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How to Visualize Your Custom Home: 5 Things to Know from an Architect

April 19th, 2023

By Sofia Alonso

3 min read

4.14 main

One of the most common concerns that our clients have when building a custom home is not being able to visualize the final product. They worry that, since there is no model exactly like their unique custom home, they won’t be able to have the traditional walk through experience that you get when viewing an existing home or a production home that has many like it. 

This fear holds people back from being comfortable with building highly custom homes. However, architects now have the ability to solve this problem through the use of 3D modeling tools. 

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using 3D modeling tools during the custom home design process to help you understand how you can better visualize your custom home. 

As architects, our role is to engage the client and reach an agreement between the client’s desires and the achievable design. For over a decade, our firm, AV Architects + Builders, has used the software ArchiCAD to create our designs because it allows for the drawings to be created in 3D from the beginning, enabling us to show the client an actual model from the start of design and before we ever get to construction.

Using 3D modeling allows us to provide our clients with a vast amount of information upfront. We can merge the client’s desires with the design and budget, allowing them to decide where to allocate their resources. Additionally, it reveals all the potential conflicts early on, giving us the ability to make changes before construction begins. 

5 Things to Know about 3D Modeling From an Architect:

1. The 2D Dilemma

Walls can be an issue that a lot of clients have trouble understanding when they’re looking at a design in 2D. Most people, besides architects, do not understand the correlation between the height, views, and space of a 2D floor plan. By creating a 3D model of the home, we can show our clients the impact of the walls and the views from different parts of the house, reducing the chances of unexpected surprises and disappointment later on. 

2. The Architect’s Skill of Scale

The strength of architects lies in their ability to understand scale, and 3D modeling tools can help translate this to our clients. By adding items like furniture in the 3D model, clients can see the scale and understand the dimensions of the spaces and the relationships between rooms. When this is done in a 2D floor plan, one third of the information is missing, since it only includes length and width and is not factoring in height, which is the spatial perception. 

Apart from benefiting clients, 3D modeling also helps architects and builders internally. As an all-in-one design-build firm, we leave no room for disconnect between the design and construction phases of the project. Having access to 3D models of the project allows us to show our engineers and trade partners the intent of the design and avoid unknowns by solving them. 

3. Buildability

It also benefits architects when analyzing the topography of a piece of land for buildability. For instance, we can export the 3D topography of a lot from Google Earth and then drop a 3D model of the home onto said lot and see what the home model would look like on that exact piece of land. We can then perform further tests for buildability, such as solar studies to see the pathway of the sun and situate the house in an optimal location.

4. Accurate Bids and Estimates

For cost purposes, 3D modeling allows architects and builders to price things more accurately since they can see the whole picture and how it all connects. Our unique process includes making all material and finishing selections prior to ever starting construction, allowing us to present our clients with a fixed price

5. Virtual Home Walk-Through

BIMx is one of the tools we used to create virtual walk-throughs that can be managed on a tablet or desktop to navigate and move throughout the house. While it is harder and more time consuming to create all drawings including sections and elevations in 3D from the start, the benefits are immediate since there is no need to keep converting into 3D. 

3D Modeling in Custom Home Design

The use of 3D modeling in home design and architecture has transformed the way architects engage with clients, develop designs, and create accurate models. It has improved the communication between architects and clients, helping to avoid disappointments and change orders. By using 3D modeling, architects have been able to show clients where all the constraints are early on and create an actual model of the design from the beginning, providing clients with a clear picture of what to expect. 

At AV Architects + Builders, we specialize in creating modern custom homes using 3D modeling tools. With our all-in-one design-build process, we can help you achieve the home of your dreams. 

Contact us to schedule a consultation and start your custom home journey today!

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