- Downloading: Currently, this item is available only to customers located in the United States.
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- ASIN: B002CMLEYU
- Date first available at Amazon.com: June 9, 2009
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,785 in Software (See Top 100 in Software) Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
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Chief Architect Architectural Home Designer 9.0 [Download] [OLD VERSION]
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- Chief Architect Architectural Home Designer provides an advanced yet easy to use set of tools for Home Design, Remodeling, Interior Design, Kitchens, Baths, Decks, Landscaping, Site Planning and Cost Estimation
- Artistic 3D rendering techniques for Watercolor, Glass House and Technical Illustration views; 3D Design Tools and Virtual Walk Thru Tools
- Powerful automatic building and design tools like one-click automatic roofs and automatic dormers, material painter, color chooser, deck designer tools and more
- Choose from over 7,000 built-in library items or import your own for unlimited possibilities
- Over 3,200 realistic landscaping plants with plant encyclopedia data
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Architectural Home Designer 9.0 is all-in-one Home Design software and includes: Home Design, Remodeling, Decks & Landscaping, Interior Design, Site Planning & Estimating. It leverages the same professional quality from Chief Architect making it the most powerful and easy to use home design software. Quickly place and arrange walls, windows, doors, and cabinets. Choose colors, place furniture, create decks and landscaping. Powerful building tools like standard CAD tools, automatic roof generation, dormers, stairs, framing, foundations, and Plan Check make it easy. Choose from a Library of more than 3,600 plants and 7,000 items including windows, doors, lighting, furniture, interior/exterior fixtures, cabinets, and more. HOME DESIGN Choose from thousands of styles, colors, wallpaper, flooring, and materials. Move a wall, change a color, add a room, redesign a kitchen, create your own cabinets, and estimate costs before you build. REMODELING Experiment and create models and virtual tours. Arrange walls, windows, doors, decks, and automatically generate 3D models to visualize at any angle. Powerful building and remodeling tools include automatic roof generation, foundations, stairs, and more. INTERIOR DESIGN Choose or import thousands of items to customize your design. Point-and-click to change wall colors, flooring styles, countertops, and more. Choose from name-brand colors and materials or create your own. DECKS & LANDSCAPING Over 1,500 botanically accurate flowers, trees, and shrubs. Create gardens, pathways, hills, valleys, ponds, and more for your outdoor living area. Powerful deck tools allow you to design, visualize, estimate, and build your outdoor living project. SITE PLANNING & ESTIMATING Design your lot and plans with easy terrain tools. Identify your costs and materials for your next project before you begin. Design in 2D or 3D. Add, resize, and automatically dimension your plans.
Architectural Home Designer 9.0 is the latest release from Chief Architect, the professional software design company and the software of choice by more builders, architects and designers. Architectural Home Designer leverages the same professional quality from Chief Architect making it the most powerful and easy to use home design, remodeling and landscaping software.
Create your dream home with powerful and easy to use home design, remodeling and landscaping software. Click to enlarge.
Design the Kitchen of your dreams--move walls, create new cabinets, and add appliances to design your perfect workspace! Click to enlarge.
Powerful deck and patio tools allow you to design and visualize your new deck. Click to enlarge.
Design in 2D and 3D. 3D Views are automatic with a point-and-click of the camera tool. Click to enlarge.
Glass House View provides a full translucent view of your design. Click to enlarge.
Choose from over 3,600 plants with the Plant Chooser. Click to enlarge.
Exclusive All-in-One Home Design Solution
- Choose from over 2,500 Sample Plans
- Choose from built-in home style templates, create your own custom home design or use the House Wizard
- Powerful building tools like automatic roof generation, dormers, stairs, framing and foundations
- Artistic rendering techniques for Watercolor, Glass House and Technical Illustration
Get Started Quickly and Easily
- The Quick Startup Options Guide will help you begin with "How-To" tutorials based on the type of your project
- Use the House Wizard for quick and easy layout of your rooms
- Select from the pre-designed Home Design and Landscaping Style Templates complete with colors, cabinets, decks and more
- The online help system provides detail information on all types of building projects
- Includes over 40 easy "step-by-step" tutorial training videos that will quickly get you started on your next home design project
Kitchen and Bath Design
- Design the Kitchen of your dreams--move walls, create new cabinets, add appliances--Design your perfect workspace!
- Plan the new layout of your bathroom with custom cabinets, sinks, showers and garden tubs. It's easy to visualize your ideas in 3D.
- Create custom cabinets in minutes by choosing your own colors, countertops, door styles and more
- Design your new kitchen or bath using the Cabinet Designer Tools
- Use the Cabinet Designer tools to create unlimited cabinet styles. Choose your own colors, countertops and door styles.
- Material Painter lets you apply colors and materials quickly and easily
- Choose from thousands of colors and textures or create your own materials using a digital photograph
- Design for your lifestyle and personality--change colors, add lighting and choose furniture to accent your new room
- Choose from a variety of interior items--including chairs, tables, sofas, fabrics, accessories and more. Resize, change colors and materials to meet your exact needs.
- Import your own symbols from 3D files types including .SKP, .OBJ and .3DS
- Smart Design Objects, Drag-and-drop from thousands of design objects in the built-in Library organized by category
Decks and Landscaping
- Powerful deck and patio tools allow you to design and visualize your new deck with 3D models and can help you estimate the costs
- Design single or multi-level decks complete with automatic deck framing
- Quickly lay out your deck with stairs and arrange furniture
- Deck foundations automatically generate to match sloped lots
- Plant Encyclopedia to learn more about the plants in your designs
- Choose from over 3,600 plants with the Plant Chooser
- Plant Hardiness Zone reference maps
- See what your plants will look like in 0 - 20 years
- Pathways--Use the Pathway tool to design curb-appealing landscaping using stone, pavers, or sidewalks--line with trees, shrubs, flowers and more
Chief Architect Product Comparison
3D Models and Virtual Tours
- Design in 2D and 3D. 3D Views are automatic with a point-and-click of the camera tool.
- Glass House View provides a full translucent view of your design. Choose other Artistic rendering techniques for Watercolor and Technical Illustration views.
- Planning of furniture placement and traffic flow
- Create a Virtual Tour--draw your record line to Automatically Generate; or record your camera movements
- Visualize your home with day and night views
- Assemble a scale model of your design with Model Maker
- Generate shadows from the sun for realistic 3D views
- Point-and-click to remove wall surfaces, or use 3D Cross-Section Elevation Slider to quickly create a 3D slice of your desired view
Site Planning & Estimating
- Use Automatic Build Terrain and Terrain Perimeter tools to create flat, irregular shaped, or sloped lots--use a GPS to import or enter elevation data
- Create plot and perimeter plans; automatically generate a 3D model of your actual terrain
- Make your backyard design come alive using several easy-to-use terrain and landscaping tools. Add a pool or pond and visualize in 3D.
- Sprinkler Designer tools to easily layout sprinkler zones
- Fences and Driveways--With the Fencing tools you can choose a variety of fencing styles and custom gates. You will also find driveway, sidewalk and curbing tools
- Hill and Valley tools make it easy to add gardens, beds and slopes that automatically appear in 3D views. Choose from landscaping style templates or create your own.
- Cost Estimating--Don't be surprised by the cost of your project. Automatically generate a complete spreadsheet for your project costs, broken down by category. Calculate the amount of lumber for your deck or concrete required for that new patio.
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Top customer reviews
I actually dealt directly with Chief Architect after discovering the switch. I wanted to see if I could just upgrade the base version without going through the hassle another reviewer mentions. Surprise! They immediately took care of the problem and sent me the correct version at what amounted to a $150 discount. EXCELLENT customer service experience, especially considering this was not really their problem. I have not had to use their technical support, but I have high expectations based on my customer service experience and other reviews of their support from various sources.
The software: I have 3 prior versions of this software. This version is a big improvement and includes a lot of additional features, but the basics for manipulating the objects and navigating the interface are the same. A big deal since I didn't want to invest a ton of time learning something completely new. The interface is very intuitive and there are several 'how to' videos included to help you do most common and a few complicated tasks. The help function is easy to navigate and gives very clear step by step instructions for building just about any structure, handling complicated roofs, etc.
To start, I wanted to reproduce my existing house. I very quickly created my property boundaries and correctly placed my house on the defined terrain. After a few more minutes, I had a rough copy of all 3 floors. About another hour and I had all the doors, windows and fixtures in (basic, not customized or exact) and all the dimensions accurate. (Obviously, you do have spend the time to take measurements or crib from a blueprint ahead of time!) This is an excellent tool for planning remodeling and doing 'what if' scenarios. Changing walls, door placement, fixtures, etc. takes literally seconds of pointing and clicking. While you can get things to the point where you can either get very accurate materials lists or enough information to save time and $$ with a contractor, it does take a bit of time investement. There are dozens of included object libraries and you can download (free usually) additional content like name brand fixtures, paints, cabinents, etc. from the Chief Architect site. You also have a ton of choices that allow you to customize all the properties of a particular object - countertop, cabinet face, and so on for color, texture, grain, etc.. In addition, Chief Architect maintains an on-line user community area for chat and Q&A. Definite plus.
One of the main reasons I purchased this was for the changes and updates to the landscaping portion. My yard is currently a disaster and has all kinds of variations in elevation and grading. I'm working with this feature now and it does take some time to figure things out, but I can already see that I'm going to have a very accurate template for mapping out a bunch of ideas we have. Changing elevations and messing with the terrain in the software is actually pretty easy once you figure out how the tool works. The hardest part of this is getting good measurements of the variations in my yard so that I've got an accurate starting point to transfer to the software. If you are starting with a clean slate and not trying to reproduce something that exists, it is obviously much easier. If I ever get around to it, I'll update this review with what I learn.
The only knocks I've found so far are: 1. I'm not very happy with the way stairwells are represented. You usually need to play around with the 'open below' room type and 'invisible' wall option to get things represented correctly; 2. It is sometimes a bit difficult to get odd lenghts to come in exactly when drawing or connecting objects. It usually depends on the viewing/image size and your mouse sensitivity, but there were a few occasions when I spent several minutes trying to get clipped corners on a deck and odd wall sizes to come out exactly as measured.
Overall a great product for the money. Lots of features and easy to use. Highly recommended.
The finishes (floors, walls, etc.) were reasonably accurate as well, with textures and colors easily "tweakable." I especially liked the eyedropper tool, which lets you copy and apply the material of one object (eg, zebrawood chair) to another object (eg, side table to match). When customizing the color of a particular material (eg, textured Tectum wall panel), there's an eyedropper there too, so you can click on an existing object that you'd like to match (eg, wood on the adjacent ceiling), grab that color, and apply it to the texture of your particular material. So no maniacal hit-and-miss eyeballing necessary for a perfect match. Cool! The object info box was wonderful too--here you can input a plethora of parameters for that particular object and accurately customize it to your heart's content.
My only gripes: The exported .jpg images were a little low rez--they're at a nice large size (about 9" x 13"), but you get a few jaggies that even Photoshopping can't get rid of. The perspectives, however, were dead-on accurate. The 3D camera got a little wacky at times--I've found it best to leave 3D and reposition the camera in 2D, rather than use the camera tweaking tools in 3D, which greatly reduced the accuracy of perspectives (you get overstretching and other funky distortions when you go more than a couple of clicks). The colors on screen could be a little more accurate too--with subtle finishes (like Benjamin Moore paint colors), what you spec as a color isn't exactly what you're seeing on the screen. Then you'd have to go back and tweak and export again. But this could very well be just a calibration issue, which I haven't yet looked into (my games and DVDs look great though!).
If you're a designer or design student that has cheap access to the professional version, I'd say skip this one and go for that one--even for a novice like me, I could already tell that this version has its limitations (also, I'm not sure if this particular version is NKBA compliant--the Pro versions are)--but if you're just looking to get your feet wet, or are looking for ways to try out different ideas before going through a costly remodel, this one's for you! Don't waste your time or money on the cheaper versions--you'll quickly outgrow them!
I have read reviews on this product. Only knocks I have ever seen is that the usability is a little difficult at first. I find this a bit true, but a little overstated of a problem in my opinion.
As a professional software engineer, I know that the fact such a complex graphics program, has never once crashed on me, CA has their act together. The object oriented approach that migrates to the User Interface is a superior approach, though that might add to the non-software professional user's confusion. But, it is without a doubt the best approach. It is the future of program usage anyway.
Have not seen a superior one for the home market or a marginal competitor for that matter. And I did look hard. This is the one to buy, in my opinion. If you are not convinced, go to their website and watch the training videos. [...] Very helpful for getting you up to speed.
Still room to improve usability (are you listening CA?) even before you add more features. I give them an A. Improve the User Interface (replace the somewhat ugly/cheesy icons too) and you have an A++.