Photo: (Left to Right) DraftingSPACE CEO Beth Nenniger and CTO Laura Austin in University of Waterloo’s Velocity Garage at the Communitech Hub.

If you’ve ever completed a home renovation, or even thought about it, dreaming about your new space is the easy part. Unfortunately, when it comes to actually renovating, most of us have no idea where to start.

That’s where Beth Nenniger and her company, DraftingSPACE, come in.

DraftingSPACE is an online tool that can automatically design your home renovation. Users visit the site, upload room dimensions, select furniture, and the tool automatically generates optimal designs that can be viewed as blueprints and 3D renderings.

“People want to renovate but often don’t have a vision,” says Nenniger, a former architectural designer. “We give homeowners more freedom to take control of their own designs.”

DraftingSPACE also allows architects and designers like themselves to focus on the fun, creative stuff.

Nenniger attributes the inspiration for DraftingSPACE to the work she did during her co-op terms. She, along with co-founder Laura Austin, studied architecture at the University of Waterloo and soon found themselves designing parking lots and condo bathrooms – not exactly the glamorous architectural projects of their dreams.

But completing these tasks over and over led the two to their idea.

“After you’ve tried to design a toilet in so many bathrooms, you realize it’s very formulaic, but all this is still being done manually,” says Nenniger. “If you get 10 designers in a room, they’ll all end up coming out with roughly the same best layout.”

So as they put it, the two figured, “We can make the boring work happen faster.”

They dreamed up the idea while doing a parametric design studio together in their third year at university. The final product was a playground that would be generated between any two trees, or in design terms, a truss structure between any two variable points in space.

“That was really cool because it was my first idea where architecture could adapt to its surroundings and be generated on the fly,” she says. “Programming and architecture can really go together here.”

But Nenniger says that as an architecture student, turning their technical idea into a reality was not easy.

“We studied architecture, not computer science, so we weren’t programmers by nature,” she says. “We looked for a technical co-founder, but we didn’t find anyone who really understood the problem as much as we did. So our solution was that we had to become the technical co-founders.”

After some hard work and seeking out local resources like The Waterloo Python Group (WatPy), they have since turned their vision into a tangible product.

Currently a member of the University of Waterloo Velocity program, DraftingSPACE was founded in October 2013 and has been running a private beta of their bathroom designer since October of this year, with plans to publicly launch the designer in January.

The completely bootstrapped company has many taking notice of their potential. They were awarded the Velocity Fund, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Entrepreneurship Fellowship and SmartStart Seed Fund, and took second place in Communitech’s Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp.

In October alone, the company designed 130 bathrooms.

“While that may not seem like a big number relative to some social media startups, compared to the 14 bathrooms a year I used to design, it’s a pretty big leap,” Nenniger says.

Possibilities for the company are endless. From creating the design, to purchasing suggested products through the tool, Nenniger sees the future of DraftingSPACE as the end-to-end solution for homeowners.

Nenniger likens the process to how, much in the same way that you don’t need to be a programmer to blog anymore, technology can give a vision to anyone looking to renovate.

Those interested in trying the beta designer are encouraged to sign up on their website.