About Chief Architect Software

Chief Architect Employees Chief Architect, Inc. is a privately held software technology company. The company's founder, Jack Simpson, a physics PhD from Stanford University, was a native of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and relocated the company to Idaho in the late '90s. He initially created the software for home design after experiencing frustration in designing his own home by hand. The product caught the eye of home builders, and Chief Architect's software began in 1991. The company focuses on software for home design. Chief Architect's mission and goal is to make its customers successful with powerful and easy‑to‑use software for builders, designers, architects and DIY home enthusiasts. For professional designers, it publishes the Chief Architect software product line; the most popular product for residential home design. For the DIY home design market, it publishes the top‑rated Home Designer software product line. The two product lines are compatible, enabling professional designers and home owners to share ideas easily. The company contributes a large portion of its profits to the Opportunity Foundation.

A panorama of downtown Coeur d'Alene from the lake.

Chief Architect Software is headquartered in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Learn more.

Chief Architect Products

Chief Architect

Chief Architect® Professional Home Design Software

Chief Architect Software was published for the professional home design market in 1992. It was the first object-based 3D CAD system with smart object design principles; known as building information modeling (BIM). Chief Architect is the market-leading home design software for residential design.

Chief Architect offers two professional software products: Premier and Interiors. Chief Architect Premier is for full residential design and includes all the features of Interiors. Chief Architect Interiors is for kitchens, baths, and interior design. Both products can be rented or purchased and are fully compatible.


Home Designer

Home Designer® DIY Software

Home Designer Software is our best‑selling product line for DIY home enthusiasts since 1993.* It is a powerful, fun and easy‑to‑use tool for DIY home owners to visualize, design or remodel. Home Designer is fully compatible with Chief Architect, allowing home owners to share projects with professional builders and designers.

* From 1993 to 2002, Home Designer was sold in retail as 3D Home Architect under a license with the software publisher Broderbund. From 2003 to 2009, the product was sold as Better Homes and Gardens® Home Designer under a license with the Meredith Corporation.


3D Viewer

Chief Architect® 3D Viewer App

The 3D Viewer free mobile app helps clients to visualize home projects in 3D. A professional designer can export a 3D model from Chief Architect's software and send it to a home owner, structural engineer or subcontractor to view. In the 3D Viewer app, models can be explored with augmented reality and virtual reality tools like walking, flying and dynamic cross sections.

Chief Architect 3D Viewer App

Chief Architect's Response During These Difficult Times

Here are some of the ways we are supporting customers and employees during this uncertain and difficult time. We hope you are safe and can use this time to become more productive with Chief Architect software.

Chief Architect Student License—Free through December 31, 2020

In response to the closing of schools and the number of students that have shifted to taking classes online or remotely, we are offering free student licenses through December 31, 2020. If you enjoy home design or are a professional designer, request a free student license for your kids by completing our student application form. Use our student curriculum and learning resources to get started with Chief Architect.

Software Sale

Chief Architect is offering a discount on software licenses and virtual training courses. Please see our special offers page for more information.

Virtual Training Classes Now Available

We typically offer classroom training every few months across the US. All classroom courses are now being offered as virtual classes. We will have instructor‑hosted courses with screen sharing, chat, and voice using GoToMeeting. In addition to our virtual training classes, we also offer: