Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer - Technology - Contractor Talk

Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer

 
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:07 PM   #1
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Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Hey Guys,

So as the title suggests I'm in the market for new design software. I currently have AutoCAD 2004 and I'm tired of how clunky and cumbersome it feels.

I know a lot of guys use Chief Architect, but my question is which version?

I'm just doing remodels and the plans would only be for presenting to the clients. I want to be able to show them 3D kitchen and bathroom designs. Any major design, such as additions, will still be handled by my architect, so that it can be stamped.

So which would you choose?
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Probably Home Designer Pro would be right for you then.

I use the Premier version myself and I understand that Home Designer Pro will do layout pages up to 24" x 18". I think you can only do one page at a time also. Though it sounds like you would not really be needing anything more than that.

HD Pro does the 3D stuff too and you can lay out kitchen and bath cabinets and rooms and such.

Andy.

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Old 02-19-2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Just thought, you could give Sketchup a try also. The pro version is only about $500.00 or $600.00 dollars and would do all that you need.
Might be a bigger learning curve with Sketchup though.

Andy.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:52 PM   #4
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScipioAfricanus View Post
Probably Home Designer Pro would be right for you then.

I use the Premier version myself and I understand that Home Designer Pro will do layout pages up to 24" x 18". I think you can only do one page at a time also. Though it sounds like you would not really be needing anything more than that.

HD Pro does the 3D stuff too and you can lay out kitchen and bath cabinets and rooms and such.

Andy.
That's what I was thinking. I think Home Designer Pro is only $500. Do you know if there are still layers and other "pro" design features in the Hd Pro Version?

I can't make a distinction between the premier and the pro versions. At least not for my uses

Is sketch up an improvement over the free version from Google?
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


I actually just bit the bullet on Home Designer Pro 2 days ago. Obviously that means I can't answer your questions on how it works but my plan is basically to use it for the same purposes you describe.

To me this is a no brainer for you because Chief offers a discount if you upgrade from Home Designer. So if you use it for a while and it's just not adequate for your needs, you can always upgrade. For a $2k difference, it seems it would be worth it to at least give Home Designer a shot.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


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I actually just bit the bullet on Home Designer Pro 2 days ago. Obviously that means I can't answer your questions on how it works but my plan is basically to use it for the same purposes you describe.

To me this is a no brainer for you because Chief offers a discount if you upgrade from Home Designer. So if you use it for a while and it's just not adequate for your needs, you can always upgrade. For a $2k difference, it seems it would be worth it to at least give Home Designer a shot.
That's what I'm thinking too...

Although I just found out my video card isn't powerful enough for the program... I bought my current machine almost ten years ago so there's no point in changing parts.

looks like ill be buying a new computer too.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


I feel like I can get quite a lot done with HD pro. Attached was literally 2 hours of work for a concept for a client, though I've been tinkering with the program for 7 years. The exterior shot involved a bit of photoshop too.
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Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer-interior.jpg   Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer-iso-view.jpg   Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer-exterior2.jpg  
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:27 AM   #8
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


I've never used photoshop. How would that benefit me? Is it going to make the renders more realistic?

What's the learning curve to perform a task like that?
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:55 PM   #9
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Since the porch is an addition project, I superimposed
It over the existing structure and landscape. It may or may not provide added value to my clients. Before I was a builder, I did photoshop compositing for big projects for years so it is very easy for me. There is some learning curve.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:06 AM   #10
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden view
Since the porch is an addition project, I superimposed It over the existing structure and landscape. It may or may not provide added value to my clients. Before I was a builder, I did photoshop compositing for big projects for years so it is very easy for me. There is some learning curve.
Oh I got it now. I guess I'll just stick with hd pro for now. Thanks for the advise.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:19 AM   #11
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


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Originally Posted by TRMolnar View Post
Oh I got it now. I guess I'll just stick with hd pro for now. Thanks for the advise.
You will like it and HD will do most of it what you need. They also have tons of tricks and tips how to accomplish different things. I would suggest get Free Sketchup and use it in conjunction with HD. You can create different things in Sketchup that you cannot do in HD and use the models in HD.

If you need help, just drop a note in here and someone including myself will help you with some tricks and tips. Many here use both programs.

Good luck with it
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:26 PM   #12
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


I'd love to see a thread dedicated to Chief/HD pro tips and tricks. My superimposing can be done right in HD pro, I could make a post on how to do that.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:34 PM   #13
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Andy,

Can you provide any insight to the most important difference between Chief and HD Pro to you?
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:39 PM   #14
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


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Originally Posted by Golden view View Post
I'd love to see a thread dedicated to Chief/HD pro tips and tricks. My superimposing can be done right in HD pro, I could make a post on how to do that.
I just put that in the survey to make a section for Sketchup and CA users since so many use it here.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:53 PM   #15
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Thanks guys! I'm really excited to start learning it. I just got the new computer set up. Lenovo 12g of ram stupid fast processor. It's beyond a beast based on my needs.

I'm going to buy hd pro in the am. I'll be sure to post my first design this weekend.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:10 PM   #16
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Re: Chief Architect Premier VS Home Designer


Tim,

I started with architectural for $200. It might even be enough. I went to pro for 18x24 printing and layouts. Also has some cad cross-section ability.

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