In any renovation project it’s important to be able to visualise what you want and even more important to be able to communicate it to the teams who are going to deliver your dream for you. This can be tricky as it’s something that many people can’t actually do, but there are solutions that can help.
Architects and Designers
With a complex renovation project, where you may be changing the way the space is used in the home, you might want to consider using an architect or designer. They can use their experience to suggest ideas that you might not have thought of, and help point out problems with ideas of yours, and solutions to them.
They will also take into account things that you might not think of, such as the orientation of your home and how the sun moves round it during the day, which might affect the use you put a particular room to, or where a large glazed section might go.
Drawings have been the main tool for architects and builders since the beginning. Even today, although they might be produced on a computer rather than a drawing board, technical drawings, elevations and plans are passed to craftsmen so that they can determine what they need to do. Of course, these intensely detailed figures won’t convey much of an idea of the finished article to the customer.
From these diagrams, however, a 3D drawing can be created, which can give a much better idea of the finished concept. Better still, a model can be built, out of cardboard, wood or clay.
The problem with either of these methods is that once the customer is looking at these drawings or models, they will almost inevitably want to change things, and that poses problems. To change a 3D drawing is bad enough, but to rebuild a model to take into account a foot here, then another there, takes a long time.
The dawn of cheap, and reasonably easy to use, computers has begun to change all that. Three dimensional modelling has been available on expensive high-end computers for use in engineering and scientific organisations for at least the last three decades, but now that technology is trickling down to home computing and is seen regularly on the web.
Estate agents can offer a near-life-like walk-through of houses for sale and developers can show what their new homes will be like before a sod has even been turned on the site.
Try it at Home
If your renovation includes extending, or otherwise changing your home, this technology could help you be sure that you will get what you want. Most architects will have software like this and packages are now available that will work on home PCs. These can be found either by searching the web or looking through home improvement or self-build magazines.
Using them you can tinker around with layouts to your heart’s content and then show the program to your team of tradesmen, so that they can see clearly what you’re after. But do not make the mistake of thinking that this will replace proper drawings for detailed building work.
Use it Well
One classic problem with building is that, when clients see a building that’s not completed, when the only foundations are laid, or perhaps the skeleton, the rooms always look too small. It’s not until the building is finished and furnished that the true dimensions can be experienced. Using 3D visualisation software, either on your own or with an architect’s help, can really help to get round this.