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Chief Architect Home Designer Essentials 10

Platform : Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
3.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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PC Disc
  • Entry-level software for home design, remodel, and landscaping projects
  • Over 4,000 library items; drag-and-drop convenience; 500+ sample floor plans
  • Cabinet designer tools--choose from over 1,000 cabinets; create virtual tours
  • Create custom landscaping or site plans in 2D and 3D; 500+ realistic plants
  • Get started quickly with easy how-to videos for step-by-step instructions
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Product Description

Platform: PC Disc

Product Description

Chief Architect E100-12-D Home Designer Essentials 10

Amazon.com

Home Designer Essentials is an entry-level title to help you with your home design, remodel and landscaping projects. With over 4,000 library items you can create your perfect design. It's fun and easy--start your project today!

Home Design
Professional tools for designing your dream home. View larger.
Remodeling
Design a new room or build an addition. View larger.
Home Design

Creating your dream home has never been so easy. Visualize what your home design project will look before you build or remodel with 3D models and Virtual Tours.

  • Use House Wizard to choose your rooms and then drag them to your design layout configuration to generate a floor plan
  • Choose from over 500 sample floor plans to help generate ideas
  • Automatically generate a cost estimation and material list for your project
  • Design in 3D and 2D Plan View simultaneously and visualize your design ideas
  • Easy-to-use automated building tools for roofs, stairs, framing, cabinets, and more
Remodeling

Visualize your next remodeling project before you begin and save time and money. Move a wall, change a color, add a room, redesign a kitchen and estimate the costs--all before you remodel.

  • Create the Virtual Look and Feel Before beginning your next project
  • Insert doors, windows and skylights with One-Click tools
  • Use the Color Chooser to create the perfect color for your walls, floors, furniture and accessories
  • Assign costs for materials: descriptions, quantities, costs to estimate your project
  • Create a Virtual Tour--by recording your camera movements
Interior Design
Create a new look with advanced interior-design tools. View larger.
Decks & Landscaping
From decks to landscaping, create well-planned outdoor living spaces. View larger.
Interior Design

Experiment with your interior design ideas using 3D models, virtual tours and advanced design tools. It's easy to make your decorating ideas come to life.

  • Choose from thousands of colors and textures or create your own materials using a digital photograph
  • Drag and drop thousands of items from the Library Browser. Easily change the size, color or material.
  • Generate new floors automatically based on your current floor plan design
  • Advanced 3D camera tools: Glass House, Doll House and Final View for truly photo-realistic 3D images
  • Cabinet Designer Tools--choose from over 1,000 cabinets--customize using unlimited styles and colors
Home Designer Product Comparison
Home Designer Product Comparison. View larger.
Landscaping & Decks

It's easy to quickly design the virtual look and feel of your backyard, deck, patio, pool or any outdoor project. Create the Virtual Look and Feel Before You Build!

  • Create custom landscaping or site plans in 2D and 3D
  • Choose from over 500 realistic landscaping plants
  • Design single or multi-level decks including free-standing, tiered and post-and-beam
  • Create driveways, sidewalks and pathways
  • Define decking materials, place and arrange outdoor furniture to correctly size your deck or patio
Get Started Quickly!

The Quick Startup Options Guide will help you begin with "How-To" tutorials based on the type of your project. You can also choose from over 25 easy "step-by-step" tutorial training videos that will quickly get you started on your next home-design project. Live online training webinars are available on a weekly basis and you can access this training via the Internet. Home Talk is a User Forum you can ask question from the community of users. Finally we offer great technical support by qualified in-house professionals.


Product Information

Platform:PC Disc
ASIN B004346R7Y
Release date October 5, 2010
Customer Reviews
3.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #11,989 in software
#176 in Software > Design & Illustration > Home & Garden Design
#1,253 in Software > Lifestyle & Hobbies
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
Media: DVD-ROM
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More

Warranty & Support

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Platform for Display: PC Disc
... but still not quite great.

The short version: About the closest I can come to a recommendation for it is this: everything else I've tried is much worse. Punch! is a waste of money and the 2 or 3 other packages I tried before that were even worse. So Chief Architect wins the race but only by default.

It has a pretty decent user interface but I get so annoyed by the constant signs of money grubbing by Chief Architect. They don't add features to make the more expensive versions valuable enough to buy, they disable trivial/expected features in the cheaper versions in the hopes that you'll be so annoyed with it that you'll spend money for the "better" version.

Some examples:

They disable ledger sized printing in Home Designer Essentials. I have a really nice 11x17 color inkjet printer. The paper size is there in the printer properties dialog, but they prevent it from being used. It pops up a dialog telling me I can't print that size. To get around that I have to make the Home Designer window full-screen, hit Alt-PrintScreen and then open Paint.NET and paste the screen capture as a new image. Then I have to crop the window borders and menus from the image. Then I can print it ledger sized. Every time I want to print our plan I get that little jab in the eye from Chief Architect saying "give us more money and we'll stop jabbing you" :\

Another dumb one - it doesn't save your toolbar settings when you exit the program. It's not the end of the world to have to keep restoring the tape measure, the door styles, the window styles etc. every time I start it up but it's just another reminder every time I use the program that "for only another $250 we'll stop poking your in the other eye" mentality.
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I liked the program for what it can do. I wish it would be a little more friendly so you can start "drawing" right away. I'm not precisely the type of person who enjoys reading the manual before getting to the action and usually I can discover the benefits of the software I purchase. But in this one, I had to go to the tutorial before I could even lift a wall. Once you're familiar with it, you can roll.
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By Ivan on April 3, 2011
Platform for Display: PC Disc Verified Purchase
Bought the product to lay out our new house. Its very easy to use and I would recommend it for others, but it does have a few limitations. There are no options for placing an alarm panel, sensors and wiring. There are no options for placing phone points, likewise for television antenna, tv points and cabling. There are no options for placing ducts for heating or cooling and for a ducted vacuum system. I rate this product as 7 out of 10. Reasonable value for your money
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Platform for Display: PC Disc Verified Purchase
Was relatively easy to use after playing with it for a few days. Wish I could do more with it, but the more expensive version is what someone who wants to do this as a contractor would need the better version. I used this to design an addition and am happy with the result. Haven't had much luck with the landscape part of the program. Maybe it's just me, but could be made easier. I would reccommend this to someone who just wants to do some light design work. Make sure your computer can handle all the graphics. Check requirements before ordering.
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Platform for Display: PC Disc Verified Purchase
Having been out of the architectural game for a while, I bought this product to see if I could realize some of my earlier house projects. I also wanted to find out how intuitive it was to learn. After going through the excellent training videos and database library articles I'm pleased to say that Home Designer is the best amateur home design software I've used. It's easy enough to learn quickly, but complex enough to achieve a realistic and convincing amount of detail. After only a few hours I was able to produce detailed plans and 3D overviews good enough to show a client or impress family and friends.

Since my many of my designs involved complex, organic plan geometries I did find the automatic roof-building algorithm quirky - it produced results I didn't expect with lots of odd planes. It must be said that the program is geared to conventional building envelopes using hipped or gable roofs - though it does handle shed, gambrel and gull-wing types as well. Curved roofs are out of the question - if you want these you'll have to get the Pro version. The Essentials version also doesn't allow the production of framing. However, these are deliberate decisions of the programmers to keep things simple for non professionals. It's more than adequate for conceptual work.

Even though it's relatively simple, there's a huge variety of windows, doors, furnishings, plants and other details to choose from in Essentials so it should be possible to come up a design that reasonably matches your vision - at least if you're not into Frank Gehry or Antonio Gaudi idea territory! The large number of house templates provide a great basis to start from. If you are going to begin your designs from scratch I strongly recommend setting up your defaults first from the edit menu.
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Platform for Display: PC Download Verified Purchase
I was able to model a complex building we are remodeling in a couple of days. A program that does this much is necessarily complex and does take effort to learn. To me it's well worth it! You should check the different editions to see which features you want. Essentials is the base program. Terrain elevations and 3d model import are two features that I would have spent the extra $$ for the "Suite" version Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 10.
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