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Best Home Design Software

 
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:38 PM   #41
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Re: Best Home Design Software


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If Sketchup is confusing you need to learn it before you move on to other programs.

I'm finishing 5 years of architecture school and they didn't teach us a single program. You have to sit down and force yourself through one program regardless of what it is. If you can't do that with sketchup then your out of luck.
Absolutely. If you've got the time, equipment and inclination to learn...it's best to suffer through the "curve" so that procedurals don't get forgotten.

If there's any one thing to learn if you're wanting to go CAD, Construction Management or CPM...or any of the other programs out there just waiting for you to walk into their cross hairs....

...it is NOT the panacea that too many expect the products to be in your business.

You can lose your shirt trying to learn the programs...or if you double duty all day and night to do work and view "How To" videos by the software manufacturer of the product you've just purchased...you can lose your shirt, a lot of sleep, general health and/or your mind.....especially if your production fails or never improves with the software.

Designwork is simply another sub-contractor expense to go into your proposal. Full working drawings that will get you a permit are labor intensive...especially if the drawings are attached as exhibit to your agreement to render a service.

I started with SoftPlan before the turn of the century and progressed with it for the past 20 years. I also joined AIBD years ago and am now in process for the CPBD certification for a testing period that is now into it's 2nd of 3 years to prepare and past the testing.

However....I'm planning on retiring as a FOG in construction for too many decades now to be a full time working drawings/construction docs preparer for new, renovs and remodels. There was a reason for joining up AIBD and getting my professional certification....very much for the same reason that I chose to get my professional license as a residential and lite commercial general contractor in Georgia.

It's possible that permitting groups will stop accepting non sealed or CPBD drawings for permitting reviews to validate a building permit. In the same way that I could no longer get a building permit without the pro licensing qualifying and testing...and CEU's every year to keep current.

If you're going into CAD as a side art to your construction business...you'll need to go "full monty" to get your ticket or you might end up with software that no longer is of benefit to your construction company.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:40 AM   #42
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Re: Best Home Design Software


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All good points.

I asked because I downloaded 3D Home Architect trial version from Broderbund years ago, and ended up buying it in the store. I kept it up to date through 4.0. ( I still have the boxed software in my office)
Version 5.0 as you pointed out was released by BH&G, and was a total re-write, not backwards compatible, and did not have the intuitive interface of the 3D Home that I had known.
Fast-forward 20 years and 3DHome 4.0 won't run on my new computer. I started looking around, and found the Home Designer series by Chief Architect. I downloaded the trial version, and it appeared that I had found 3DHome again. I was even able to import my 3Dhome files.

The basic version is 79.99, and in my opinion would be enough for 95% of the users on this site. Certainly a better option than Sketchup.

The best thing about the company is that you can absolutely try before you buy. You can draw a complete house, you just won't be able to save or print it. If you buy Home Designer Suite for $99 and decide at a later date that you wish you had the features of Architectural ($199), you can upgrade for the difference in price of the two products ($100).
I don't know of any other software company that does that. (I'm sure that there must be a time limit for the upgrade, I wouldn't expect them to upgrade a 2014 version of suite to a 2017 version of Architectural for $100).

I almost hate to see anyone recommend Sketchup because it is so limited compared to the home designer series. It's fine for some things, but if you are a career professional try the Home Architect series. I would be surprised if you ever looked back.

At the other extreme, I also have a problem with the recommendation of Chief Architect (CA). While CA is probably a great program for professionals, Most of aren't going to shell out $1800 to $2400 to draw a few houses now and then. It would be much better to suggest a cheaper version, and to let the user upgrade as their needs change.

I posted most of this in another thread, and the next time this question is ask, I will just link to this post. I do not work for, have stock in, or are in anyway affiliated with Chief Architect. I am however a fan of their Home Designer Series software, and the business model that they use to provide their products.

They have some deals going on, seriously considering getting the professional package. Do you know what more you get with the premier?

https://www.homedesignersoftware.com...t-chooser.html
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:32 AM   #43
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Re: Best Home Design Software


There are better feature/comparison charts, but this link has the gist of it

We used to say that a Home Designer Pro for this year, was last years Chief Architect. That's not longer true.

But what does remain true is the files in HDP can be directly imported into CA.

https://www.chiefexpertsacademy.com/...e-designer-pro
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:04 PM   #44
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Re: Best Home Design Software


Pro does everything that I need. I can't imagine that I'm missing anything by not having CA. Come to think of it, I think that my brother wants to sell his CA... If you're interested, I'll ask him about it.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:32 PM   #45
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Re: Best Home Design Software


Does anyone have experience with the latest versions of Home Designer? It looks like architectural 2020 has a lot of the features of my old 2014 pro, but at a lower cost.
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:55 PM   #46
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Re: Best Home Design Software


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Does anyone have experience with the latest versions of Home Designer? It looks like architectural 2020 has a lot of the features of my old 2014 pro, but at a lower cost.
I wouldn’t get anything below pro just for the manual roof tools function.
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:20 PM   #47
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Re: Best Home Design Software


I agree. That's why I upgraded from architectural to pro.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:17 PM   #48
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Re: Best Home Design Software


Years back I had a nice program called Punch Professional Home Design suite. I lost it after a virus infected my PC and misplaced the original discs. What I really liked about (besides it's ease of operation) was that it had a material list and cost feature. I think I paid about $300 back in 2004 or so.

I'm currently shopping for a new program but having a hard time finding that feature - plus it appears that Punch program is no longer available. Any recommendations?

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Old 08-02-2019, 10:01 PM   #49
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Re: Best Home Design Software


Try something in the Home Designer series.

I think Pro has that feature.

And I know that Chief Architect Premier has that.

Andy.
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Old 08-03-2019, 05:49 AM   #50
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Re: Best Home Design Software


The Punch brand is still around.

https://www.punchsoftware.com/

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