Deck Drawings

 
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:16 PM   #1
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Deck Drawings


I am a General Contractor here in Nevada City, California which is located in the Sierra Mountains. I work alone without employees and usually do smaller types of remodel jobs and do work on repairing log homes from time to time. I have a website here if you would like to see some of the things I have done in the Past. My jobs do not usually involve any type of drawings, but from time to time it is required for a permit here in Nevada County. I have hand drawn what I needed in the past which was extremely time consuming, since I am self taught it did take a lot of my time. I use the Adobe InDesign program to make flyers and forms for my wife who is a real estate agent and used Photoshop, Sketchup and Decks.com. I was looking at smartdraw, but needed something that is user friendly and that I could use to submit drawings such as for the deck I am bidding on. I am not the best with using a program and get frustrated at times, but wondering what someone would suggest for a basic program that can get me drawings that I could submit to my Building Dept. I also am looking to have a pro do it for me as I am not sure I have the time or patience to learn the program. Smartdraw and Sketchup at times were confusing and not sure they would be accepted by my county.

Thanks and sorry if this subject was brought up before, I am trying to search for past posts.

Thanks.
Scott
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:06 PM   #2
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Re: Deck Drawings


Pencil, paper, scale and straight edge ... much cheaper than buying and learning a digital app.

It's a basic drawing to communicate info required by BI. Not a pen and ink architectural rendering/illustration.

Many places I've pulled permits the BIs are just happy to get something that's not akin to a sharpy scribbled drawing on a bar napkin. And in many cases, the 'purdy' CAD drawings drawn by the "experts" (CAD Monkeys) lack just as much info as the bar napkins.

Have worked from full-blown archy stamped and drawn toilet paper, (already used) drawings. Baffle 'em with VOLUMES of BS and charge by the sheet.


CAD and digital are fine, however, if you're gonna use those apps you need to commit consistent energy over time to really gain any benefits.

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Old 08-18-2017, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: Deck Drawings


Hi Texas Wax and thanks for the reply. Here in Nevada County a deck replacement like for like requires Three copies of:
deck elevations
deck floor plans
deck framing plans
deck foundation plans
construction details, including guardrails & stairs

The submitted plans can be no smaller than 11 x 17 paper and if your changing the size of the deck or building a new one 3 sets of a site plan are also required. Engineering is also required above a certain height. I can get pretty stressed out with it all and was thinking of using a someone who already knows how to use the programs, but it can get costly. I might be on the pen and paper soon.

Thanks for your response
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:08 PM   #4
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Re: Deck Drawings


When I draw plans for additions, I draw the whole house first. (I think the plan reviewer likes this). It gives perspective to the project.
Today, especially with decks, a draftsman needs to have kept up with all the ever changing codes and rules.
Heck, even most architects I know, know very little about the nuts and bolts of a project.
So, I think a person who knows exactly how to build, and to show on paper how to build according to the latest codes, is worth his salt!
It has taken me almost 15 years to really master Revit. (Only rented today and can be pricey)
They say Chief Architect is easier to learn. (Maybe 3000.00. I think its a good program for a builder to learn.
Most Community Colleges only teach Autodesk products tho.(Autocad-line drawing, Revit, etc.)
Seems a simple "line drawing" program would be a good start, if you want to draw on computer. There's a free one out there.(Maybe draftsight?)
Sketchup, seems quite hard to learn to me and I don't think you could learn enough to produce plans to submit for years!
I started with a 3d program. Couldn't understand it. Went to community college-learned Autocad. Then went to Community college-learned Revit. (Bought it before they started only renting it)
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:22 PM   #5
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Re: Deck Drawings


Thanks GLKIRK1 for the response. I completely agree with what your saying. I have done my best to learn some of the new programs, but I just get so frustrated at times and just end up drawing them. I may end up just adjusting for it in my estimates from now on and having someone that understands the codes and how to apply them to draw them up for me. I do know of one person, but I would have to explain each component, where it goes, the joist and beam spans, footing depth and basically everything else to them so they could draw it up. Even though that might take some time I think it would be easier than trying to learn a computer program with my limited experience and patience. Thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:27 PM   #6
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Re: Deck Drawings


I do this for homeowners & contractors, all over Calif.

Calif. has a state code based on the IRC & IBC for building that is required throughout the state regardless of where you may be located except for a reservation or federal property.

Everyone is supposed to toe the minimum line as it were, that includes plans for all decks, remodels & additions.

Can't get around it.

I do the prescriptive structural if I can and have engineering done for all that I can't.

Depending on the seismic zone and wind speed of the area and all that jazz I can do 1st and 2nd story design.

I use Chief Architect. It is around $2600.00 if purchased new I think.

It is a great program but a little pricey. This is my living though.

Andy.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: Deck Drawings


Quote:
Originally Posted by nevadasmith68 View Post
Hi Texas Wax and thanks for the reply. Here in Nevada County a deck replacement like for like requires Three copies of:
deck elevations
deck floor plans
deck framing plans
deck foundation plans
construction details, including guardrails & stairs

The submitted plans can be no smaller than 11 x 17 paper and if your changing the size of the deck or building a new one 3 sets of a site plan are also required. Engineering is also required above a certain height. I can get pretty stressed out with it all and was thinking of using a someone who already knows how to use the programs, but it can get costly. I might be on the pen and paper soon.

Thanks for your response
Nothing wrong with farming the drawings out. You appear to be a knowledgeable tradesman/contractor. Very likely know from experience of doing what needs to be in the drawings and standard format to present. 11x17 paper, a local UPS Store, for example, to copy and print and away you go. Changes, good gum eraser and another trip to the print center.

Try it once, worse thing that can happen? You realize it's well worth the extra coin to pay someone like Andy.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: Deck Drawings


Sketch it and send it to Andy. Charge accordingly.

I did my own drawings but I was doing it more because I wanted to provide concept drawings for the sale process. Once I was doing the 3d drawings the plans were just a couple more steps. It was a lot of time and effort to get decent with the software. I could have farmed it out and saved money if I was only doing it for permits.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:00 AM   #9
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Re: Deck Drawings


If you hate software, hand draw for submittals or farm it out.

First drawing here is a lot plan showing boundaries, structures, and the proposed structure. Then you get in to all the other drawings for each level (foundation up).

That's a lot of hand drawing....
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:27 AM   #10
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Re: Deck Drawings


Anyone use SoftPlan for deck plan drawings? Currently leaning towards that instead of CA
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:15 AM   #11
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Re: Deck Drawings


I used Sketchup w/ Layout. Does a fine set of plans and it's fairly quick once you've built a decent library of components and details to use over and over. It wasn't fast enough for concepts so I used Realtime Landscape Architect for that.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:58 AM   #12
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Re: Deck Drawings


Same here I use Chief Architect and Sketchup like Andy said it's a bit costly but it pays for its self, been doing layout work for Homeowners and Contractors locally and nationwide and also 3D modeling.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:21 PM   #13
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Re: Deck Drawings


I added a link to my signature that gives my opinion on the subject.

Edit: Or did I? :-(
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:00 AM   #14
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Re: Deck Drawings


Thanks for all the replies on this and I am going to take another look at the Sketch up. I was messing around with smartdraw last night, but it did not seem to deal much with deck components, but that could be just me not knowing the program. I also had used Decks.com free program which seemed to work fairly well until I started to design a more than just a square design. I would really like to be able to provide my clients with not only my best building knowledge, but also something that looks professional and that the county will accept easily in its given format. Hand drawing at this time seems to be my only recourse until I am able to understand a more complex program and be able to put the time into understanding which I know could take quite a long time. Thanks though for the input and I will be also looking at softplan for deck plans from what Pathbuilder had suggested.

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