• STEAM U Credit:

    Credit depends on SMART Goal, how many tools you use,and time committed to project.

    Your Challenge:

    Discover the world of architecture.

    Your challenge is to explore principles of home design as you create detailed plans for a house with Punch! Home Design software.



    People who develop formal, specific plans for the design of buildings are called architects. Architects attend colleges and universities to learn about the art and engineering necessary to create buildings that are functional, attractive, and structurally sound. Architects must earn a professional degree in architecture, complete a period of professional training, and pass licensing examinations.

    Home Designers

    Home designers specialize in designing structures such as single-family homes and agricultural buildings. Unlike architectshome designers are not required to have a degree or hold a professional license to work in most states. However, reputable home designers apply to be Certified Professional Building Designers, which requires the completion of extensive coursework and passing rigorous exams to earn their certification.

    A Few Words of Wisdom
    Punch! Home Design is a powerful program that let's you easily design the exterior and interior of a house. While you can get started without knowing much about the program, you'll probably need to use some of the learning resources to get the most out of your house. Spending some time looking at the resources and can make the difference between a boring, empty house and one with colorful walls and a variety of furniture and appliances.
    Before you Design:

    Create a Design Scenario

    The first step to designing a house is to establish a design scenario. To do this, you must know about the family that will live there, and understand their lifestyle and their preferences. Create a design scenario that you will design a home around by answering the following questions (you can choose a real or imaginary family):

    • How many bedrooms are needed?
    • How many bathrooms are desired?
    • What type of dining area(s) do they want (e.g. breakfast nook, bar seating, informal dining room, formal dining room)?
    • What specialty rooms do they want (e.g. music, dance studio, office, billiards, media room)?
    • Do they want a formal living room, an informal family room, or both?
    • What style of kitchen best suits them?
    • Will they need a garage, and if so, should it be for one, two, or three cars?
    • How much and what types of storage space are important to them?
    • Are there special physical needs that should be considered (height of people, wheelchair access, blindness)?

    Look at examples of house designs - pictures in books, online images, or real homes. Write down ten details that you want to include in your home design.

    SMART Goal Ideas:
    If you'd like an added challenge for your SMART goal, feel free to use one of these ideas as a way to kickstart your brainstorming...
    • Your challenge is to design a house that is 250 - 400 square feet per person and meets your client's needs. Your design will include:

      • Exterior walls
      • Interior walls (desired rooms)
      • Interior and exterior doors
      • Kitchen appliances and cabinets
      • Bath fixtures and furniture
      • Windows
      • Materials such as siding or bricks for the exterior finish
    • Your challenge is to design a house that will meet your client’s needs based on a $150,000 budget for materials.

      Every project must work within budget. Learn money-saving design tips and explore the many trade-offs necessary to design a home without "breaking the bank".

    • Create a home for your favorite celebrity. Even better create a company that designs homes for celebrities. Research and find the likes/and dislikes of your celebrity and design a home based off of your research. I hear Kanye West wants a 3-story doghouse in his backyard!! Dwayne Wade wants a helicopter landing on top of his apartment downtown. You may just be the one to make these outrageous requests come true.

    Useful Tutorials and Resources
    Tutorials :
    Quick Start 

    Quick Starts


    YouTube Video





     Structural Tutorials: Learn how to create walls, 
    doors, windows, and roofs.

    Structural Tutorial

     3D Objects: Learn how to put furniture, 
    electronics, and other items into your rooms

    YouTube Video


    Let's Talk About Dimensions
    As you start to design your first house, you may be tempted to make the largest house possible. Unfortunately, as your house gets bigger it become more difficult for the computer to keep up.  With this in mind, I highly suggest limiting the size of your house. Not only will this help the computer run smoothly, but it will also make it easier to produce a realistic house. The Design Basics website (link) has a variety of blueprints that you can use as a guide when designing your house. Below is an example of one of these designs:
    Another consideration is the size of each of your rooms. As you use the QuickStart Screen, you'll see a list of general dimensions for each size room. While you don't need to stick to these sizes, they will help give you an idea of what a typical house looks like. 
    Be patient with this program and be willing to make mistakes. A lot of trial and error will be involved with Punch Home Design.

    Working with Stairs
    Ask anyone that has used Punch! Home Design what the hardest part of their design process was, and you'll most likely hear "stairs" as the most common problem. This section will help keep your frustrations to a minimum as you build a way to move from your first floor to the second floor!

    Website - Punch! Home Design Stairs- Ball

    Open Website - Punch! Home Design Stairs

    Shepard's Finest Work

    Google Docs Video