatic Floor Plan Dimensioning Tool: This is a feature that you can use to determine the size of your home. Use this to increase or decrease the size of a room.

2. Interior Furniture Objects: This feature allows you to put and position furniture objects such as tables and chairs, so you will know how they would look inside a room.

3. Stair Generator Tool: Designing staircases will be easier with this tool. There are many staircase styles to choose from.

4. Cabinet Designer: If you want to make your kitchen look as good as any other rooms in your house, this tool is what you need. You can use this feature to place cabinets or other appliances on the kitchen area. Certain software even allows you to customize the cabinet design.

5. Roof Truss, Window and Door Schedule: This is a feature that you will find on any home design software. This tool enables you to design the door or window with the style and size of your choice.

6. Custom Roof and Pitch: This simple tool helps you customize roof pitch, which is the steepness of the roof.

7. Exterior Furniture Object: You will be happy to know that the software can also help you design the yard of your house. This tool will help you arrange patio furniture or even plan a playground for your children.

Designing your dream house using home design software is fun and easy. You only need to sit in front of your computer screen and a new design plan is just a click away. The handy tools will help you in creating plans for both the interior and exterior. Besides that, this software is also easy to obtain. You can order it online and the retailer will ship it to your address as fast as possible.

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Custom Log Home Design Ideas

Custom log home design ideas can be used to help create the dream log home you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you have some custom log home design ideas on paper as you’ve been collecting design ideas. That’s a great way to plan and organize your ideas, by making a scrapbook of the things you may want in your log home design. Here are some tips for custom designing your log home:

1. Explore and Select Your Log Home Style – select the log home style that you really want and like, a style that excites you. Will you prefer the manufactured or handcrafted log home style? Manufactured log homes are made with logs that are milled into a desired shape, producing uniform logs without taper. The logs used generally range in length from 10 to 18 feet. A custom log home design using manufactured logs can vary considerably in shape and appearance because the logs have different shapes and there are different corner styles. You can obtain kits ranging from just the logs and fasteners to more complete systems that include the roofing materials, doors, windows and even more.

A handcrafted custom log home design means handcrafters will strip the bark off of whole logs. Using special skills and tools, the handcrafter will fit each log into place. Handcrafted custom log home design and construction is labor intensive, and the construction process takes longer and usually costs more since so much work is done manually. This method attempts to preserve the natural shape of the tree, and each log is carefully trimmed and shaped for a specific location in the log shell. The logs may be assembled at the company’s yard, the pieces are numbered, taken apart and shipped to the homesite to be reassembled.

2. Visualize Home Traffic Flow – a good way to create a custom log home design is to take floorplans you like and pretend you’re coming home, entering and moving around in the home. Come in the front door — where will you place your coat? What do you see in front of you as you enter? Which way to the kitchen and pantry if you are carrying groceries? Visualize sitting in the living room or family room. Will you be entertaining guests? Is having a fireplace high on your list of priorities? Try to note where the bathroom or bathrooms are located. As you finish your shower, where are the towels hanging?

Another helpful exercise when visualizing custom log home design is to examine the things that you like about where you live now. What things would you like to keep and what are things you’d like to change and have in your new home? For example, perhaps you’ll want a much larger kitchen. Pay special attention to the kitchen work triangle — the distance between the sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop. Each one of these areas becomes a focal point in the kitchen and forms the three points of a triangle with different distances between them. Done correctly, proper custom log home design in the kitchen gives you the most efficient food preparation area layout. Walk through each room of the floorplan and see how the room feels and functions and how its location seems in relation to other rooms.

3. Plan Your Home Orientation and Layout – when creating a custom log home design, pay attention to your site and how the orientation of individual rooms will be done. Locate the bedrooms towards the cooler, nighttime north. Place your kitchen facing the east to catch the early morning sun. The living room and recreational room can have a kind of transitional orientation, facing the warm noon south sun. And the dining area can be oriented towards the late afternoon western sun. Natural light, window placement, orientation and views are powerful positive factors in human health and the comfort of your new home.

A great way to learn custom log home design ideas is to view log home plans that have been successfully built already. Use the speed of the internet to view plans, plans that you enjoy. Every plan that you review can give you custom log home design ideas that you had not thought of. Instead of trying to create brand new plans from scratch, you can save considerable time and money if you can find great plans that have already been built successfully somewhere. This means the plans will work. Just be sure the plans service can make the changes to the plans so they become exactly what you want. That way, you really can create the custom log home design that will provide you many years of enjoyment.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

Home Design Software Tips – Before You Build

The benefits of using home design software can be unbelievable. Whether you have experience with home-building design or not, home design software can give you a pretty clear picture of what the new house is actually going to look like and this is wonderful.

1. Make sure that you understand how the software works. Take some time to read the instructions and practice using the software until you become comfortable with all of the tools and other options that are available in the program.

2. Get a couple of books on house design, to make sure that you are designing everything so that it will function and flow properly in the new house. In other words, don’t make your hallways to big and your bedrooms too small.

3. Don’t design a house with engineering problems. Your home could look marvelous on your computer, but have engineering problems. Don’t get too excited, before you actually try to figure out if the home can be built.

4. Once you have a pretty good design, you’re going to need to make sure that all of the electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning systems will actually work and function well with the home design.

5. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to understand how homes are actually constructed, before you design one. I can’t tell you how many architects I have worked with, who don’t understand how homes are actually built.

If you have the house design software, design a couple of different buildings, before approaching an architect or engineer. A good engineer or architect and even a good general contractor can look at a home design and point out potential problems with it. Have fun with your home design software.

Log Home Designs – Basic Concepts

Log home designs can be divided in several ways. Understanding log home designs and basic concepts can help you select the design that is best for you. As you are getting involved in the design process, consider these basic concepts as they apply to your design:

o Shape of Log Used – the logs used in your log home can be shaped in various ways. They can be full round, D-shaped, square shaped, rectangular shaped or Swedish cope style. D-shaped logs will have one side of the log flat with the other three sides being rounded. The Swedish cope style has a portion of the bottom of the log cut out so that the log rests more securely on the log beneath it in the wall.

o Type of Log Wood – there are many wood species commonly used in log home designs. There is no such thing as a “best” wood to use, rather, each species has advantages and disadvantages. Wood types include cedar, cypress, Douglas fir, hemlock, lodgepole pine, oak, spruce, white pine and yellow pine. If log home designs, construction and maintenance are done properly, any of these woods will provide many decades of enjoyable log home living. If not designed, built and maintained properly, none of the woods will hold up very well.

o Peeled or Milled Logs – peeled logs used in log home designs will have the bark and outer sapwood removed. This can be accomplished by hand or by the mill’s machinery. Milled logs are run through machines that will create the desired log shape when finished. The log surfaces will be more smooth and uniform in milled logs.

o Corner Systems Used – here are the four main corner systems used in log home designs:

1. Butt-and-Pass – these corners are formed when one log stops where it meets the intersecting log, and the other log extends past the corner. There are many variations involving the shape of the area where the logs butt. Usually the passing logs have a cutout into which the butt log fits.

2. Dovetail Corners – these corners are used mostly with square or rectangular logs. The end of each log is cut in such a way that produces a fan-shaped wedge. As the logs are stacked, the ends of one wall’s logs will be locked into the perpendicular logs.

3. Notched – notched corners are also known as saddle-notch. A saddle-shaped notch is cut into the bottom of each round log so that this notch on the bottom of the top log straddles the top of the log coming from the perpendicular wall. Both logs then extend past the corner. The saddle-notch is one of the most traditional corner intersections used in log home designs and is favored by many handcrafters. These type of corners are very strong, but they do require more construction time. Notched corners are also easier to seal and hold corner logs better than butt-and-pass.

4. Post Corners – the log ends are cut off perpendicular to the length of the log and joined at the corners using what amounts to vertical posts. This type of construction is not as labor intensive. This corner style sacrifices some of the traditional log cabin or log home look. Using post corners will require a different engineering treatment than other log corners, because the vertical posts do not settle with the horizontal logs.

One of the best ways to learn more about log home designs is to view log home plans that have been successfully built. Every plan that you examine can give you design ideas that you had not thought of. Trying to create brand new plans from scratch can be time-consuming and expensive. You can save considerably if you can find great plans that exist that you like. Just be sure the plans service can make changes to the plans so they become exactly what you want. That way, you really can create the log home design that will provide you many years of enjoyment.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

Coffee Tables – A Frugal Home Design Basic Buying Guide

American homes traditionally are not complete without living room coffee tables. That said, many choose the common living room tables without the advantage of simple buying guidelines with the end result being coffee tables that are miss-matched or ill-suited for the rooms where they are placed.

The 3 interior design principles to consider when buying any piece of furniture is form, function and space.

Form

Form simply means determining the design direction you wish to create in the room. Consistency in design will minimize clutter and focus your buying decisions.

Take the time determining your desired design style by browsing through home decorating magazines, viewing staged model homes, consulting with an interior designer or taking advantage of simple design style assessments that can be found online.

Function

Function is extremely important when choosing coffee tables. This requires identifying your families living habits in the specific rooms that need coffee tables. For example, are you a “sit back and relax” type family who loves to kick off shoes, grab cold drinks, a bowl of popcorn, feet up on the coffee table to watch a movie or ball game? If so, a glass table is out. A better choice is an easy clean, solid hard wood table top or trunk type coffee table.

If you are the type that enjoys spreading out on the couch with a good book, newspaper or Kindle then you will need a table that does not measure higher than the top of your couch seat cushions. There is nothing worse than staring at a table line while relaxing horizontally.

If there are small children in the house, then tables designed in marble or wood would be a better choice over glass. Round and cushioned are safer than the sharper edged counterparts. Smooth surfaces over tiled and paneled coffee table tops are best for growing families because constantly trying to keep those designer nooks and crannies clean is really an exercise in futility.

Space

Finally, space might be the most important consideration. If storage is an issue, take advantage of the brilliantly designed coffee tables provide not only design and function but areas of storage from overnight guest bedding, to family night game storage. Nesting tables are a wonderful way to add additional seating with the ingeniously designed benches tucked under the main table unnoticed until needed.

Two smaller, tables placed side by side could work better that 1 large bulky coffee table. Glass, or coffee tables designed with metal frames and feet take up less space both physically and visually; when space is at a premium.

Frugal Home Design Tips

In today’s economy, no article would be complete without a few frugal home design tips. There are ways to find deeply discounted furniture that you may not know about. Though these sources may need a bit of handyman touch ups you can find some great deals without compromising quality. These money-saving sources are:

  • Craig’s List – If you are living close to a military base, this is the perfect resource to find furniture for sale from families on the move who need to down-size.
  • Model Homes – Sometimes you can buy the furniture right out of the house, especially in new construction model homes that have sold most of their new home inventory. Rather than pick up and move that staging furniture, they will be happy to sell it at drastic discounts.
  • Furniture Store Scratch and Dent rooms – If the store doesn’t have a room with these slightly damaged rejects ask about their delivery warehouse. Awesome deals are found there, the only catch is you have to ask.
  • Storage Unit “Yard Sales” – Though storage unit shows have increased the publics interest in the practice of buying the contents of abandoned storage units, there are still storage managers that will hold yard sale type events selling furniture sets. Some of these sales are advertised in the local paper, others are not. You may have to visit or call individual storage providers in your area to find out when their next sale event will be.
  • Repurposing – With some imagination you can repurpose an old discarded piece of furniture to serve as a coffee table.

For some great photo examples visit the link at the bottom of this article.

So there you have it, before shopping for coffee tables, determine your design style, establish the living habits of those in the home and identify space availability. Using these basic buying guidelines you will find the perfect living room table for your home interior needs.