Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Build a foam core model before building a house

Fresh out of architectural school, the summer of 1990 presented many job search challenges, much like what graduates are facing in today's economy. Not able to find a job in my field of choice, I settled on a position with a start up company that was nestled in the far reaches of what was to become the Cummings Center in Beverly. An English lad by the name of Peter Lloyd took a chance on me and hired me to work in his new shop called Woodtech. My very first assignment was to turn some 2D plans into a 3D model to help the owner see what the massing would look like before the construction plans were finalized. Modeling never crossed my mind as a career path but I jumped all over this opportunity as I had completed a few foam core models in college.

Today most designers utilize Sketchup or some other form of computerized 3D modeling to help clients visualize their projects before construction starts. Back in the day the technology was not yet available for CAD 3D so we had to go "old school" and I found it to be extremely effective. It was a fairly simple way to show clients what their homes would ultimately look like and it allowed us to present them several options, especially roof lines which are difficult to show on paper. Although we don't like to admit it, the models also help us designers and builders work through some tough design challenges that even we can't visualize on paper. Over the years I have seen many roof plans that just don't work well and a simple roof model would have made every one's life easier. Most roof drainage problems could be minimized with these modeling techniques.


One of my first large projects as the owner of Meadowview Construction had me facing a challenging roof dormer project where the clients were having a hard time deciding what the roof would look like and the budget implications of each option. Much to their surprise I arrived at our next meeting with a model laid on the tailgate of my truck for them to see how things would look. Not only did this enable them to perfectly visualize the final roof design, they were blown away with this extra service that they ultimately signed a contract to work with us. We take a tremendous amount of pride in going above and beyond what is expected (and paid for)and it has been a major factor in our growth as a company since 1996.


32 comments:

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  14. what a great idea build a foaml house before building the real house, not all contractors do that

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  16. I think that this is a wonderful idea. I would even make a foam model of a room I was about to remodel. I am going to try this before my next project.
    Cynthia | http://www.mbabuildinggroup.com/home-renovations.jsp

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