Cabinetmakers and other craftsmen who are preparing customized products for homeowners and contractors getting ready to conduct major remodels can now offer customers a preview of the proposed project that goes far beyond a blueprint.
More designers and craftsmen are investing in software that lets them help clients visualize the transformations they propose for their homes and businesses. These software packages use computer-aided design, or CAD, to help them create drafts for customized projects that lets customers see more of the work before anyone lifts a saw or hammer.
Professional CAD Software Speeds Design While Offering More Customer Choices
There are lots of reasons design professionals like to use CAD. To begin, CAD speeds up the design process so that real work can begin as soon as a customer decides on a design and features.
Many customers need a visual concept to make informed decisions. In the past, they could only try to visualize through a blueprint. The time and money needed to draw a second blueprint was often too high, particularly for budget-conscious customers and craftsmen. With CAD, different ideas, scenarios, backgrounds, colors and details are easily customized and can be saved into separate files. CAD delivers full-color two- and three-dimensional images-a revolutionary change for customers who haven’t remodeled in several years.
CAD can customize details such as layout and placement for certain items. A furniture designer, for example, can use CAD to show where a particular custom piece might go in different parts of a room. This is a very useful feature in kitchen and bath design, where plumbing access is an important factor.
CAD lets designers change the scope of a project without having to draw an entirely new blueprint, and add, remove, or change features down to details on custom-designed kitchen cabinets. Does a customer want to see if six shelves looks too busy? Using CAD, the designer can incorporate this and save the new picture. Will cabinets with glass doors make a kitchen look cluttered? What about different stains to use on a customized cabinet or shelf? A simple adjustment by the designer gives the customer visuals to mull over.
CAD Can Help Reduce Costs and Save Time
Designers love CAD because it’s a great time saving tool. One CAD product says it reduces the time to produce a full architectural drawing from four hours to less than one-and-a-half. Obviously, the smaller the scope of a project, the less time spent on drawing; the real benefits kick in when customers ask about modifications that can be easily demonstrated.
Three-dimensional CAD eliminates the necessity to make design changes during construction, which can add to the labor time of a project and cost. It also literally lays out a more realistic picture of a project and its cost than a blueprint could ever do.
Kitchen remodels are probably the most expensive projects for most homeowners, and cabinets are a major feature. By finalizing as many details as possible before beginning construction, designers help clients reduce the chances for late changes and additional costs. This is customer service that will really knock their socks off!