From $9.95


Statistics

Users
Total: 32,922
Visited Last 30 days: 202
Forum Messages
Total: 20,966
Last 30 days: 5
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,160
Last 30 days: 0
Journal Entries
Total: 5,400
Last 30 days: 7
Connections
Total: 15,247
Last 30 days: 4
Downloads
Total: 87,221

Journals

Name
NorthShoreBathrooms
19 Visits | 1 Posts | 2 Pix | 0 Videos
Tenants-Right-When-S... Maryland, MD
616 Visits | 5 Posts | 4 Pix | 0 Videos
furnacerepairon St Catharines, AL
40 Visits | 1 Posts | 9 Pix | 0 Videos
furnacemkm Markham, AL
40 Visits | 1 Posts | 7 Pix | 0 Videos
vallejocleaningservi... Vallejo , CA
39 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
getpestcontrol Delhi, AL
43 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
noithattrieugia tphcm, AL
58 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
httpownerbuilderbook...
125 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Packers-and-Movers Delhi, AL
397 Visits | 2 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Best-Access-Doors Jackson, AL
174 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Concrete-Contractors...
237 Visits | 2 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
bird Springfield, MO
170 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
120,452 Visits | 1,004 Posts | 2,581 Pix | 47 Videos
Drywall-Repair-Lehi
249 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
ianpundt
289 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Magic-Of-The-SideSto... San Carlos, CA
626 Visits | 2 Posts | 2 Pix | 0 Videos
httpswwwfaxitfastcom... salt lake city, AL
255 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Owning-My-First-Prop... Grand Rapids, MI
378 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
movers-and-packers Hyderabad, AL
368 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Investment-Propertie... Rochester, MN
420 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters

RatingPosts
Lance in Buena Vista, CO0.002

I love your site so much!!! Thank you! I love to see more and more people join! I tell everyone about this site when they ask me how "I" "know" so much about construction - I really don't, but I remember what I have picked up from the forums, and it has made me feel more confident and seem like I know what I am doing. I save so much $$$$ with this knowledge. I am now on my second owner-builder project. Muchas gracias. We should try this in the Latin Market!!! I'll translate! Have an amazing day! You have created something awesome!!
Claudia Chavira

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.
25,000 pages of free owner-builder resources.  We accept no ads.

Chief Architect: Yes or No?


Filter by date: and/or Keyword



Reply... Subscribe to this topic


Dennis's Forum Posts: 5

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dennis in Union Grove, AL on 11/10/2009


So I have been checking out home design software, as the prices seem to run from pennies on the dollar to several thousand depending on the brand and functions.

Chief Architect X2 full version @$1,995 seems to be what I'm looking for based on needing something that will produce a complete set of plans. Home Designer Pro 9.0 is a watered-down version @$495 but will only produce 18x24 prints (X2 will produce 24x36 and up).

I can outsource the architect work @$10K-$15K or I can spend a couple thousand and do this myself. I know there is going to be a learning curve with this software, but I have a couple years before I break ground to master it and produce a workable set of plans.

My house will be 2,400 sq ft living space and about 4,600 sq ft total under roof (garage, porches, large rear patio) with a 1,200 sq ft detached garage on a 3/4-acre lot.

What are your thoughts on this?


Reply...


P's Forum Posts: 286
Interview Answers: 44

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By P in North, FL on 11/12/2009


Toi says that she found the learning curve on Chief Architect to be small. She loves the program and says it is easy to use. I have seen the rendering results, and the models look great.
Reply...


Adam's Forum Posts: 3

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Adam in Syracuse, NY on 1/29/2010


I began using Chief Architect X2 a few months back for a complete home renovation. I am a civil engineer by trade and I found the program to be very intuitive, and it has a decent help file as well. 

Are you trying to go around using an architect to custom-build a home? An architect or engineer may still have to review your plans, and depending upon the state in which you reside, they may not legally or ethically be able to stamp your drawings. Make sure you understand that you will still have to spend some $$ to have it reviewed by a design professional (most likely engineers for foundation/soils/concrete/structural and maybe architect for the rest of the home). That is still very expensive. 

All in all CAX2 is a good program. Autodesk Revit is good as well, but harder to use.

Hope that this helps.


Reply...


Rob's Forum Posts: 2

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Rob in Nelson, AZ on 2/3/2010


We used the $99 basic version to draft our place 'rough', then passed it off to a registered home designer for completion and engineering stamps of actual plans that can be submitted for permits. Of course, the designer made some suggestions for changes that we integrated into our design.

Cost was about $.50 per sq ft.     

If you are fairly good with software like Photoshop or similar "art" programs, you can pick up the Chief Architect software in a few hours. I picked it up quickly, but I'm a computer nerd. If my parents were to try to use the software it would have been a total disaster.

Download the demo; it's free and it will give you an idea on what it is all about. It's fun, but honestly even if you got X2 for free you probably wouldn't be able to cover all the engineering requirements and 'know-how' without spending more time on it that is economically feasible.

A house is a complicated beast, and there are reasons architects go to school.

Just because I bought a Fender Stratocaster guitar doesn't mean I can play like Eric Clapton ;)

Reply...


Mark's Forum Posts: 72
Interview Answers: 4

Private Message

My Construction Website


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Mark in Seattle, WA on 2/27/2010


I paid $140 for my version 6.2 copy of Chief Architect off of eBay. I later learned that the copyright does not allow resale, so even though I have the original CD, manual, box, USB key, etc., I don't have tech support (not necessary since it's a quick learn) and it's technically an illegal copy. I found this out after my house design was basically done. CA was not at all surprised when I contacted them, and they just informed me that there was no support offered.

For $2K for a copy of CA, my support wouldn't be quite so glowing, but CA still gets a recommendation. I first went to an architect and got a bid of $30K. Unless you're going to try something really out of the ordinary, you can do it yourself with CA.

Here are some benefits that will make it easier for you and can pay for the program.

1. Plans. Most building departments don't want or need plans on 24x36" blueprints. If you can give them an overall at 1/4" or even 1/8" to the foot and then details on the important areas, and you can print it all on 8.5x11 paper. That's what I did, and there were no printer costs. Revisions, whether your choice or the AHJ's request, aren't an issue. My building department requested two changes and I had the revised plans in their office the next day.

2. Models. Often overlooked, making a model of the house can be important, even though CA gives you a 3D image. CA prints out elevations for every exterior wall. Paste them on foam board, cut them out, glue them together, and you have your model. Set it in the sun at the right orientation and watch how the sun angles change. Check out the first blog on my site for my model.

3. Bids. You can print out just the pages that the framers (for instance) need to generate their bids. If you want 10 bids, print out 10 copies. You don't have to mess with blueprints and wait for a bidder to finish with the blueprint in order to send it to the next bidder.

4. Takeoffs. I found CA to be incredibly accurate. Down to the half sheet of plywood for the roof sheathing. Drywall the same. I got bids for plaster and could tell the bidder the amount of wall and ceiling. You will get more accurate bids and more respect when you tell subs exactly what you want.

5. Control. I guess the control freak in me was what makes me really like CA. Move a window four inches; no problem. Can't imagine paying an architect for that. Although I'm sure that the building department wouldn't like to hear this, if during the course of construction you have an issue or simply change your mind, you jump on the computer, move the wall/appliance/footer etc., and print out your new plan. Unless you've added an additional floor, the AHJ doesn't know and what they don't know won't hurt them.

I'm not quite ready to put my copy back on eBay, but when I do, I'll get what I paid and will have had a lot of fun.

Mark


Reply...


Mark's Forum Posts: 72
Interview Answers: 4

Private Message

My Construction Website


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Mark in Seattle, WA on 2/27/2010


Just went to my blog site. The 3D model is the this post and the model is here. What a long, strange trip it's been.

Mark


Reply...



Reply... Subscribe to this topic

Copyright 1997-2020 Consensus Group Inc.