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Ok so I had a customer who wanted a rendering of what there finished deck would look like. I do not have any programs as of yet to give this to him. My question is should i get C.A. were it seems to be able to do alot more things than just design decks but does it have the same capabilities as deck tools. I do alot of decks right now but if im gonna shell out $2000 should i go with a program that offers more? Any info on both these programs would be helpfull. Does deck tools have a big library? I use Timbertech products alot.
 

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Why not just use Sketchup- it's free. By the time you buy DeckTools or Chief and dick around for a few weeks learning how to use the software, your job will already be under construction by the competition. With Sketchup, you can get up to speed in a matter of a few hours, and crank out something decent to show them.
 

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Eater of sins.
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I for one would always recommend ChiefArchitect, to be fair I have never used DeckTools though.

I can send you a couple more examples if decking from Chief if you PM me.

I suspect that the DeckTools will probably have more of a selection of railings and newels and balusters and such, but I know that just about anything can be created in Chief.

Andy.
 

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Two completly different programs, Decktools is just for decks and stuff similar... you can do alot of other stuff with it, but it is limited. Cheif is more for the complete house builder or remodeler.... Where Decktools is a speciality program for deck builders. I would base it on your needs, the programs are not in the same category. We looked at Softplan and Cheif Architect but we decided on Decktools because we mostly do decks
 

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Ok so I had a customer who wanted a rendering of what there finished deck would look like. I do not have any programs as of yet to give this to him. My question is should i get C.A. were it seems to be able to do alot more things than just design decks but does it have the same capabilities as deck tools. I do alot of decks right now but if im gonna shell out $2000 should i go with a program that offers more? Any info on both these programs would be helpfull. Does deck tools have a big library? I use Timbertech products alot.

They have Timber Tech in their Library, but not the Earthwoods and XLM. They have the white Radiance rail. Trex, Evergrain, Correct Deck, Deckorators, Fortress, and some more in their library

Here is a rendering of Timber Tech ~ Redwood with white Radiance Rail it looks very close
 

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Eater of sins.
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http://www.chieftutor.com/decks/PageOne.html

O.K. I just had to do this, I did a little video on using some of the deck tools in Chief Architect to compare a little with the Deck Tools software.

I was having trouble getting this little video set up to run on the net so I had my good friend Dave set me up on his web site to be able to do this.

I just hope I am not embarrassing myself here. This is my first one.

Andy.
 

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Design it, and Build it.
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Chief Architect

Without a doubt, Chief Architect is the leader here, as you will always build more then just decks, and since Chief gives you the power to take on landscaping, homes design, and any type deck - it is the solution to run with.

And that's been my 2 cents :thumbup:

Dave
 

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http://www.chieftutor.com/decks/PageOne.html

O.K. I just had to do this, I did a little video on using some of the deck tools in Chief Architect to compare a little with the Deck Tools software.

I was having trouble getting this little video set up to run on the net so I had my good friend Dave set me up on his web site to be able to do this.

I just hope I am not embarrassing myself here. This is my first one.

Andy.
Nice job Andy...and in 2 1/2 minutes you have your deck. I've never even played around with the deck tools (or terrain tools). Is it easy to get the deck framing details as well?

J
 

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I read a little closer and see you haven't used the deck tools either...which just re-enforces how quickly some basic stuff can be done.

I don't know if anyone here who uses deck-only software has the capability to record a walk-thru, but I'm always interested to see other software in action.

J
 

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Workin' Hard & Havin' Fun
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I can't do a walk-thru, but I can do a HD 3D 360 fly-around... It takes up a massive amount of space, but can be uploaded to youtube, and is awesome!
Of course, if that's what I need, I'll usually just bring along the laptop & zoom in.


It all depends what you're looking to get out of the software. I love Chief for interior remodeling- and will invest in it when we do enough to warrant that expense.

DT is unmatched for clarity, design, and options when it comes to designing decks. We do 30-50 decks a year, all custom, and it's about 70% of our business. As such, there is no excuse for compromise, and we use the best tools available...DeckTools being one of them. (Our NADRA membership is another).

Feel free to email me directly if I can offer any additional information as a fellow builder.
~Matt
 

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The killer is that DT still has not worked in any TimberTech product other than original TwinFinish. I just talked to DT sales and they say that "we are talking to TimberTech but have no idea when the software will be updated"

For $1800, I want that program to have EVERYTHING in it.
 

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Chief does that for whole houses...just don't know if it does it for decks...I would think that it would, but I'm too lazy right now to try learning that part of the program...:whistling

I've also been a big believer in specialization in software when it comes to providing the best bang for the buck, but I'm not nearly knowledgeable about other software to have any know if this holds true for deck-specific software. I would think it would excel at what it's meant to do though.
 

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Decktools automatically adds the structure (joists, posts, etc.. even fasteners and brackets), seems pretty handy to me.

Can you make it on a hill? I've only seen them on flat ground.
Decktools does not have any grade changes built in. As far as decks go it smokes Cheif, for speed, accuracy of a rendering and built in deck materials and ability to modify quickly. This takes nothing away from Cheif, they are two different programs geared to different needs.
 
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