My wife and I decided we wanted to build a home that would be a homestead for us. We picked a rural property that was at the edge of the public utility grid so we could have city water and a city sewer system. We then set about using Architecte 3D to design the type of home that we wanted. We would work on the details a little at a time in the evenings after work. It was better than watching TV as it was our future. We had acquired the property, and we input the specifications of the land we owned into the software. Then we set to building our house as a 3D model on our computer at home.
We designed the house inside and out. We spent a long time developing a Japanese style garden with meandering paths with a koi pond as its central point of interest. The next step was to work with an architect to bring our design ideas to life. Being that we used a home design software meant that everything we had planned was doable in the real world. It was not like writing down fantastical desires for the layout and function of a house on paper and then handing it off to someone else to visualize it and make it come true. No, we had the visual design right in front of us on the screen.
The architect was actually impressed with what we came up with as we considered everything from the existing land to the climate we would be living in. We had the house windows positioned properly to get the most heat from the winter sun and to have shade in the summer. We did that by designing a deck roof of a specific height on the south side of the house to get more energy through the windows from the low winter sun and less of it when the sun is higher in the summer. We also incorporated the use of the large stones on the property to use as a floor in the sun room to act as a thermal heatsink in the winter. Essentially, we really did build our dream house on computer before it was built in real life.