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Selling VW to DIYers


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Think yourself lucky, in that alternative universe "ArchKen World" you may be able to ...


I'm so glad to have gained yet another fan and groupie! Alanmac, welcome! As for your suggestion that I should "deal with" the problems of the architecture profession, I can only smile with pride and think, if only I can. If only I can... Indeed, people these days are like you.

Earlier you said:


If you are losing business, if people are choosing alternatives don't look to the faults and wrong thinking you percieve they have to justify yourself, look instead at what you are doing wrong to make them decide to seek alternatives in the first place. Then deal with it.

Jealousy can spur only wild imaginations and fears. grin.gif As I had already mentioned, my niche in architecture is solid (better than most I believe) while reseller profits are trivial. Besides, those inquiring about buying the software from me don't view me as competing for architectural business. Let's hear some more suggestions, Alan!

I'm glad you'ved steered this discussion to more the topic at hand.

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Sorry Archken

Your response would be worth replying to if it contained less obtuse remarks.

As it is the weather forecast is to stay dry with sunny spells and I'd rather be out painting my front door. I'm not a professional painter and decorator by the way but we can get away with it here.


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I would promote the sales of CAD programs to contractors and the like, if an architect feels that this would lose him business then he isn't doing something right in the first place.

Working WITH contractors not against them makes better buildings, plain and simple. Imagine how much time it would save to be able to get the contractor to snap dimensions on the cad drawing instead of measuring off the prints!

Just because one is an architect does not mean they have a better design sense that the average human, I have built and worked for many architects that had no business designing houses or even plastic cups for that matter. Protectionism will only lead to hostility, arrogance and self proclaimed superiority will only be one's down fall.

I have worked for one of the greatest architects alive and the last thing he did was assume he knew more that me, I was 18 and a cabinetmaker, he was in his mid 50's and treated me like I was his teacher. That architect would be Frank Gehery.

I have worked with Peter Pfau, Frank Israel, Gehery, Mike Rotondi and a few more, non of which, besides Gehery had the ability to step down off the 'academic' high horse and listen to the DIYers.

Hey, if you sell to them you might learn something, Gehery did!

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Honestly.....I would like you to take a look at yourself and really try and see what you are the best at doing. Everyone has some niche...whether it is achitecture or auto mechanics...so what are you.

Most DIY'ers do so for the simple fact of economies....of course that would explain why that last paint job was so lousy. Not trying to knock anyone for trying....but you see that is the entire issue of the DIY'er...it dilutes the industry.

So you can paint your walls....are you a professional painter?....No....but then again no one is going to get hurt with a crummy paint job, unless they go blind because of it.

My point is simple...not protectionism....it's passion. I do this because I love it and I'm good at what I do. It's the passion for my trade that makes me defend it and protect it from the lurking vultures who who make it cheap and homogonized...kind of like fast food joints...you know what your going to get wherever you go...even to China.

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I agree with most of what you say in regard to how you feel but I think to me you misinterepted the original question.

Sure the title says Selling VW to DIYers, but the content of ArchKens post sayes "what are your views on selling Vectorworks to a general building contractor (or owner) who wants to bypass the architect/designer?"

To me that not the general public who pop down to their local diy store and buy stuff to do up their homes as you seem to be describing.

I would have thought it was builders, construction companies, people who build for a living as a business being refered to here, but don't want to or don't feel the need to employ the services of an architect/designer for whatever reason, and should they be allowed to buy VW or should a reseller be prepared to sell VW to them.

You're hardly likely to buy VW at its cost and complexity as a diyer to design your new kitchen or bathroom anyway.

I'd ask you to re read the first post, maybe I got it wrong but that's the way I see it put forward.


Edited by alanmac
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Oh...I don't know about that I realy took the title kind of literally...and also the first line which notes "contractor (or owner)". To me it really singled out the general DIY'er. There are a few contractors out there who are engaged in design/build construction at present. These people do it in order to have more control over the design. I have no beef with that. I have seen many contractors on the other hand who wanted to cut costs so they hired a draftsman and bought some software only to find that they realy had no business in designing. It requires training and above all talent, creativity and the ability to step out with risky design and find seperation from the norm.

Like I said earlier....DIY'ers are mainly driven by economics. They can't afford....or refuse to pay for services they can get by (just OK) with...looks good from the road design.

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We often point out work that looks good (only) from a galloping horse. The trick is to make sure it's not our own work we're pointing a finger at!!

Personally, I think everyone with the slightest inclination should give VW a go. Those with some creativity and drive may find an outlet they haven't otherwise had; those without will quickly learn to appreciate those who make a living in whatever field of design.

The caveat that's been mentioned before?code/structural/safety issues from lack of experience or training?aren't really VW related. Those issues remain however a design and/or plan was created. Certainly we all know so-called professionals whose plans are so woefully prepared one wonders how they keep food on the table. Let alone the true DIY'er who can genuinely claim he didn't know.

This has been an interesting thread, to say the least. . .but I wonder if part of arch.ken's real question isn't one of his business' focus. Is it in the business of being an architect or in the business of selling software?

In any case, good luck to all,

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panthony, you're much closer to reality than highfalutin alanmac. Perhaps obtuse views are all but obscure from his galloping high horse.

Truth is, there are many small time contractors who want only to cut costs. In fact, the real estate economy (in California at least) has created a hybrid breed of sort where you find owner, developer and general building contractor in the same person.

With fees from public agencies coming in at thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars and construction costs easily in six figures, on top of expenses on their "fixer" property investments, the $2k price tag of VW becomes trivial, yet seems more reasonable than professional architecture and engineering. Not everybody seeks a Frank Gehry (correct me if I misspelled his name). The one bedroom addition cannot be done for less than $100k, and the architect wants $15k?!

As for Archken's real question, all but one of the issues were provoked for sake of discussion -- a no-return policy is simply not possible, so those who seem "unlikely" to keep the software will have to look elsewhere. My focus is actually in stirring the muck in these forums, didn't you know? wink.gif

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but then again I'm not the one complaining about lost income.

I'm not the one either. That's probably a transgression from the alternate universe of "Alanmac's World." I'm so glad you're spending your quality time commenting here.

Again, WELCOME! wink.gif

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Shouldn't your concerns be directed at the agencies that issue building permits? VW is not the only CAD software available to DIYers and far from the cheapest.

A quick search of CAD software at ComUSA yields 24 products:


The CAD cat is out of the bag. I'm sure the publishers of these products would say "We'll sell to anyone willing to pay."

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Shouldn't your concerns be directed at the agencies that issue building permits?

George, I'm only stating opinions as I hear them from others. I don't share those concerns personally. And I'm only responding directly to YOUR concerns here. You could not catch me making those comments out of context (about tripling the price of VW). I could NOT care any less if I never sold another copy of VW. Is that direct and obtuse enough for you?

You might have some point if you accused me of provoking an argument FOR prohibition (of selling VW). I supposed you're basically saying that all this topic is better if unspoken and never discussed? I did at least balance out four advantages with four disadvantages! ... I think. wink.gif

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I believe expression of the costs related to California construction is moot at best. I have had the opportunity to design and support until permit slightly over ten projects in the last several years. To say the least LA county is the worst as far as red tape. It is more than likely caused by over zealous sub-contract plans examiners eager to inflict pain on the public and watch them go insane during the neandrathal process of permitting.

Simply put there is no way the average joe or even the average joe contractor can muddle through all the BS required to permit a structure in the valley. I think that trying to save a few bucks and do the DIY is counter productive for anyone not familiar with the process.

They will waste valuable time drafting something that won't pass without being re-submitted at least four times with each of those re-submits requiring engineering revisions which will if they had a professional perform the work would have been reduced to only two re-submits and cost half as much in pain, anguish, lost sleep, three or four dead dogs (you know the stress released when you come home from a tough day kiss the wife, scold the kids and kick the dog...maybe you shouldn't have launched the poor beast into next week...oh well)

I think the DIY'ers should save thier money...hire a professional who has allready lost all of his hair and nothing to lose while waiting or should I say yanking a permit through the keyhole of California building beauracracy only to find out that some dolphin loving, save the bambi's liberal has applied for a state protection cert on the mold growing from between the rocks in your back yard.

Move to Florida....the DEP makes LA look like cupcakes.

Pete A

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Calm down. I'm not accusing you of anything, or suggesting that this topic shouldn't be discussed. It wasn't clear in your initial post that you were stating the opinions of others. It seemed that you were advocating restricting the sale of VW to certain groups. Obviously, I misunderstood your post.

I do find the topic interesting, but it's getting a little too personal for my taste.



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It's funny how some people perceive a simple question for what it's not and fall into wrong conclusions. Yeah right, curious George, calm down, it's getting too personal for you. At least the first ten respondents weren't "too personal."

I think I see matador manure spilled on that roadway.

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Actually, I'd like to get back to the subject of this thread. Since the list of advantages & disadvantages in your first post was compiled from the opinions of others, how do you feel about it?

A builder who is reluctant to pay for the services of an architect, might also be one who will try to cut corners during construction by hiring workers of questionable ability or by using substandard materials.

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