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    Picture This

    Every week, tens of thousands of people across North America begin to fulfill one of the fondest dreams — to build a home. And many thousands of them turn to pre-designed home plans to guide them through the process of constructing a house and the center of their family life for years to come.

    Using a pre-designed home plan, like the ones offered in Designer Dream Homes™ magazine, to build a house does take much of the mystery and worry out of the process. A home buyer can look at an artist’s rendering in the set of plans to see what his or her house will look like a few months down the road. But understanding a plan on paper or trying to visualize a finished room when you’re standing in a shell of framing is a tremendously difficult task for anyone but a professional builder or planner with a well-trained eye.

    Imagine being able to walk through a completed house in virtual reality on a computer screen — paint the walls; lay a wooden floor; add furniture, a fireplace and kitchen appliances; install a furnace and an air conditioner, along with lighting as it will look when the electricity is turned on. Now you can — with the revolutionary, three-dimensional Envisioneer software by Cadsoft, developer of a long list of professional and consumer software products familiar to builders, architects and designers.

    Three-dimensional design software can take a lot of guess-work out of envisioning your new home. With Envisioneer, the home buyer can marry the specifics of the home plan with an actual three-dimensional experience, enabling them to totally see what their finished home will look like.

    There is little that is new about the concept of three-dimensional design of buildings and landscapes. Home improvement software products with three-dimensional walkthroughs and flyovers have been around for decades...what is refreshing is the integration of this technology with individual home plans.

    Cadsoft will develop several levels of software to package with corresponding home plans, including a bare walls version whereby the home buyer can decorate, furnish and equip from the drywall out. Another version will offer a complete, professionally designed and decorated home — down to the flowers on the dining room table.

    In any version, the home buyer will have the ability to import generic, three-dimensional images of furniture, equipment and decorations from the large catalogs that come in the software. Better still, the buyer also will have access to catalogs of three-dimensional images of real products from actual manufacturers. The home buyer will be able to see what hearth product looks best in a particular room or to make certain the kitchen cabinetry will accommodate a desired stove or refrigerator. And, a simple mouse click will transport the buyer to a manufacturer’s Web site for product details, pricing and even online ordering.

    Envisioneer also enables design for the construction of a deck or patio. It handles all landscaping design with its catalog of 7,500 plants and even shows the home buyer how plants, trees and shrubs will grow year after year around the new abode.

    The software allows the home buyer to communicate better with the builder or designer, illustrating his or her ideas three-dimensionally. The builder or designer, in return, can translate building jargon and design specs into viewable and understandable walkthroughs and flyovers of the home as it will look at completion. Home buyers who can’t be on site each week will be able to trade ideas back and forth, online and graphically.

    Dimensions are the lifeblood of builders, architects and designers, but may have been the bane of home buyers trying to get their heads around square footage. Now, three-dimensional software may banish this confusion, assuring the home buyer he or she has created the perfect dream home for the family long before they move in.

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