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Residential Home Design

Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design

Modern Mountain Rustic- An Award-Winning Design by Todd Wilderman

Modern mountain rustic home with timber framed accents and cooperating materials.

By: Kendra Dorosh

With a long history of experience in construction, Todd Wilderman creates a top design in Chief Architect’s Residential Design Contest.

Todd Wilderman hiking in the mountains.

“I started doing residential drafting at about the age of 12. My father was an industrial arts teacher at the local high school but drew plans on the side to supplement a meager teacher’s salary. I walked by his drawing table one day and said: “I could do that, doesn’t look that hard”. The next day, there was another drawing table in the room and I had a garage plan to draw.

“After that, I eventually went on to do many other things… construction trades, sign-making, welding, and carpentry. I also managed to get a BA in Art with studies in Math and Physics, a Construction Management certificate, a diploma in Surveying, and a Masters in Architecture. 

“I started my own design company, Wilderman Designs, LLC in 1990. I started out drawing everything by hand, then I ‘graduated to CAD’. 

“I was always frustrated with the CAD because it was limited in 3D designing. Also, I felt like software should be able to do the more mundane things (like dimensioning) in a more automated fashion.

“I had experience with DataCAD, AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino, etc. but it seemed to me that Chief Architect was a better solution for me since I focus on residential design. I find the software relatively easy to learn and usually very user-friendly. I say this from of perspective of NOT being a computer-type guy.” 

…Chief helps me get it done faster. I think it probably has reduced my drafting time to about 30% of what it used to take.

“I like that I can do everything 3D, all the time. The fact that I can send clients the 3D model to browse on their own time, helps me find more time to do other things and the designs get communicated more clearly and more quickly. Changes are usually quick and easy, and the client is generally more satisfied with the direction of the design from the first rendition.

“I have a pretty steady workflow of about 15-25 jobs at a time and Chief helps me get it done faster. I think it probably has reduced my drafting time to about 30% of what it used to take.”

Winning Design

More from Todd

We’d like to thank Todd for taking the time to share his journey with us and our community!

We were happy to learn about how he’s leveraging the use of the Chief Architect 3D Viewer! If you’re interested in sending your clients 3D models to browse on their own time, like Todd has mentioned he’s doing, you can learn more about sharing Chief Architect 3D Viewer models here.

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Professional, Residential Home Design, Stories

Stylized Home Designs Offer Options for Paradise, CA Residents

Farmhouse with front porch, dormers, and gullwing roof.

By Adrean Stephenson

An Idea

Allen Tatomer, of Blue Collar Builders TV, has an idea. He plans to use his experience in construction project management, and his history as a home show TV producer, to provide rebuilding options to property owners devastated by last year’s Camp Fire in Paradise, CA.

The Blue Collar Builders are pursuing product sponsorships, along with the television series, Paradise Rises. They hope to bring down construction costs and help make the transition back into normal life easier for Paradise residents. Among the project challenges will be adapting construction techniques for disaster awareness, including features like rooftop sprinklers, fire resistant exterior materials, and designs that reduce the buildup of natural debris on and around the structures.

After seeing Chief Architect’s illustration work on Fine Home Building’s 2018’s California House, Allen approached us to help as contributors to his project’s vision.

The Planning

The idea is to leverage a base floor plan, then derive from it multiple options in square footage and architectural style. This technique will make the construction process easier to manage and more cost efficient, while preserving individual identities for the homes. Home owners can choose their favorite style and home size, and even include a matching Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) as temporary living quarters during construction then future use as guest house, studio, or rental option.

There are 6 floor plan options available, ranging from 1200 sq. ft. to 2400 sq. ft. Each option can be modified to adapt a different architectural style. I use Chief Architect to create the initial plan footprint, then save off copies for each subsequent design. We decide to focus on variations of these styles: Coastal, Colonial, Cottage, Craftsman, Farmhouse, Tuscan, and Victorian. Flip through the full selection of the latest revisions.

 

Implementation

Using Chief Architect Premier makes it easy to quickly adapt different roof attributes for the plans. Updating default attributes for things like windows, cabinets, and even material colors helpes to streamline the process even more.

We leverage websites like Houzz.com and Pinterest to search out inspiration for each house style. Simply using a search term like “Modern Farmhouse Exterior” returns results that help identify architectural features, scaling, and massings that are typical to a design style.

After I wrap up the floor plan options and style concepts, our team begins producing illustrations and animations that bring the designs to life. Kerry masters interior design and aesthetics, generating stills using the various library catalogs and rendering techniques available for Chief Architect.

Bailey follows up using the automatic walkthrough tools to generate navigation paths that can be recorded as movies; some of these have been shared on the Paradise Rises Facebook page. One of the great things about using design software is the ability to reuse these elements and controls for multiple designs. With a quick copy-and-paste-in-place, the walkthrough paths are ready for the next house; we can even set them up to run on a different computer so that the processing time has less impact on our workday.

Results

Once the process is complete, we’ll have created a huge selection of content that will help with the visualization of this project. Because these designs have all been generated in our drafting software, we can simply hand off the files to an Architect and Engineer to finalize for permitting and construction. They can continue on with the work using Chief Architect to add structural details, code compliance, and plot information, then produce a set of permit ready documents for breaking ground.

If this project for the people of Paradise, CA resonates for you, reach out to Blue Collar Builders TV to learn what you can do to participate.

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Contest Winners, Residential Home Design

Jim Shallman Wins 3rd Place with His Story and a Half Log Home

By Emily Black

Jim places third in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest. His log home design maximizes space with a light and spacious feel.

“This is the home my wife and I built in Crosslake, Minnesota, which is the second home I have designed for our family. We have lived in Crosslake for most of late spring, summer, and fall. We also have a townhome in Maple Grove, Minnesota that we stay in for most of the winter.

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Contest Winners, Residential Home Design

Jim Ducharme Wins 2nd with His Dream Log Home Design

Two story log home design with large deck and outdoor living.

By Emily Black

Jim places second in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest. He is a home enthusiast who is making his dreams of living in a log home a reality!

Picture of Jim Ducharme
Jim Ducharme

“My wife and I are from Somersworth, New Hampshire and are in the process of building our dream/retirement home in Berwick, Maine. We have always dreamed of living in a spacious log home with visions of our kids, their kids, and our extended family enjoying time together. We have been designing this home in our minds for decades and a couple of years ago we decided to move ahead and make it happen.

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Contest Winners, Design Contest, Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design

Jeff Burns is the 2018 Residential Design of the Year Contest Winner

2018 Design of Year Contest Winnning Design: Residential Category

By Jake Murray

Congratulations Jeff for taking 1st place in our Design of Year Contest – Residential Category! Jeff was also a finisher in our Residential Design Contest back in July.

Jeff and his wife Julie
Jeff and his wife Julie

“I am a father of 4 awesome children Jacob, Jordan, Jackson, and Jude, and I married my high school sweetheart Julie. And yes, we are all J’s!! “The girls are J.A.B’s and the boys are all J.R.B’s which does get tricky at times! I was born in Fort Walton Beach Florida, being in a military family we moved several times before settling back in Alexandria, Louisiana where I reside today.

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Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design

Edgar Pena Places Third with His Spanish Style Texas Home

Layout page featuring Edgar's winning spanish style residental design

By Jake Murray

Edgar places third in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest! Edgar’s achievements have led to his own business, Pena’s Drafting & Design, located in his hometown.

“I am from McAllen, a small town in south Texas, where I started technical drafting in High School. I obtained my Architectural Drafting Associates Degree at South Texas Community College and have designed homes since 2003. After months of planning and researching, I decided to go with Chief Architect. I have been using Chief Architect since 2013, and am glad I made the right choice. Besides customers being amazed to see their home in 3D, I love being able to do a preliminary floor plan in just hours instead of days. Now I can complete a full set of construction drawings in two to three days.” Continue reading…

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Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Residential Home Design

Thomas Kretz Wins Second Place with His Custom Home Design, BrückenHaus, Featuring Bridges and Cantilevers.

By Jake Murray

Thomas placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest! After retiring as a Production Art Manager, Thomas continues to showcase his design abilities through a remodel and custom home design.

Thomas pictured on his recent wedding day.

“I grew up on the farm my family settled in 1852 in the small town of Cedar Lake, Indiana. I had always gravitated towards art and drafting in high-school, but it was a field trip to Chicago that truly inspired my fascination with architecture. So much so, I broke with family tradition and spent the summers of my Junior and Senior year working as an artist for a graphics company. I then attended Ball State University for the first year of their Architecture program. Continue reading…

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Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design

Jennifer Lazarus Places 2nd with Her Stone Tudor Home Design

Dream Home that has evolved over many years,

By Emily Black

Jennifer placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest! Her passion for design began when she was 10 years old and has flourished in her career as a home designer.

Jennifer Lazarus

I chose Chief Architect because of its realistic appearance, reasonable price, and user-friendliness.

“Unofficially, I started drawing house plans on graph paper when I was 10 years old, and I knew that designing was something I wanted to pursue as a profession.  Officially, I started designing in 2005, when I began working for and training with a local designer in my hometown of Memphis, TN.  In 2010, I began doing freelance residential design while also pursuing a career in another field.  I founded Ideal House Plans, LLC in 2017 and am currently working on growing the business.

“I’ve been a Chief Architect customer since May 2018.  Earlier in the year, I knew that I would need quality 3D renderings to post on the new website, so I began my search for the right software to use.  I downloaded several trial versions of various software to determine what would work best for me. In the end, I chose Chief Architect because of its realistic appearance, reasonable price, and user-friendliness.”

 

We really enjoyed seeing Jennifer’s work. To see more examples of her designs, visit idealhouseplansllc.com/shop. We wish Jennifer the very best with the launch of her new website.

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