Revit, AutoCAD, Sketchup, or Chief Architect

I had raised up a subject to my friend and owner of Dustin Design & Drafting, Dustin.

Very simple and straight forward why do you use Chief Architect Software?    He simply said, "it is a great software to use for residential projects, good for producing 2D floor plans, but most of all to produce the 3D model versions. "

I wanted to find out more so I did a little research myself.  Research on the softwares out there used for residential, and commercial use.  But better for a prospective client to understand the differences and why Dustin uses Chief Architect.

Found this from Chieftalk.....Member Alaskan_sun   Jan 2017

"Revit...more expensive for full version, way overkill and much slower for average residential projects.

Sketchup...cheaper, maybe slightly easier to use for some things, but requires a crapload of plugins and add-ons to do what Chief can do out of bounds.  Also slower in his opinion, when comparing completed 3D models and 2D output apples to apples.

AutoCAD...Really a 2D CAD app even though there's a 3D version.  Kinda pricey for what you get but it still seems to be the standard for a lot of drafting shops.

A lot of us use one or more of the above in addition to Chief to either supplement capabilities or for different projects.  Chief is a good program though and I personally think its probably the best software out there for average to mid range higher end residential.  Especially for smaller shops.  And although a lot of guys use multiple software platforms, I think Chief really can do just about all of it"

From another Chieftalk member .....Brown Tiger  Jan 2017

Chief Architect 

-easy nearly trivial concepts and you can create basic residential layout right away

-true 3d modeling

-Massive cabinet library and options

-Strong roofing tools

-Strong layout [also pretty poor templates are provided out of the box]

-Strong tech, videos and forum support

-Strong: easy to adjust the model

-Provides automatic plan audit tools

-Provides quick import /3D export tools to allow end user walk 3D models

-Provides decent Walkthrough, with colors / textures etc

-Strong Anno Set / Layer set tools [Quick hide what you don't need, adjust fonts, colors based on what you need or presenting ]

-Weak: 3D tools to design new solid elements symbols [addressed by supporting Sketchup]

-Weak: non standard stairs

-Weak: Material list

-So so: floor framing tools

-So so: Floor options, As builts - are done by basically creating separate floor plan.

-Avg: Plugins Ruby is supported but limited.


-Strong Estimation part ( Soft List )

-Strong plan Floor options

-Support for extracting some Google Earth data for plot plan.

-Weak nearly every place else...



-Somewhat difficult to use and requires LOT more clicks and efforts

-Strong BIM

-Strong Documenting

-Provides systems (HVAC)

-Strong collaboration

-Strong plugins

-Strong 3D tools

-Takes way TO LONG to design something

- adjusting structure after is a pain.

-No audit tools...

-Weak libraries

So there you have it,  a bit of a comparison of design software, and why Dustin Design Drafting uses Chief Architect software, and the most recent on the market X12.

So to our prospective clients,  as we say,  you will receive Quality, experise, and professionalism.   We look forward hearing from you.