5 Advantages of BIM for Residential Builders

Building Information Modeling (BIM) programs are amazing. If you look online at most websites containing BIM programs you will see high-rise buildings, college campuses, government facilities, and beautiful commercial projects. These massive projects are usually explained in more detail with a testimony on how well the BIM program worked for the builder. Does that mean that BIM modeling just for these big commercial jobs? It seems like some of these companies have forgotten that BIM works for home builders and smaller commercial jobs as well? Here are some ways BIM programs can work for residential builders as well.


  • Quick Start Up and Easy to Learn

For the most part – BIM programs are easy to start off with compared to 2d Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs. I have witnessed both sides on the coin of the learning curve:

  1. Experience CAD operators trying to learn BIM. Some grasp it well, some not so well.
  2. Those who have never used either a CAD program or a BIM program. These people are able to learn the BIM program at such a faster speed. They can open the program up and start putting walls in a new drawing. Granted – they might not be the correct wall size or type, but that would be the next step in learning this program.  There is so much to learn in BIM programs – and it really is not all that difficult.
  • It’s time to change

As a drafter, how many times have you heard that you need to make changes to a job? It was usually followed by an “it should only take a couple of minutes.” In old 2-D CAD programs, doing it in a couple of minutes and not following through meant a good chance that something was missed. Change out the size of all the windows in a basic 2D-CAD program, it could take a lot longer than a minute. The changes had to be followed through – not only to the floor plan but to the elevations, window schedule. BIM programs – make a change to a window – changes are made anywhere in the drawing that window is – almost instantly. BIM programs take nearly 100% of human error of not following through out of the equation.

  • Details, details, details

Need a detail of the wall? BIM programs are able to create details in seconds. Elevation views of a bathroom can be done instantly. No more finding blocks to import of that cabinet elevation. No measuring to make sure you put it in the correct location. Had to change the tub size on the floor plan? The elevation detail is instantly fixed.  Notes and hatching can be added to the details. Need I continue? The power of BIM is mind-boggling.

  • Really Cool Realistic 3D Views

Ok – I admit it; I love setting up the cameras and taking a realistic picture of the houses I create. Not only are they fun and easy to make – but they can give the customer such a great visual of what their house would look like. We tend to forget that a lot of people who are not in our industry cannot visualize what a room on paper would look like in real life. Show them the picture of the upgraded kitchen layout to the standard layout – maybe you can increase your sales. To add-on top of this – you can also do walk through videos of the project.

  • Time is Money

BIM programs have the potential lower the cost for a company in so many ways. Drawings can be created in a fraction of the time that 2d-CAD programs. It can create product schedules for door, windows, and many other products, material take-offs etc.  Its 3D ability can help you see possible conflicts that you wouldn’t have seen on paper.  BIM programs are designed to help the builders build so much more efficiently than the old school CAD programs.

These are just 5 advantages. I could go into more detail, if it would prove valuable. Please comment below and let me know!

Sandy Schooley – Design Professional / Certified Revit User

Gould Design, Inc.