What Our Customers Are Saying About Home Designer Software

Chief Architect-Home Designer Pro is by far the best program

We have used many programs in our company’s 47 years of operation. Chief architect and specifically Home designer pro is one of the fastest and with the best results, programs that we have used.

Kofinas Michael

Simple to use for the DIY home owner

This program is a great way to envision changes you wish to make to your home including 3d views to really get an idea of your plans. Great program. Highly recommend over others I’ve tried that were very frustrating!!

John Dunne

Very happy

I learned AutoCAD years ago. Recently I tried another popular 3D rendering option and became frustrated. After I tried the trial version of Home Designer Pro, I knew that I would understand, more intuitively, how to use it.

Abby Karn

need chief architect

I thought I was getting everything with home designer pro but clearly chief architect has many more
options like layers, it was confusing watching the help videos and not having certain options.

Matthew Dawson

Bad changes

Have used this recreationally on and off for years. Recently upgraded to HD Architectural and nothing is free anymore! No cars, games, pools, sheds, gardens! All the stuff that used to be free isn’t anymore! I have requested a refund but have no reply. Awesome program but was better off staying with the Suite.

Josh Martineer

Easy and fast

Great product and priced right 👍

Dominick Minotti
WD Brand

Game changing software

Been years searching for software as a builder, to show my customer their options without hand drawing again. I have downloaded and bought endless amounts of programs. There was nothing out there that did it all with the exception of cad and I couldn’t afford that with having a couple big builds a year. I got the referral for chief architect from another builder. Loved the program, but couldn’t afford it. After taking a demo with chief, they discussed home designer pro with me. Fit my budget better and had everything I needed as a builder to get the job,and get it done. Works great. And makes me feel more like a professional when I can show my clients what we can do. And makes it easier on me to change things with a click. Best decision I’ve made since in business. Tons of learning resources out there for the program. Thank You Chief for making this available!

David E Kurtz

Great Start for a general contractor

We were looking more into being able to have defined prints and designs to provide customers and this has been the easiest to use. The free catalogs have a ton of options, and the catalogs already included honestly can accomplish a lot. The only issue I have had is that it wasn’t 100% clear that I wouldn’t be able to use it on multiple computers at the same time, so we will eventually have to buy other licenses once it is fully integrated in our process.

Elaina Miller

Home Designer Pro versus Chief Architect Premier

No brainer! Go with the Premier if it fits in your budget.
I am currently using Home Designer Pro for a couple of reasons: 1- It is much more affordable, 2- It gets the job done (sort of) for what I currently use it to do. Perhaps I am expecting too much, but I find that I experience issues with automation and framing configurations while using Home Designer Pro, which can be frustrating at times. Is it possible to have access to the same libraries as with Premier?
I have used Chief Architect Premier in the past, so I am spoiled by the functionality of it, all of which has made Home Designer Pro seem like an outdated program. I simply can’t afford the hefty annual fee for Chief Architect Premier, and really wish there were another option available that included up-to-date libraries.

Carolina Architectural Design

Easiest design software I’ve found for the DIY enthusiast

I originally bought home designer over 10 years ago simply to be able to figure out how furniture would fit in my house. I’ve been using it ever since for various home projects, including a major remodel. In my opinion, the Suite has all of the tools I need as a non-professional. There are few minor things that it doesn’t have (such as complete control over what is shown and what is not), but I believe it’s a great tradeoff in order to provide a very useable product at a reasonable cost.
The one thing it doesn’t do that I wish it did is to be able to copy the full (multi-story) house plan from one plan file to another. But this is minor given all the other features available.

Brett Sterling

I used it to design the house that I’m currently living in!

I bought my first Home Designer Professional software in 2015 to design my current home. My local Building Permit Department and my Builder really appreciated all of the detail that I was able to provide with my plans.
I recently purchased the 2024 version of the same software to install on a new computer, and have started designing ideas for my next house. The tutorials, the library, and the help menu are all very useful. I also very much appreciate that I can download scale drawings of actual appliances, paint colors, etc., from the manufacturers!

Kean Songy

Keeps getting better

I have been using Home Designer Professional for 15 years! I drew my own architectural plans with it and passed building permits flawlessly twice. This is great software for non-initiated users. It has a bit of a learning curve, but it does pretty much everything you need. Keep up the good work!

Manuel Hoffmann

Key feature missing

I used Chief Architect v9.5 for residential building. Having left that endeavor for a period of time I’ve reentered that market. I do not like Chief Architect is a subscription only, a purchase option should be available. So I had no choice but to buy Designer Pro expecting all the feature advertised.

Having only just purchased Designer Pro I am still in the process of checking out the features but have come across one issue I find particularly disappointing. That feature is using the Master List to populate the Materials List every time the Materials List is recreated. NONE of the prices saved to the Master List are used in the Materials List. For a builder that is very disappointing. I opened a case with support and they are responsive however this is a program bug. No time to fix this issue was given.

UPDATE FROM CHIEF ARCHITECT: User’s Master List file was corrupted. Support guided him to create a new one and it worked as intended by selecting fields and updating pricing from master list.

I am also struggling with the help system. I find it describes objects and processes but incompletely. Example is how to create, save and use a plan view to isolate specific object groups like electric, plumbing, cabinets, etc. I read the online help and search the knowledge base without success. I will have to open a case to get this seemingly simple and commonly used feature explained. It’s either just the way it’s set up or I’m starting to think it a waste of time to search and open a case right away.

Overall this is a super product.

Robert Gaylord

I love being able to

I love being able to purchase the Home Designer software outright. Got it on sale for black friday weekend. Only took 3 or so hours to understand how to use this program after using Autodesk’s Revit. I was so sick of the month by month subscription service. For a guy like me who just plans on designing my own house plans this produat is absolutely ideal. Ps. I really love how extensive the fixture and component library is. It makes the plans come alive.

Lorin Thompson

Worth trying for sure

I have an extensive background in machining CAD development so I’m not new to this type of software. Home Design is a little clunky and limited in some areas but overall a pretty capable software for the new builder/designer. Has some nice features like the materials listing for getting an accurate estimate of project cost as well as the framing view to see your skeletonized structure. For the price, it’s a good buy.

William Wingfield
Fire 4 Effect Weapon Systems

Great Software

Once you get the hang of the interface, the software is relatively easy to use. It has many quirks – like most software – but they are manageable, The Online Help is pretty useless. Whatever you search doent come up with a response that makes sense. Good thing thay have AWESOME phone support. Those guys are great and without them I might have asked for a rebate – that is how terrible the Online Help is.

All in all – great software with a relatively easy learning curve. the 3D renderings are kille and the layout function is terrific

Rudy Nadilo

Suite is lacking roof tools

I really like suite, it feels like you have options for most everything to customize your design…. Until you get to the roof tools. I’m just a home owner who is designing an upcoming project, so nothing fancy for professional needs. However, designing an Aframe with custom dormers or a more modern inquest roofline is almost impossible in the suite program. I’m also running into issues with other rooflines. The biggest issue is that in suite almost all aspects of the roof is automated. Seems like a huge miss considering homeowners need to be able to customize rooflines.

Marilyn Jeffers

I am addicted to this software

I got this software a month and a half ago because I need to rebuild the deck at my house and wanted to play with some designs and be able to easily make quality drawings for the permitting process. I started with a trial of the Architectural version of Home Designer. My intention was to just poke around, but I very quickly dived into the deep end. After watching a few of their massive library of tutorial videos, I endeavored to model my entire house in the software. I was pretty shocked at how easy it was to do so for someone who never used architectural software before (thankfully I have a copy of my survey, which helped figuring out the terrain perimeter and home dimensions). I have to say – this is one of the most impressive feats of software engineering I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to find the words to describe how well the software just makes everything come together with such detail, even in the Architectural version. When I was halfway through modeling my house, I knew I’d want to be able to save it, so I bought the software only a few days into the trial.

After I completely modeled my home and built a few deck designs, I realized I needed to be able to edit the deck framing elements individually and make the layouts for the permit drawings, which only the Pro version could do. I also needed to be able to customize my unusually built roof. During the course of my home modeling in the Architectural version, I watched more and more tutorials and learned more and more about the software. So much so, that upon purchasing the Pro version, I completely started over and modeled my home again from scratch. This time, I had a lot more control over things (the roof controls were especially helpful) and was able to get laser-sharp accuracy of all my fences, retaining walls, exact pool location, driveway and patio shapes, etc, by importing my survey DWG file. So now I have an even more accurate version of my home in the software and can build even more accurate and code-compliant deck designs along with their accompanying drawings.

On top of all that, once I’m done finalizing whichever deck design I decide to go with, I’m sure I’m going to want to design a “dream home” from scratch. The software is just too fun to use not to.

I wish I could give it 4.5 stars because it’s worth more than four, but not 100% perfect. There’s no way to have the deck automatically build the framing with a flush beam instead of a drop beam. Adding that would be nice because a lot of lower decks need it. Thankfully, the Pro version lets you change the framing and supports manually.

Secondly, every once in a while, it takes a good bit of nudging around to get certain things to work right. Retaining walls are one example. Sometimes, you really have to work with elevation lines and shapes to get them to look right. Elevation altogether is a pretty tricky animal that takes some time to tame. Another example is that sometimes the auto deck framing does wonky things with exterior walls until you manually adjust them. They’re minor annoyances though. The software is still pretty close to a 5-star.

I’m attaching a drawing of one of my deck ideas. It’s being built over the old driveway and pavestones that already exist in my yard. It’s based on a pretty dead-on representation of my yard’s elevation changes. I was very happy to have been able to get that dialed in, though it took some work to get the terrain slopes right. Probably a lot easier to do with an empty lot and a Total Station to set a hundred elevation points. 😉

Tyson S.

Don’t try to design a home with HDP

The software does many great things, and is easy to learn, but you can’t fully design a home with it. Key functions for roofs, and foundations are only available in full scale Chief Architect. Try to design anything that’s not a standard home and forget it. For instance an A-Frame with exposed beams and SIP roof with T&G facing. Or a Superior Wall precast foundation.

Worth the money for interior design, and basic home layouts. There are ways to spend hundreds of hours faking in what you want if you got the time as well. Also note that key home component’s like Simpson Strong-Tie are only available in full Chief Architect. I think there should be an option to at least buy key catalog components for the pro version.

Christopher Clover

Learning curve

Good software. Still in the early learning curve. The webinar was very helpful.

Paul Reidpath