All Chief Architect Reviews

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Gregg

Construction, 11 - 50 employees

Used more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

4

Reviewed October 2021

Presentation Game Changer

User Profile

Tejshree

Verified reviewer

Civic & Social Organization, 2-10 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed March 2023

Chief Atchitect

Overall chief architect is not the best and easy to use software that I’ve ever use. It is very convenient and user-friendly.

PROS

With adding on features like attenders you can really walk into your home and have complete vision about it. My clients are really very happy after having a picture real view of their dreams

CONS

Rendering needs very high and systems and that involves a good cost

Reasons for switching to Chief Architect

Both software is a little complicated to use

Teresa

Construction, 2-10 employees

Used weekly for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed May 2023

Plans for clients and trades alike!

I can't imagine using any other program.

PROS

I love that I can use one-floor plan to create everything I need to provide to the customers, the foreman, the trades, and the designers to be able to have concepts come to light. Notes, dimensions, and materials are all easily accessible in the program.

CONS

There was a steep learning curve which I still don't feel that I have mastered completely. It works differently than other design programs I am accustomed to used and didn't feel like I naturally knew where tools were.

Reason for choosing Chief Architect

I still use the other programs but the majority of my work is completed in Chief Architect.

Luis

Design, 1 employee

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

1

EASE OF USE

1

VALUE FOR MONEY

1

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

1

Reviewed February 2021

Not a smart software

Horrible

PROS

Nothing, I like absolutely nothing about it!

CONS

Everything, I hate every single thing about this software. It is not smart whatsoever. Once you use smart software, CA will be so insignificant. You have very little room for customization, no phasing, the layout process is completely atrocious. Worst software in existence. Again, one you use good software CA will be a raisin for a brain compared to a highly respected scientist.

Reasons for switching to Chief Architect

Because Revit is smart and CA is not/

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Dixon

Verified reviewer

Banking, 11-50 employees

Used more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

3

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed January 2020

Definitely Chief !!!

With Chief Architect, the system does most of the work for you so you can focus on the floorplan and even in the placement of objects in the rooms, the walkthrough view is also excellent for showing a client the finished project so there is buy-in for the proposed construction or remodel. Landscaping is also easy as the Cadastral can be transferred into the plan allowing for accuracy in placing building on lot

PROS

Found the software easy to understand and use especially with the 3d vies available which can be seen in split screen beside the floorplan, also with the detailed QS breakdown, estimating materials needs accurately is a cinch. The online tutorials and ideas will have you designing in no time

CONS

With all software there is a bit of a learning curve especially with the rapid changes in versions which add substantial changes to the software in terms of materials and objects that can be utilised.

Reasons for switching to Chief Architect

Difficulty and limits of previous software and cad products.

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Stephen Olawale

Verified reviewer

Construction, 2-10 employees

Used weekly for less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed June 2019

QUICK RESIDENTIAL DESIGN MODELING MADE EASY

i have had to crash lot of residential design proposal, chief architect have being productive, giving me a good presentable 3D model, within a short time was amazing, I really don't have to put in some details, it generate them graphically automatically.i have recommended this app. to a friend to avoid delay of presentation.

PROS

The trial version is very helpful especially for novice in the industry who would like to learn, creating my residential designs and models are very much faster with Chief architect, the rendering are good for quick business but might not be the best but very presentable.and files in chief architect not too heavy for my system memory, it works pretty fast.

CONS

creating and modifying complex geometries with chief architect not feasible, if feasible modify is difficult, even the roof generated might not be my taste, editing roof is difficult,shell structures, complex space frame and trusses are not easy with this application, while generating the your simple residential design I just have to go with the generated roof forms, it just not flexible enough for me, but i prefer it when i need a quick simple residential design model done, i will not recommend chief architect for a detailed 2D Drawing,or working drawing it is best for 3D modeling of simple forms of residential buildings.

Vendor Response

Thank you for the comments. Roof design is one of the more complex areas of the software. Here are some resources on manually editing roofs in Chief Architect that you may find helpful. Playlist of roof design videos: https://www.chiefarchitect.com/videos/playlists/95/15-roofs.html

Replied July 2019

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Aaron

Verified reviewer

Construction, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed September 2018

Great Quality and Value

They have a great customer support. They have helped me on multiple occasions. I have the SSA package and it is well worth the value. Must have they will solve any issue you have.

PROS

This software is easy to use easy to learn. You don’t have to attend their classes because they have a great library of videos to help with the learning curve. They also have a great community of people working to help you solve problems. They respond quickly and are always helpful.

CONS

Nothing to dislike for me! This is great software for anyone wanting to get into this kind of design.

Anonymous

2-10 employees

Used weekly for less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed January 2020

We like Chief

WE like Chief Archeiect. We have support only a call away. AND there are many users out there who are willing to help and teach as we go.

PROS

We like that this software is a monthly subscription. We can suspend in downtimes. We like that is easy to use and that there is a large user base to get tips and tricks from.

CONS

There is an issue with the program holding measurements in that we input certain wall lengths and they somehow become skewed...It leaves a rendering our of square. This should be something inherently basic. Maybe we are missing something. We wish there were more LOG HOME related tools.

Vendor Response

Thank you for your review. If you are getting dimensions that seem to be changing, it is recommended when you set dimensions that you work around the exterior clockwise and then double check all dims are correct. Because dims are dynamic it can be easy type in a dimension value that affects another dimension by accident. You may find watching our videos on dimensions helpful, so that you have a exact understanding of how parallel and perpendicular dimensions work and differ. Here is a playlist of dimension videos: https://www.chiefarchitect.com/videos/playlists/92/dimensions.html

Replied January 2020

User Profile

Nick

Verified reviewer

Construction

Used daily for less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed April 2018

Excellent program, very user friendly, great support

PROS

Chief Architect is a very powerful tool for creating plans and layouts for buildings. It is very easy to pickup and there is a number of official tutorials both on their website and YouTube that cover virtually everything the program has to offer. You can make as much or as little as you need in this program.

CONS

Some automatically generated walls and roofs come in incorrectly and can be very difficult to edit and manipulate. Often times there are work-arounds that suffice, but it can be overly cumbersome to edit.

User Profile

Daniel

Verified reviewer

Real Estate, 2-10 employees

Used weekly for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed January 2020

LOVE Chief Architect

I have used this product for almost 20 years on projects, and it’s still my go-to.

PROS

This is hands down the most user friendly architecture software I’ve used. It has what’s the perfect balance of features and ease of product use.

CONS

The graphic renderings can be difficult to fine tune, especially with respect to rooflines. This is typically just a problem using weird height vaulted ceilings.

User Profile

Ana

Verified reviewer

Used more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed October 2017

This is a very good software for architecture or home design. It has helped me in several projects

Very useful for my property management business

PROS

I'm a small business of property management and short-rental, I use the Home Suite version for my projects when preparing new properties. It's a very complete and versatile product. It helps to redesign the space you have in several version and choose the best of it.

CONS

It's not a very user friendly tool and for the version I use, I think the catalog could be better.

Suzi

Design, 1 employee

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

2

VALUE FOR MONEY

1

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

1

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed February 2021

Over engineered, poor technical service.

Poor. When I search the online tools for an answer to a question, I rarely get what I need. What I call something and what they call it are two entirely different things. They have a computer language that only computer minded people understand. It’s not intuitive or user friendly. Complete frustration doesn’t begin to describe it. I’m sure there are better, easier ways to do certain tasks but I’m not paying enormous rates to find out. My advice - don’t waste your money, time or efforts!

PROS

The graphics are good, better than hand drawing.

CONS

I am a kitchen & bath designer and have used Chief Architect for 11 years. The initial cost is high and the yearly “technical support” is up to $525. I am pretty much self taught because the training classes are ridiculously expensive. I have taken advantage of the free courses they offer but otherwise have figured things out by trial and error. In 11 years I have contacted technical support 18 times (less than twice a year). Sometimes they would answer my questions but mostly referred me to their online tools, one of which is other users answering questions - how [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN]. Yesterday I contacted them to get an answer on what I assumed would be an easy question (I searched the online tools but got nothing). I needed a knee wall that started at 42” high and tapered to 34” high. Their response was that it was beyond technical supports capabilities, but, I could pay $125/hour for someone to help. Really??? Needless to say I responded with my displeasure. The $525/year does get me updates, but that is virtually it. For what I need, the Interiors program is over engineered. In my old program, when I needed a vaulted ceiling, I entered the height of one wall and the height of the other and voila, done. In CA it’s a complicated, multi (10+) step process. Likewise, rotating the direction of a wood floor should be as simple as 2 clicks, but no, another multi step process.

Reasons for switching to Chief Architect

Better graphics, more options.

John

Architecture & Planning, 2-10 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

4

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed July 2020

Using Chief Architect since 2005

Great

PROS

I've used two versions of CA over the last 14 years. It was easy to learn; that is, I learned by trial and error and rarely going to see what others were doing on CA website. It has delivered very good, if not photo-realistic renderings when using the raytrace feature, and I can go through the design and working drawing phases of a residence in a matter of ten days or so for a very custom design comprising 9 24" X 36" sheets. I can't say enough good things about my experience. There have been some minor glitches with this software, but the autobackup feature prevents catastrophic loss. I'm considering getting the latest version. It's gone up in price since the old CA version 9.5 that I purchased, but I'm sure it will be worth the cost.

CONS

As I said there are always glitches in software as complex as this. There were times when I had to hide certain layers to determine that a specific piece of furniture was preventing the program from creating a 3D model, then modify the object or change it out, then replace the layer and try again. This is a small problem and they probably have fixed it on more recent releases. Many of the problems I believed I had I've solved over time by looking for a solution that was right in front of me. It is very difficult to create software tools that are always "intuitive" no matter how you approach them. For example you may expect to see a tool for doing some function nested within a group of similar functions, but it may be elsewhere. That's the way it is with all software. I will say that documentation could be better. Seems like every issue I have isn't in the index or table of contents, and I very much dislike being scooted to a webpage of issues and have to guess by their titles whether it might pertain to my problem. It's like this everywhere. CA isn't alone here.

Reasons for switching to Chief Architect

Too expensive. I'd been a teacher of architectural drafting and had been using it free, but had to consider my personal budget.

Todd

Architecture & Planning, 1 employee

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed May 2019

Best instant 3D Residential Software I've ever used!

I have been using Chief Architect since 2015. Before that I used AutoCAD for over 20 years. I've also used REVIT and Sketchup, but for what I do, which is Residential Design and Remodels, this program proved to be the most versatile. There is somewhat of a learning curve the first 6 months, but impressive when it comes to showing clients who have a difficult time envisioning 3D from 2D drawings. The customer support is really A+. They usually can figure out any problem I'm having or will consider a "work around" option that may still get me the desired effect.

PROS

The fact you can instantaneously see what you've drawn in 3D and that you can import models into the drawings as you need. Also it's constantly being updated with new useful features and better output results. KUDOS for the programmers. It's not flawless, but it is impressive for what the program can do. It has definitely made my work easier & faster. Also makes my services more marketable.

CONS

There are simple commands in AutoCAD that are not in Chief Architect that I wish could be there, like hatch, fillet, extend, trim, stretch, rotate, hatch, etc., so it's not the greatest to use when I do have to draft in 2D at times. You can do most of these but the way you have to get there is more time consuming. The result I get when I do a section through a building results in me having to create a DWG then editing it to remove extra lines I can see to get the final image I need. However, the time to do this is offset by not having to get the base drawing of the cross section done from scratch and I can see instantly if there is a problem with roof/ceiling heights, floors or any other issues. The training classes are too expensive for me and the SSA hurts my wallet but is worth having it.

Rachel

Architecture & Planning, 2-10 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

3

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

3

Reviewed July 2019

Do you have to release a new verion earch year?

In the X11 version, views glitch when I zoom in and out, window labels display 2 (") inches measurement symbols when the " use default formatting" box is checked, material regions work on occasion, curved roofs are very finicky. There are other issues as well but the list is too long for this comment box.

PROS

It is a great software with a great many features.

CONS

I don't like that major bugs and kinks are never ironed out of the software before the release of a new version. I wish they would fix what is broken first. Each new release for the past 3 years seems to be worse and worse....

Reason for choosing Chief Architect

Affordability

Vendor Response

Thank you for the review and comments. I think we can help. There is an optimization you can make in preferences to fix the zoom and pan issue. For the double inch symbol is sounds like you may have inadvertently added that symbol to the macro in the label and have the use default formatting checked. You can reach out to our in house Tech Support for assistance with getting this resolved if needed.

Replied July 2019

Tony

Construction, 501-1,000 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed May 2021

Chief Architect it my CHIEF go to design software!

Our experience has been great. We've been able to implement this quickly and train multiple users. We wouldn't do business without it.

PROS

Like any 3D CAD software there is a learning curve. If you've used other 3D software like CAD of 2020 Design software, this will be much more intuitive to you. Sure the controls are a bit different but the idea is the same. Draw walls, will in with cabinets or objects and render photo realistic drawings, or close. :) I love that these isn't a lighting issue like with other software. Chief Architect lights the room automatically and it looks great the first time. This is invaluable in a clients home to very quickly show what a project will look like.

CONS

There's very little to complain about with this software. I use another software to price cabinets so the ability to load a catalog "with pricing" would be great. But I use a spread sheet for that anyway so it's not a hinderance.

Reason for choosing Chief Architect

We did not "switch". We added to our current software programs of 2020 design and Cabinet Vision. They all have different uses. This is the best for in home selling.

Mark

Verified reviewer

Construction, 1 employee

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

2

FUNCTIONALITY

4

Reviewed March 2019

TOTALLY NON-INTUITIVE

The speed of generating a 3D building for a client to see can be very quick, but the learning curve and the inherent limitations just made it not worth the effort. I spent 40+ hours trying to generate drawings for an existing house, while client made changes on the fly. I couldn't overcome the learning curve or the limitations in a timely fashion and not only didn't get paid, but lost the client.

PROS

As long as you want to do something already "canned" in the software, it's got some really sweet features. The immediate 3D renderings are outstanding!

CONS

There's very little about the program that is intuitive to the way CAD has been traditionally taught. And if you need to make an exception to what it "thinks is normal", OMG what a flippin' nightmare! IF you can get it to at all do what you want. The building of custom wall types: PITA! I didn't want a footing, but piers for a pole barn: PITA!!! Not even possible to eliminate the footings! Make a material change from sheet siding to lap board: PITA!!! Couldn't find a way to have it change ALL THE WALLS in 1 command. It would only allow me to change ONE stinkin' wall at a time. And THEN, I had to go back and do ALL of the gables, because gable walls aren't part of the walls of a house.

Vendor Response

Thank you for the feedback. I think we can help with the issues you have described. Feel free to reach out to us at 208-292-3400 or sales@chiefarchitect.com If you are changing exterior siding material you can do this easily in a number of ways depending on your preference. My recommendation is to change the siding material in your default exterior wall. This will change all the exterior walls at the same time. This setting is found here: File>Default Settings>Walls>Exterior Walls Pole structures are a more manual process. We have a step by step help article on how to build pole buildings. Here is a link. https://www.chiefarchitect.com/support/article/KB-01069/designing-a-traditional-pole-barn-structure.html

Replied April 2019

Anonymous

51-200 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

OVERALL RATING:

5

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

Reviewed December 2018

Owner and Principal Designer of Interior Design Firm

I recommend Chief Architect to all of my peers who own their firms as well. The technical support is beyond anything you could get from AutoCAD or SketchUp and the price makes it a much better product than Revit.

PROS

I use Chief Architect daily to draw designs for my clients and contractors. It's very easy to use and customize to specific clients or projects. I'm able to quickly and easily provide plans views, elevation views, and camera views in order to express an idea or check feasibility. I can present materials lists to my contractors, budgets to my clients, and keep track of how much time I'm spending on a project. If I ever have a question on how to do something, I can contact easily and get an answer quickly. I also sign in to the webinar trainings because there is always something new to learn or a faster, better way to do a task.

CONS

I wish more manufacturers participated and provided models for the software. I find myself using only CA available vendors on my projects when I need to act quickly. The rendering portion of the software could be more developed.

mark

Architecture & Planning, 2-10 employees

Used daily for more than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra
This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

OVERALL RATING: