Ben Rendell, the founder of BSR Design Ltd, had been working in timber frame manufacturing at Firwood Homes Ltd. ever since he left college nearly 20 years ago. He started as a designer and took on more and more responsibilities. Having worked in a management position for a number of years, Ben decided it was time to go back to his design roots: “My job had become mostly desk-based. I didn’t get to meet customers anymore or draw new designs. I missed the creativity of coming up with designs that reflected what the customer wanted and seeing those designs realised. So, I decided to set up on my own.” Only a few months into his new venture, Ben has already designed bespoke new houses and house extensions, barn conversions, an office block extension and is now working on a school extension.

Timber frame designers have a large choice of different software programmes available. In his long career Ben has used quite a few of them. Just after starting his new company, he decided to try Framing from Elecosoft. “I hadn’t worked with Framing before. When it was recommended to me by not only one, but two engineers I worked with, I decided to have a closer look. At first, it looked very different to all the other programmes I knew. It did take some getting used to, but this didn’t take long.”

“The Elecosoft support network is very good in general. This is definitely something I didn’t find as good with any of the other software firms I have worked with in the past. With Elecosoft, help and support is only a phone call away. They have not failed to help me out yet.”

“The most important point for me is that Framing is based on AutoCAD. This means I can just send the design file to the manufacturer and they don’t have to translate it into something their machines can work with. Designs that have been created in other software programmes can be downloaded but the manufacturers wouldn’t necessarily get the full image because it wasn’t in AutoCAD. A lot of companies use AutoCAD which makes things a lot more simple. For example, one of the companies I design for doesn’t make its own trusses and uses an outside supplier. I just send them the AutoCAD file and they can design their roof straight on top of my plan. This makes it a lot easier and quicker for everybody.”

Although he has only been using Framing for a short time, Ben is convinced he has made the right choice: “I enjoy using Framing. I have picked it up a lot quicker than I have other programmes in the past. I know if I have any problems or issues, as soon as I talk to Elecosoft they will be able to help.”