For many, a home is not just a place to live, it’s also a way to build wealth and financial security. A common strategy for millions of homeowners looking to increase their home’s value is to complete home improvement projects. When considering which projects to pursue, estimating the project’s return on investment (ROI) early in the planning process is essential. The ROI for a given home improvement project helps predict how much your home value might increase based on how much money you spend on the project. This is important because it can help you prioritize which home improvement projects to undertake based on your goals. For example, if you spend $30,000 on a home project and this project increases the long-term value of your home by $30,000, then the ROI is 100%; however, if it increases the value of your home by $15,000, the ROI will only be 50% and may have you reprioritizing your list of home improvement projects. In this article, we will discuss home improvement projects that consistently have the best ROI and learn how 3D home design software can help ensure your next project is a success.(more…)
8 Tips to Improve Your Productivity in Chief Architect
Do you periodically take the time to evaluate your use of Chief Architect and improve your productivity and skills in the program? Doing so can streamline your workflow, reduce the time it takes to complete a project, and provide you with higher-quality renders and construction documents. This may entail breaking bad habits and forming good new habits, updating various aspects of the program, or simply learning about unfamiliar tools.(more…)
Design Options in Chief Architect
Design options are choices provided to the client that offers variations in design concepts. Design options can range from design styles, floor plan layouts, and elevations, to material finishes, interior selections, and more. Using the tools in Chief Architect Premier, you can help clients visualize design options to ensure they are satisfied with a home design and provide upsell opportunities.(more…)
How to Plan for a Finished Basement
You may have outgrown your current space in the house and have an unfinished basement that is not utilized. Finishing a basement is an efficient way to increase your living space. Finished Basements can be fitted with plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems and provide a blank canvas for utilizing the space. From home theater and rec. rooms to bedrooms and kitchenettes, the options are virtually endless for providing comfortable living quarters for an evolving household. Whatever your needs require, you can finish your basement to fit your lifestyle.(more…)
Join the Chief Challenge!
The Chief Architect Challenge is a fun exercise designed to test your skills and encourage learning. See how many design elements you can recreate in 10 minutes – a layout page is not required. We recommend starting from the default template file and spend 10 minutes on the design. If you are using a custom template, no problem, be sure to clear out your time tracker entries before beginning. Make sure to download the challenge’s library files. Chief Architect staff will judge the entries – architectural elements are more important than colors & materials.
Chief Architect will host a live webinar each week showing how to create the design in 10 minutes, and a winner will be announced. Each Chief Challenge winner will receive a limited edition Chief Gear kit.
How to submit your design:
1. Email a zipped backup of your plan and material files and one rendering of the project to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Include your name, company information, version of Chief Architect, and in the subject line write “Chief Challenge.”
We look forward to seeing your work!(more…)
How to Choose the Best Computer for Chief Architect and 3D Design Software
Chief Architect produces 3D Home Design Software for professional designers and DIY homeowners. From automated features for quickly creating floor plans, section details, and layouts to photo-realistic 3D renders for visualizing the design, the software is a powerful tool for those with residential design needs. Because the software is so powerful and robust, a question we often hear at Chief Architect is “what type of computer do I need to run the software”? Many computers are capable of running Chief Architect; however, depending on the specs, some will run Chief much more efficiently. Investing in the right computer will also help ensure that the computer will run future versions of Chief effectively for a longer period of time, making your investment more cost effective over time.(more…)
Post Frame Design in Chief Architect
Post frame construction is a building method in which a structure is framed using posts that are connected on the outside with 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 horizontal framing known as girts. The posts are typically placed in a concrete footing or can be connected to a steel fastener that is anchored into the concrete footing. Trusses are typically used to support the roof system. Once the framing is complete the structure can be finished for its intended purpose.(more…)
Comparing Chief Architect Premier and Chief Architect Interiors
Update January 10th, 2023: Chief Architect Interiors has been discontinued. All of the features in Chief Architect Interiors are available in Chief Architect Premier. The main differences between the two programs were that the Interiors version didn’t include features for framing, decks, outdoor living, terrain, and landscaping. If you have a legacy license of Chief Architect Interiors and are interested in upgrading to Chief Architect Premier, this blog article covers the features gained in Chief Architect Premier.(more…)
Webinar Series – Building the Austin Sample Plan
Chief Architect live webinars are a great way to further your knowledge in the software. This webinar series focuses on the process used to design the Austin Sample Plan. These webinars allow attendees to ask questions to Chief Architect staff and hear questions from other Chief Architect users. Sometimes a sneak peek of new features coming to the next version of Chief Architect is provided.
See the full webinar schedule to sign up. Can’t attend the live session? Sign up and we will email you a recording of the presentation.
- Session 1: New Plan Tips & Space Planning
- Session 2: Massing and Conceptualization
- Session 3: Doors & Windows / Schedules & Dimensions
- Session 4: Foundations – Crawl, Basement, Slab, Mixed
- Session 5: Roofs – Styles, Options & Details
- Session 6: Ceilings – Vault, Shed, Trey & A Reflected Plan
- Session 7: Wall Framing
- Session 8: Floor & Roof Framing
- Session 9: Elevations & Cross-Sections
- Session 10: Kitchen Design Part 1 — Floor Plan & Cabinet Layout
- Session 11: Kitchen Design Part 2 — Elevations, Dimensions & Islands
- Session 12: Bath Design
- Session 13: Remodeling/As-Built Overlays
If you are new to Chief Architect or using an older version, a free trial is available for download.(more…)
Designing with Color in Chief Architect
The color and material selections of a space is about more than how it looks. It reflects the charisma of the occupant and how we feel in the room. Whether the occupant is serious and formal or loose and relaxed, crafting a design to the client’s desires while maintaining functionality is an art. In a world with an endless and ever-changing selection of colors, materials, fixtures, furnishings, and more, perfecting a design requires high attention to detail. Design trends are constantly evolving. The fundamental concepts of color theory and how material and color selections affect our emotions have stood the test of time. This serves as a guide for crafting the perfect space.(more…)