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mazoola
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Selling the sizzle: Visualizing a property's potential

The past few months, I've been helping a friend prepare his home here in San Francisco for sale. It's not in that great of shape, frankly. It's a small, Craftsman-style cottage, built in 1900 and expanded in 1934 and '78, but it's never undergone a completion renovation. About a year ago, my friend kicked off what was intended to become just such a project, but after tearing out the transite ductwork, along with most of the interior wallboard, he ran out of money.

Presently, the property could not be inhabited legally (and, as such, would not qualify for most residential mortgage). Many of the internal systems need to be replaced entirely, as most of the plumbing consists of galvanized steel, not copper, pipes, and the electrical feed is horribly undersized and based on knob-and-tube technology. In fact, with much of the interior having been stripped back to bare studs, the property is just this side of a tear-down....

It's also eight doors up from Mark Zuckerberg's mansion-in-progress and boasts unparalleled views of the city's skyline -- including a sweeping, 200º panorama from a hypothetical third floor.

And that's where Sweet Home 3D comes in.

There's a growing trend locally of your more extreme fixer-uppers often being sold as-is, along with visualizations, plans, or sometimes plans and permits, as sort of a DIY fixer-upper kit. Given the long lead times (often 18 to 36 months from plan submission to approval) and high construction costs, for anything more complicated than a basic flip, it may make more sense for the buyer to be the ultimate arbiter of the final design.

In such cases, though, it becomes essential for the buyer to be able to grasp the property's potential -- which may mean actively ignoring its present. One common way to facilitate such a shift is to provide a 'serving suggestion' in the form of architectural drawings or renderings.

As part of prepping Vince's place, I've redesigned and expanded it, and I'm currently in the process of generating five to eight renderings purporting to show how the "after" photo will look. (Well, not 'purporting,' as they are clearly caveated as NOT representing approved plans. 'Suggesting,' perhaps?) Out of a sense of fairness, I guess -- and certainly not something one finds informing every use of rendering in advertising -- the changes I made have all been justifiable in terms of building codes, the laws of physics, rational budgeting, planning codes, and the likelihood (or not) of being granted a variance, should one been needed.

I've attached the two most nearly complete images. The first shows the original ground-level bathroom after conversion to a half-bath -- a change made primarily to allow the kitchen, as shown in the second image, to be made much larger.





To be honest, this has been a much more protracted exercise than I originally anticipated -- although only a small portion of the additional time required resulted from problems with the software. By far the largest time sink simply has been my concerted efforts to make the package do something it can't or won't.

If you look closely at the half-bath image, for instance, you can see green squares cast by the sun shining through an overhead skylight. This was the least-disliked [by me] of several dozen attempts I made to create or fake a satisfactory fogged glass. The kitchen render had problems, though, I *finally* managed to diagnose as resulting from a corrupt component -- which was later incorporated into hundreds of cabinet models. (I did uncover an actual rendering bug while generating the kitchen image seemingly caused by placing a light source inside a translucent sphere of equal or greater size. Doing so causes the first blocks rendered to do so more darkly than they should. I'll write it up when I get a chance.)

Thanks,
Maz
[May 3, 2015 6:52:37 PM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
Puybaret
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Re: Selling the sizzle: Visualizing a property's potential

Amazing result! Thanks for sharing images and story. smile
----------------------------------------
Emmanuel Puybaret, Sweet Home 3D developer
[May 3, 2015 7:07:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message    Hidden to Guest    http://www.eteks.com [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
okh
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Re: Selling the sizzle: Visualizing a property's potential

Fantastic project. No matter how run down, I am sure location and potential will make your efforts worth while. Please keep sharing. ok
PS - Had to check out the Google Street view, hope the Christmas house in the back is a seasonal thing.
[May 4, 2015 10:45:55 AM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message    Hidden to Guest [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
mazoola
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Re: Selling the sizzle: Visualizing a property's potential

OK -

Thanks for the kind words. I should mention I brought the owner an offer of $2.25 million, and he turned it down, believing he can do better. And the crazy thing is, he's probably right.

(Just for amusement's sake, here's what $475,000 will buy you in the city where I grew up.)

Had to check out the Google Street view, hope the Christmas house in the back is a seasonal thing.


Excellent sleuthing! The Christmas house is usually known as "Tom and Jerry's House," after the couple who live there. In bad old secular humanist San Francisco, it's about the closest thing we have to an over-the-top holiday display, so it's a [20+ year-]old Christmas tradition that drives my friend mad during the holiday season. biggrin

Lately, I've been working more on the 2D plans -- and running into problems with Inkscape and LibreOffice Draw. (You wouldn't believe how many ways there are to crash them.) In the meantime, here are a few recent 3D test renders, mainly intended to see how well some objects I created in Sketchup made the journey into sh3d.






[May 20, 2015 3:33:05 AM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
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