Training Courses

Chief Architect offers a variety of training courses designed to introduce you to the software's toolset and best practices for productivity and success. All courses are designed, regularly updated, and presented by certified Chief Architect instructors. Courses are available in physical classroom, virtual classroom, and on‑demand formats to best suit your needs as well as your schedule. Please see our current training schedule.

Physical classroom training events are typically composed of two eight‑hour days while virtual classroom training events are typically composed of four four‑hour days. Class sizes range from 10–36 attendees and each instructor is joined by one or more assistants to maintain an attendee to trainer ratio of approximately 12:1.

On‑demand training is composed of a series of videos that correspond with the material presented in our classroom events. Each on‑demand video series runs 6–8 hours in total length. On‑demand recordings are available for a year from the purchase date.

Paul Eyestone
Clint Adamson
Amy Hagen-Cowell
Sarah Swenson

Courses Offered:

Should I take an Introductory or an Intermediate level course?

Kitchens, Baths & Interiors

The Chief Architect Kitchens, Baths & Interiors courses are designed with the interior design professional in mind, demonstrating how to efficiently create floor plans, wall elevations, 3D renderings, and construction drawings. The classroom courses are offered at both Introductory and Intermediate levels, while the on‑demand video series incorporates both levels.

Kitchen, Bath & Interiors Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand how to use productivity tools such as templates, defaults, layer sets, and saved plan views
  2. Understand how to create and customize architectural objects such as cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, doors, windows, polyline solids, stairs, and ceilings
  3. Efficiently dimension plans and elevations both automatically and manually per NKBA standards
  4. Create layer sets, custom dimension defaults, and saved plan views
  5. Understand material property settings and create custom materials
  6. Understand cameras, elevations, rendering, 3D walkthroughs, and the 3D Viewer app
  7. Produce scaled construction drawings including kitchen and bath plans, elevations, details, and schedules

Course Prerequisites:

Kitchen, Bath & Interiors Course Topics

Floor Plans and Structure

  • Kitchen and bath floor plans
  • Electrical plan
  • Roof and ceiling tools
  • Stairs
  • Wall Elevations
  • Dimensions

Renderings and Presentations

  • Material colors and textures
  • Rendering and ray tracing
  • 3D walkthroughs
  • 3D Viewer App

Custom Design Elements

  • Kitchen islands
  • Apron sinks and Custom Countertops
  • Custom Backsplashes
  • Shower with niche, custom tile
  • Tub platform
  • Cabinet schedules

File Management

  • Plan and layout file management
  • File backup and printing to PDF
  • Layout/construction documents
  • Plan and layout template files

Intermediate Course — Added Content

The Intermediate course leverages knowledge from the Introductory course and goes deeper into each of the subject areas, including:

  • The most efficient way to create design options for clients
  • Overlaying as‑built floor plans in 2D and 3D for remodeling projects
  • Creating saved plan views with defaults and layer sets
  • Creating a panelized refrigerator with custom cabinet hardware
  • Creating a custom vanity with integrated countertop sink and custom legs

Residential Introductory

The Residential Introductory course is designed with the new Chief Architect user in mind. This course covers the basics of using the software effectively including managing your files, creating and dimensioning structures, creating camera views and sections of that structure, assembling the various views in a layout file, and printing your construction documents.

Residential Introductory Learning Outcomes

  1. Learn the process of creating plans and construction drawings
  2. Understand the user interface, file management, and template files for plans and layouts
  3. Learn to set up preferences and the defaults for various tools to save time in plan development
  4. Learn how to create a plan using the architectural tools for walls, doors, windows, cabinets, foundations, roofs, stairs, framing, and CAD
  5. Learn how to use the camera tools for 3D rendering, elevations, and sections
  6. Create scaled construction drawings using the Layout tool

Course Prerequisites

Residential Introductory Course Topics

Program Interface

  • User interface
  • Toolbars and hotkeys
  • Preferences and default settings
  • Drawing tools and 3D views

Floor Plans and Structure

  • Exterior and interior walls
  • Creating multiple floors
  • Stairs, doors, windows
  • Decks, porches and other Room Types
  • Basic roof styles and dormers
  • Floor, wall, roof, and ceiling framing
  • Electrical

File Management

  • Plan and layout file management
  • Plan templates
  • Layout templates, title blocks and borders, sending views to layout

Interiors

  • Finish materials
  • Room moldings
  • Cabinet styles and layout
  • Appliances, fixtures, and furnishings

Site Plans and Terrain

  • Basic site plans
  • Elevation data
  • Driveways, sidewalks and roads

Residential Intermediate

The Residential Intermediate course is designed for experienced Chief Architect users who would like to dig deeper into manual editing, productivity, and efficiency tools. The course assumes students have the Introductory Training class knowledge or are comfortable with the content contained in the Introductory Video Series.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand productivity tools such as preferences, templates, layer sets, saved plan views, and default sets
  2. Learn techniques to efficiently dimension plans and elevations
  3. Learn how to manipulate roofs, dormers, ceilings, stairs, and framing
  4. Learn techniques for remodeling projects
  5. Learn how to import terrain data and create a site plan
  6. Understand how to use the materials list and master list
  7. Learn how to create and customize plan and layout templates
  8. Learn techniques to efficiently produce construction drawings
  9. Learn how to edit cameras, elevations, and export to the 3D Viewer

Course Prerequisites

Residential Intermediate Course Topics

Floor Plans and Structure

  • Floor plans and dimensions
  • Kitchens and baths
  • Electrical
  • Stairs and stair sections
  • Automatic/manual roofs and dormers
  • Manual ceilings
  • Roof framing (stick and truss)
  • Foundations
  • Dimensions in plan views and elevations

Special Views

  • Terrain and site plans
  • Remodel strategies for as-built, demo, and new

Take-Offs and Presentations

  • Schedules
  • Materials lists
  • Rendering, ray tracing, and exporting to the 3D Viewer

File Management

  • Plan and layout file management
  • Layout/construction documents
  • Plan backup, templates, and layout PDFs

Residential Advanced Level I

The Residential Advanced Level I course is designed for the proficient user of Chief Architect. This course takes a deep dive into the tools and processes in Chief Architect as well as tips and tricks from the developers. This course assumes students have an intermediate knowledge of Chief Architect or have taken the Intermediate class. This course is only offered once a year at Chief Academy in Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Residential Advanced Training

Residential Advanced Level I Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the various tools to improve productivity and efficiency
  2. Learn how to create custom objects using a variety of tools
  3. Become familiar with manually creating and adjusting structural elements
  4. Learn techniques for material take‑offs
  5. Learn efficient processes for kitchen and bath design
  6. Learn how to improve renderings
  7. Learn efficient processes for remodeling design
  8. Learn techniques for efficiently importing and editing terrain

Course Prerequisites

Residential Advanced Level I Topics

  • File management techniques
  • Efficiency tools and processes
  • CAD editing and custom objects
  • Kitchen and bath tips
  • Rendering and materials
  • 3D Viewer App
  • Materials list and name-value pairs
  • Structural interactions
  • Framing tips
  • Remodeling tips
  • Terrain editing
  • Attendee requests as time permits

Residential Advanced Level II

The Chief Architect Advanced Level II course is a collaborative seminar where attendees discuss unique situations and solutions. Attendees are encouraged to bring challenging issues and plans to the class. This workshop does not follow a specific curriculum; the discussion will be driven by situations and topics of interest to the attendees, with moderation and direction provided by the instructors. Attendees should expect to contribute to the learning process in this workshop.

Residential Advanced Workshop

Learning Outcomes

  1. Learn best practices on using Chief Architect's tools
  2. Learn how to solve challenging issues in the software using different methods depending on the situation
  3. Increase your knowledge and efficiency of the software across a broad spectrum
  4. Understand the thought processes and goals behind the features added to Chief Architect Software

Course Prerequisites

General Classroom Training Course Requirements

All Chief Architect training courses are conducted in the current program version. To attend a classroom course, a laptop with a licensed copy of Chief Architect Premier or Interiors X11 or newer with the Core Libraries installed is required. A limited number of laptops are available for rental and can be reserved when the class is purchased. If you'd like to rent a laptop after you've already purchased your class, please contact our training office for availability.