I’ve been drawing residential homes for the better part of 30 years and the majority of those homes were drawn on CAD programs like General CADD, (Generic CADD) AutoCAD, or CADVance. And of all things that collect over the years are not only the sets of drawings but the special details and sections included in those drawings. Shoot, by my second year I had drawn so many different types of homes that my details and sections varied twenty fold in materials and method of construction.
So what is a smart drafter to do with this type of resource? Recycle! It was pretty simple when I was drawing homes specific to my area of the country. Why? Well because most every builder was using the same method of construction. So, a builder would order a set of plans, I’d draw the Floor Plan, Exterior Elevations, and the Foundation or Basement and then pop in one of my previously drawn sections from another similar type house.
Then, when the internet caught on and I started drawing houses all over the US, I had to start again from scratch. The methods used in other parts of the country weren’t always the same as the ones used in the southeastern US. But the plus side in all this is that all I had to do was alter the existing details that I had to fit the methods common to the region I was drawing the house in. If I hadn’t, I can only imagine the extra hours I would have had to spend drawing new details and sections.
So, if you want to save time in your efforts to draw houses, save those details. You’ll be glad you did. Catalog them if you can. But even if you can’t, by all means don’t discard them.
Tim Davis is a trained architectural drafter and designer who teaches residential drafting over the internet at http://houseplandrafting.us/. He also offers a package of CAD symbols for download at http://homedesign.8m.com/details/ and complete House Plan CAD Files Archive at http://draftingservice.us/