I always dreamed of being an architect…

I’ve never been a fan of video games. Several years ago, Steve and I bought a Wii thinking it might be a fun way to spend time together as a couple. It was sort of entertaining for a few months, but did not ultimately sustain my interest. But in 2012, I received a Best Buy gift card that would change my view of computer-based entertainment. I made a wise decision to purchase Chief Architect’s Home Designer Suite- a software package that would allow me to live out my unfulfilled life goal of becoming an architect!

Home Designer software box

Home Designer software

Since that moment, I’ve spent countless hours “playing” my video game (as I call it). It allows me to create floor plans and view them in 3-D. I can even furnish my plans, and take cool screen shots.

Cabin floorplan

This floorplan is in the lead….

Looking from the kitchen towards the living room.

Looking from the kitchen towards the living room.

Designing the cabin has been fun! But now I’m also beginning to appreciate some of the other functionalities of this program. For example, you can choose part or all of your floor plan, and it will export a materials list for you. This has allowed me to begin creating a spreadsheet with actual costs of materials for building. Useful, and a little bit frightening.

There are some drawbacks to this software, I’ve noticed. First, I find the roof building function to be rather challenging, especially when working with flat roofs, or more modern shed roofs. I am also sad that the software doesn’t include ‘sauna’ as one of its room types- nor is there a sauna stove that I can add to my little sauna. I believe there is a way to add images to the library, but I haven’t figured out how to do it. There is no wooden slat screen material for exteriors, which is what we want to have on the side of the carport. The siding and roof material choices are also a bit limited. There are only a couple colors available if you want to have vertical board-and-batten style siding, and red is not one of them. And in their metal roof choices, there are no tile styles available. But these are not critical to the building plans, just niceties that I would have liked to have had.

Possible two-story option

Possible two-story option

While building a cabin ourselves is a slow process, all I have to do is play my computer game for an hour or so to regain my motivation. I’m currently up north teaching a summer course, and can’t get to the farm. Steve and Ivan were there this weekend and made a little more progress without me. I expect to have new photos and updates next week for you all. Until then, enjoy the week, and have a great 4th of July!




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