Have you ever considered using construction software to design outdoor structures?
Whether you're a full time contractor designing and building homes, or a do-it-yourselfer building decks or any other project - you have no idea how much quicker and easier your job could be with some design software to do those annoying but crucial calculations.
Ever tried to calculate. maximum loads on a deck or floor number of posts joist spacing beam sizes and code compliant alternative materials stair calculations, rise run, straight, circular, landings post or column sizes
Well, if you have or you are contemplating your next construction project be it residential or light construction, get ready to fiddle your way through various building codes, span charts, load charts and material specifications.
But not if you have the right construction software that does it all for you including material lists, and engineering alternatives for different materials.
I have included a lot of free tables and charts on our site for you to refer to help you out. And they are accurate but they are limited in their scope.
Have you ever tried to design the size of posts, beams and joists for a deck that has to support a hot tub and 8,000 lbs of water and guests?
It can be done manually but for the average person it’s a headache. And you’re always wondering if you calculated it right.
In fact here's a recent email we just received:
"I just bought a hot tub and I all ready have an existing deck with a cut out ready for it. My problem is it needs to be built up. The deck is too far off the ground. I need an 8'x8' deck built. It needs to hold 8ooolbs. That is full of water and people. Can I get away with 4x4 post or do I need to use 6x6 posts? Also how many would I need for this type of weight? Thanks for your help."
Greg Smith, North Dakota
These are typical questions every building contractor faces and you need to get the answer right because the consequences could be serious. Here is the answer to this common construction question using the Builder's Engineer software.
If you have been looking around at contractors, engineering or design software to help you build or engineer your deck or other construction projects you will find that there are a lot of programs available in the low range of about $25 to $35 and then not much until you get to the CAD programs around $900 and up.
Depending on your situation CAD engineering software programs may be the best way to go. Especially if you are building for clients everyday. You will pay it off in no time.
Most of the construction software programs for home owners and do-it-yourselfers lack a lot of the capabilities that you might expect. They are designed to be basic and so provide a simple solution with images and materials list.
Some of them are still pretty impressive and worth getting. You just have to decide what suits your needs best.
I found one construction software package for common calculations that I would recommend because of it's ease of use. And I am quite impressed with the value. It's software construction people and homeowners can both afford and will actually find useful.
For just a bit more than $35, getting into the $50 to $100 range - the construction calculation and estimating software put out by Builder's Engineer.com is in a class by itself.
It is the bridge between the low end software that you might wish had a few more options and the professional construction software that can run into the thousands of $$$. You can get any of the programs individually and downloaded right to your hard drive if you like or have the CD mailed to your doorstep.
It's construction software that was designed by engineers but made to be used and understood by everyday people. Whether you build full time or you're a weekend warrior the cost is so low you'll pay it off with your first project.
A perfect construction software application for the home owner who wants to just do it right, quickly and easily. Works for straight stairs without landings. Calculates the rise and run, headroom, horizontal fit and does it all in seconds. Learn more...
Pro Beam Calculator
Tired of using span tables? If you can even find any! This particular construction software accepts up to 4 uniform loads at the same time and gives you 20 different possible solutions for each run.
It takes into account different materials as well such as glue lam, parallam psl's and I-Joists all shown simultaneously. Learn more...
Loads Calculator Software
For the fellow building a deck for his hot tub. This would definitely help. See how we used this construction software to answer his deck building question about beam and post sizes for his hot tub.
Forget about searching through libraries looking for all this data. It will calculate snow loads, roof floor and wall dead loads. Learn more...
Square Footing Software
What is the right size for your footings? Should you use steel reinforcing rods? Know exactly how wide - how thick your concrete footing must be to support your intended weight.
This little application takes care of all of that for you. The last thing you need are undersized footings on soft soil and your deck will gradually sink. A nightmare to fix. Learn more...
Wood Columns Software
The higher the post the more wobble and instability the post develops. And it also is compounded by the load of the deck and people.
So this application quickly tells you what size of post to use to build your deck sturdy. Very useful for elevated above ground pool decks or hot tub decks. Learn more...
Each program shows you exactly how to use it. It explains all the engineering and construction terminology. It gives you examples of problems and shows you how to solve it.
If you have few projects to do over the coming year or two, it's not a bad package to have as you will probably get your value out of it.
So far this is the best construction software I have found for the average do it yourselfer.
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