Thursday, August 21, 2014

Timeline - Early Professional Drawings

One Year Ago
Cad-Cam Drawings
By late summer 2013, Dottie's son, Keith, no longer needed my full-time help on the house that we started together a year and a half earlier, so it was now possible to rev up our project.  We had already met several months earlier with Steve Rehagen, an engineer with considerable cad-cam experience, and had shown him our scaled pencil drawings and house model.  He kept the drawings and we took the model in hopes of using it in an exhibit on sustainability in St Louis (but failed to make their cut).
Overview of first set of cad-cam drawings (click for larger view).

Now we asked Steve to start professional drawings based upon my pencil drawings.  Unfortunately, he could not find my drawings, but, since the model was done to scale, it was all he needed to proceed.  The model showed earth on the north half of the roof, but my education on earth sheltering had matured to the extent that my pencil drawings showed no earth on the roof and neither did Steve's.  But, for reasons that I can't recall, the timber framing that was originally designed to support the earth (lower right image in the picture above) did appear in Steve's drawings.

Second set of drawings (click on image for a larger view
Second Set of Drawings
The first drawings were modified almost immediately to eliminate the timber frame and the attached greenhouse. The latter would not only have added unnecessary costs but would have complicated the concrete work beyond what I felt comfortable doing. Now we had a set of drawings that we could use for preliminary budgeting.

Still Way Over Budget
Second set (click to enlarge)
It became obvious that more would have to be done to reduce cost even before starting an estimate.  So I made some design changes to reduce floor space and earth contact wall area. In the process, the garage moved into the hillside beside the workshop and faced south instead of east. The entry way with its timber frame was de-timber-framed and reoriented to face south rather than east.

The front bedroom was moved into some of the space the dining room had occupied and the walk-in closet moved such that the back bedroom gained first story windows in addition to its clerestory windows.  The second level remained essentially unchanged from the professional drawings except for tweaking the window design.
Second set (click to enlarge)

Back to Pencil Drawings
As these changes evolved, it became easier to trace onto velum paper the parts of Steve's drawings that remained as is then use a pencil to draw in the changes. We then ended up with another set of pencil drawings as a basis for the final construction drawings. They did provide details on non-traditional construction, such as truss walls and frost-protected shallow foundations, that Steve will not have to detail in his drawings.

Second set (click to enlarge)
Arrangement with Steve
In order to allay any apprehension on Steve's part with regard to working with an amateur, we asked that he do the design work and the drawings on a time and materials basis.  Even then, he seems a little frustrated at times but that's understandable.

The combination of pencil drawings and unaltered professional drawings were sufficient for estimating purposes. The DIY method I used to reach a doable figure is covered in detail in another post, Estimating Costs.