Winstone Design

Company: Winstone Design
Industry: Timber construction, Custom residential
Location: Muskoka, Canada
Year founded: 2020


Winstone Design specializes in creating lakeside homes and innovative residences around the idyllic Ontario lakes area of Muskoka. For Michael Winstone, Founder & Principal, construction is definitely in his blood.

“I’ve literally grown up swinging a hammer, following my grandfather into the construction industry. I understand drawings and constructibility, and I love bridging the design/contractor gap. I aim to bring creativity to every single residential project I am involved in.”

Why ArchiFrame?

Mike needs a software package that allows him to innovate and grow.

“There’s so much flexibility in Archicad and ArchiFrame that really complements my processes. In the custom residential market, where it’s one-off projects and everything is always different, ArchiFrame stands out as very customizable. ArchiFrame is definitely easier to use than the previous framing software I was using.”

Mike, a previous Revit user, explains how he managed the switch: “I spent about a month getting my head around Archicad. Next, I downloaded an ArchiFrame trial and worked through the software; the support team were very helpful. Plus, ArchiFrame’s online tutorials and literature are fantastic. After using the software for eight months, I’m very happy with it. I’ve managed to manually manipulate ArchiFrame so that it works for all my projects. With the templates in place and the parameters set, ArchiFrame provides so much detail in such a short amount of time that the cost-benefit ratio staggeringly makes the software worth every dollar.”

ArchiFrame’s visualization features are key to its usability and help promote transparency on the construction site. ArchiFrame is also useful when it comes to managing the planning process and harmonising planning with permitting. 

“As everything has already been fitted together at the drawing stage, there are less questions from a planning perspective. ArchiFrame also gives us a commentary paper trail. 

If you want a BIM software that gives you creativity and flexibility coupled with very fluid built-in construction documentation, ArchiFrame is it. It gives you a really good basis for schematic design development coupled with BIM (scheduling, cut lists etc.).”

Benefits of using ArchiFrame

For Mike, some of the best features and benefits of ArchiFrame are tied to how the software speeds up and automates key workflows, as well as its own internal logic. 

“I like the layers aspect of Archicad and ArchiFrame. It’s an all-or-none process; if I need to create a 3D isometric view of just the framing elements, I can easily isolate the framing layer.

I also really like the roof tool. It gives you flexibility to manipulate and customize roof shapes with nodes. Also, the automatic tagging of key elements, like beams, columns, or rafters saves me a lot of time”.

In fact, it’s actually all these smaller tools and workflows that add up the most when using ArchiFrame. As Mike explains, “It’s the stuff that most people don’t even think about that makes ArchiFrame so useful. Thanks to ArchiFrame’s good documentation, using the software saves me hours on a set of plans. In construction, saving time is just money going back into your pocket.”

Customization is another important ArchiFrame benefit.

“I can get things working exactly how I want; after collaborating with Péter Paalanen, ArchiFrame Developer, I have been able to customize ArchiFrame for my own personal projects. We’ve worked together on creating clean cut lists and tables that work for my measurements as well as automating the creation of spans for openings, cutting down on manual editing.”

For Mike, ArchiFrame’s open nature is key to making the software work for his solo practitioner needs.

“For what I’m doing I wouldn’t use anything else. ArchiFrame is perfect for the custom residential market. It is truly amazing and the best of its class.”

Most useful features of ArchiFrame

  • Data flow and logic that supports design and construction
  • Customizations and flexibility, perfect for custom residential market
  • Combination of tools (plank, beam, truss, etc) that save time 
  • Documentation for better planning and permitting
  • Cut list sheets and 3D framing elements saves endless questions during construction administration phase

Mike Winstone

Winstone Design