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Monday, March 14, 2016

I Don’t Have Time to Create Custom Families...

When I think about the least customized elements in a typical Revit project casework, or “millwork”, always comes to mind.  It’s true, the out of the box (OOTB) casework families are well-made and fully parametric.  But, when you have something other than flush solid door cabinets, as you would in many residential applications, the out of the box cabinets are lacking...

“I don’t have time to make them look “exactly” like what I specified…”

That is the number one excuse I hear when asking someone about why they did not make their cabinet elevations looks like the cabinets they wanted and specified.  In fact, when I surveyed the BIM After Dark audience you named “time” one of the biggest factors for not creating custom content.  Before I continue on and illustrate to you that it does not take as much time as you may think to produce custom parametric cabinets I’d like to demonstrate how valuable the time spent can be.

Let’s use the example of custom cabinets (“casework”, or “millwork”, whatever your favored term may be).

In our example, you are designing, modeling, and creating a set of construction documents for a four story apartment building.   The kitchens have a few upper and a few lower cabinets of varying sizes.  You don’t feel you can spare the hour or so it would take to modify the OOTB casework to be a face framed overlay with a shaker door, so you use it as is.

When creating your interior elevations of the kitchen you add a note that states face framed overlay shaker door.  You justify this by telling yourself “at least they have the cabinet dimensions, number of doors and swings, and locations of the cabinets.”  The notes and details cover that fact that the cabinets will be face framed overlays with shaker doors.

Fast-forward a few months and your project is out to bid.  You’ve hired a few third-party estimators throughout the process and you are confident the project will come in on budget.  To your surprise, the project comes in over budget.   When breaking down the bids you find that the cabinets are the culprit.

It turns out your third party estimator was not carrying the face framed shaker door note and was carrying what he or she saw visually on the elevations (flush, solid cabinets).  Meanwhile, the contractors who bid the cabinets saw the note and were carrying the face framed overlay shaker doors.

You could argue that the estimator should have saw the note and carried the correct cabinets.  That doesn’t change the fact that you, as the architect, are now responsible for getting the project back on budget.  You can’t simply use the flush solid cabinets because the owner clearly wants face framed overlay shaker door.

Now, you will spend the next few days trying to value engineer other aspects of the project to get it back on budget.  Exhausting yourself and your fee.

Could this have been avoided?  Of course, all you had to do was spend four hours a few months creating accurate parametric cabinets.

Oh, and your renderings would have looked more accurate, too. ;)

BIM After Dark - Volume 3: We Are Family...

BIM After Dark -Volume 3 is live!

In the series, there is an entire chapter (almost an hour of video) dedicated to custom cabinet creation...

If you find yourself feeling as though you don’t have time to create custom content.  If you or someone in your company spends all day drafting over out of the box families in Revit.  If you simply want to take your Revit family creation game to the next level, Volume 3 is for you.

Volume 3 is focused 100% on custom family creation while stressing the use of real-world situations and examples. In addition to over six hours of non-stop, easy-to-follow, and information packed tutorials you have the option of some great bonuses in the complete package…  From simple parametric tables to funky adaptive facades, Volume 3 has something for everyone.

Click here to download Volume 3 today!