Design On the Fly with 3D Renderings

You know that line “a picture speaks a thousand words”?

Well, what if that picture was your dream home?

That’s precisely why 3D renderings have grown increasingly popular. Recognizing 3D renderings as a great tool to improve the efficiency and aesthetic of the designs, LA CASA Design Studio offers on-demand 3D electronic drawings for our clients' home building or remodeling projects. Just recently, I was called upon to create 3D graphics for several projects, both interior and exterior. In this post, I want to illustrate how this technology can benefit your particular project.

Enhance & Improve Visual Communication

Because there are usually many options and concepts for any project, those invested in it need to be able to see clearly what the finished product is going to look like. From my experience, 3D visualization can accomplish this mission much quicker than conventional schematics. Using SketchUp software, I am able to involve the clients into the design process in a deeper way. The models are 100% accurate and comprehensive and as such, are very effective at limiting misperceptions and eliminating potential problems, therefore leading to customized, need-based solutions. I collaborated with a client on positioning this kitchen island, cupboards and appliances to create a comfortable working/entertainment environment in the kitchen area:

  By helping to determine the preferred location for the various design elements, 3D renderings are a great visual aid in the design process.

By helping to determine the preferred location for the various design elements, 3D renderings are a great visual aid in the design process.

 

Revisions Made Easy

Everybody is entitled to change their opinion, especially if they’re paying for a service. In the past, this would often make the design process long and difficult.  Considering how many elements go into interior design, being able to go back and change one little thing without having to remake an entire drawing is quite useful. Making a 3D rendering based on a client’s idea allows the designer to incorporate into the design such elements as view, lighting, color, texture, and materials chosen by client. Thanks to this technology, none of these elements are permanent, so if the client doesn’t like a certain element, say the positioning of a kitchen island, it’s cheap and not very time consuming to go back and make the necessary revisions to make the perfect representation of a client’s idea.

  With 3D renderings, it’s much easier to go back and forth, gather ideas, communicate in real time and make adjustments on the fly. The result a product that pleases the client and is of the highest quality.

With 3D renderings, it’s much easier to go back and forth, gather ideas, communicate in real time and make adjustments on the fly. The result a product that pleases the client and is of the highest quality.

 

Create an integrated design process with engineers and contractors

3D visualization is invaluable to help to turn your idea into reality. In conventional schematics such as plans, elevations and sections, only 2 dimensions are visible. Because they cannot address the issue of depth, there is a possibility that during construction, some details may be missed out. 3D models address the third dimension that is not present in 2D drawings, and allow better viewing, validating and understanding building components and their construction across disciplines, from engineers to permitting to contractors. Many construction site workers are “hands on” people, so it really helps them to have a mental picture of what is required so they can understand what has to be built in terms of the sequence, methods, manpower, and materials. 

  These 3D renderings helped a recent client with designing an addition (t  he gable on the right.) The existing house had some areas with white cedar shingles and others with clapboards. The client wanted to see the heights and size of addition, how far it was coming to the front, the space between garage and addition, and the size and amount of windows in the addition. I made sure that all the soffits align to the existing ones and that the added gable pitch matches the existing pitches. The renderings helped me demonstrate these points.

These 3D renderings helped a recent client with designing an addition (the gable on the right.) The existing house had some areas with white cedar shingles and others with clapboards. The client wanted to see the heights and size of addition, how far it was coming to the front, the space between garage and addition, and the size and amount of windows in the addition. I made sure that all the soffits align to the existing ones and that the added gable pitch matches the existing pitches. The renderings helped me demonstrate these points.

 

My points above prove that 3D renderings are invaluable designer's tool in demonstrating a home concept for what it truly is (or will be). The viewer gets a sense of space, while the designer can adapt to the feedback on the fly. Because the human mind is used to operating in 3D environments, it’s much easier for all the parties, including clients, engineers, government agents and contractors to place themselves in a space if it's presented as a 3D rendering. Setting expectations and bridging the gap between is imagined and what the final product is a key to creative success, and 3D renderings do just that.

6 Steps to Build a DIY Rustic Barn Door

As I mentioned in my blog post from May 9, 2017, barn doors are a timeless design solution for an existing home that needs more privacy or a new home featuring Transitional style. This decorative piece serves as a visual focus point, while also allowing to control the amount of light and noise in the house very effectively. I put together this blog post to describe the process of making the door so you too can make it on your own.

Here are my 6 Steps to build a DIY rustic barn door:

1. Measure your door opening. 

The opening between the living room and playroom which I designed the door for is 6' wide by 7' tall, so I chose to make each of my door panels 38"x86" (2" wider and taller to accommodate the gap by overlapping the wall slightly).

 

2. Determine the type of wood and board sizes.

I chose rough sawn barn board pine, available at Stonewood Products in Harwich in 1x10 ($0.79/lf) and 1x12 ($1.09/lf). The wood, together with glue and screws, cost me around $200.

  "Rough Sawn Barn Board Pine lumber is a classic option for interior projects like this barn door, because it really lets the wood shine and gives the door a vintage rustic look." - Jason Hogan, Stonewood Products

"Rough Sawn Barn Board Pine lumber is a classic option for interior projects like this barn door, because it really lets the wood shine and gives the door a vintage rustic look." - Jason Hogan, Stonewood Products

 

3. Meet with the carpenter to discuss the technical aspects of production.

After sketching my door based on the lumber is chosen, I showed it to the carpenter, who recommended that this door is done in two layers of wood: a back panel made of four boards and an attractive piece in the front that holds the door together and hides the screws.

La Casa Barn Door sketch_lr.jpg
 

4. Build the door.

Once the size of the pieces was determined, it was time to build the door.  We started with the front panel. Kreg Jig® joining solution lets screw wholes to be placed at the back of the panel and not visible. We also glued the pieces together for more strength, making sure to clean all the excess glue carefully. This step is very important because any spots with glue on them might not take the stain. To make the back panel, we first cut half lap joints using the table saw. Then, we used glue and black trim head screws which we camouflaged later. Finally, we put three back rails across the back panel to help keep it together, making sure that the top one doesn't interfere with the door hardware. We attached the front and back panels together and let them set for 24 hours.

 

5. Apply the stain for color and finish for durability.

Once the door was built, it was time to pick the right stain. We tried the colors we picked on different pieces of our wood to make sure the color was exactly what we wanted and recommend you do the same. We chose Minwax wood finish in Early American 230 (around 1qt per door). This oil-based wood stain provides beautiful rich color that enhances the natural wood grain, applies easily, and penetrates deep into the pores of the wood. We applied applied two coats of Minwax and after those coats dried, we added two more coats of Aqua Borne Ceramithane clear finish. This is a water borne acrylic-urethane finish coating that crosslinks to form a very hard, impervious film. Crosslinking unites the molecules to form a continuous barrier that protects the surface.

 The high build formula of Aqua Borne Ceramithane achieves a luxurious, deep, rich finish.

The high build formula of Aqua Borne Ceramithane achieves a luxurious, deep, rich finish.

 

6. Pick the hardware.

It took me some time to find the right hardware. I bought it online from Artisan Hardware.com for around $600 (around $300 for each door). The Classic Sliding Barn Door Hardware is Artisan Hardware’s staple product. Its simple and sleek design, combined with the efficient and load bearing capabilities, made it a perfect fit for the rustic style that I was going for.

 

That was the last touch to finish the project and I'm really happy with the result. The doors look wonderful and they really make the space stand out! Final cost: +/- $1,000 materials plus +/- $1,500 labor. If you like these doors and would like to add them to your space, I'll be happy to meet you to discuss your needs!