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CAD Drawing programs

BBB's picture

CAD Drawing programs (post #175904)

I am a Home Improvement Contractor, and I would lke to know if any one has feed back for me on a decent, mid price range Design and drawing program

(post #175904, reply #1 of 13)


Im not going to comment on a package, but to burn through a bunch of ideas quickly you would probably have fun with SketchUp.  I think it will integrate with big packages, and its quite inexpensive.  They have a trial copy... you probably can download from their site.

You would have to determine how robust you feel it is for your work.


(post #175904, reply #2 of 13)

ditto here Brian.  i have been looking for a couple of years(on and off) for a program that is basically a graph paper and pencil proram.  i have purchased 2 programs in the past and have thrown them both out.  i hate spending a hundred bucks on a program i might be able to use 5% of it if i had alot of computer training back ground.  one needed months of practice just to draw a straight line, and the other was limited to only what it had pre drawn in it.  i dont need 3d or anything a cad designer would need, i just want to replace my pencil with a mouse.  im a contractor not a computer wiz.

so if anyone can point me in the right direction as well, i would be majorly thankful.


Urban Workshop Ltd

Vancouver B.C.

 beer is for people who cant decide, vodka is for drunks, coke is for that sugar rush, coffee is for people who need a kick start.  boy do i have alot of problems.

cheers, ill buy


Urban Workshop Ltd

Vancouver B.C.

cheers.  Ill buy.

(post #175904, reply #3 of 13)

Where y'at, what do you do ,and where? The whole lower mainland?  I'm in Burnaby, bulding  a new garage/suite out in Langley( Murrayville), and a new house in June up on Mtn. Highway....cheers,Phil.

"If 'tis to be,'twil be done by me."

Edited 4/6/2005 3:45 pm ET by Philter

"If 'tis to be,'twil be done by me."

(post #175904, reply #4 of 13)

im in richmond, going to thunderbay next week to build indoor rock climbing gym in the university.  be back in 6ish weeks. 

Burnaby eh?  may be i can use u some time.  you a 1 man show or what?



Urban Workshop Ltd

Vancouver B.C.

cheers.  Ill buy.


Urban Workshop Ltd

Vancouver B.C.

cheers.  Ill buy.

(post #175904, reply #5 of 13)

I am usually a one man show, but collaborate quite often with  others including Aaron Rosenthal,  whom  I got to know through the Fine homebuilding web site. He works mostly in Vancouver.

 I have had quite a bit of success with a "co-op" if you will ,where three or four of us are at different times 1,2,3 or 4 man crews. Doing this allows us to take on different size jobs as they come up.

I am primarily a cabinet maker but have  become a "journeyman " the old fashioned way by working in: boatbuilding, timberframing, conventional framing, furniture and log building.

I am just starting the garage/suite, and in June a whole house from demolition through to completion as the contractor.

Stay in touch, cheers,Phil.

"If 'tis to be,'twil be done by me."

"If 'tis to be,'twil be done by me."

(post #175904, reply #6 of 13)

Hey Philter,

I applied for a job in Burnaby with Electronic Arts as an Environmental Modeler for one of there games. 



(post #175904, reply #7 of 13)

Just wanted to know if you've decided on a drawing program yet?

(post #175904, reply #8 of 13)

I use ArchiCad 9. In the CAD software market you get what you pay for.

ArchiCad 9 is $4250 but it has already payed for itself.

Edited 10/11/2005 5:59 pm by Cole22

The Cole Construction Group Design | Construction | Planning | Construction Management Cole McConnell

(post #175904, reply #9 of 13)

try 'sketch up'. It is in expensive, intuitive, does 3-D as you go, etc.

(post #175904, reply #10 of 13)

Chief Architect

they will send you a demo program

or you can buyt the street cheap version and it is Better Home and Gardens 3d builder or something

Chief is copataible with cad programs, and  had an autocad compatible program built in, you woul dbe amazed at the amount of support and forums related to that program ( Chief) such as Chief talk and chief portal

Ive been using Chief since 97

had turbo cad and auto cad, dont use them now


(post #175904, reply #11 of 13)

DataCAD is the way to go. Last I checked it was under $500. Very user friendly.

(post #175904, reply #12 of 13)

I have used Softplan for 11 years and it's like Chief. An upper end program primarily for residential. They weigh in near $3000 so if you are not using it for serious work you may be overspending for these fine drafting and rendering programs.
I totally agree about Sketchup which I've had for a few years. Best bang for the buck. Not really a "drafting" program as we know it but a whole new approach to 3d design that does some impressive 2d as well.

Edited 10/22/2005 12:26 pm ET by GlennM

(post #175904, reply #13 of 13)

Look at Vectorworks
Medium-end program (though upscaling itself rapidly) that does a great job of 2D and 3D- the application is broken apart into different modules depending on how much you need.

Like ARCHIcad it is object based as oposed to line based-much less cumbersome and clumsy that AutoCAD.

I've used it for years and the 3D modeling is great for design and presentations to clients-also use it for Construction Docs and they zip through the city and also exports/imports with docs prepared by consultants/engineers.