I often get asked which Chief Architect program is better for drawing plans: Home Designer Pro or the more expensive Chief Architect Premier? Here’s my take on both.
Home Pro vs Chief Architect Premier
For users on a tight budget, Home Pro is an excellent choice for getting started in 2D and 3D CAD. But beware, the Home Pro version doesn’t offer the advanced features found in Chief Architect Premier.
Fortunately, both Home Pro and Premier are compatible with each other and have the ability to share files. I work with many homeowners and contractors who use Home Designer Pro.
What It Will Cost You
A full license for Chief Architect is priced at $2,695 with a one-year Software and Support Assurance (SSA) program. I highly recommend the annual SSA, because you get access to training videos, library items, unlimited support, and available upgrades. I definitely recommend budgeting $445 for SSA every year.
Home Designer Pro is basically a scaled-down version of Chief Architect for only $495. It’s an excellent option for those on a budget or who only need basic (but excellent) 2D and 3D drawing tools. The SSA option is not available for the Pro version.
Home Designer Pro 2015 Offers…
Chief Architect Premier Offers…
Key Points to Consider
If money is an issue, start with Home Designer Pro, because you can get a $500 Rebate toward a Premium purchase. You can get started and won’t lose money on an upgrade.
If you need only basic plans and 3D models, Pro will work perfectly for you. If you draw a lot of plans, definitely get Chief Premium; you won’t be sorry.
If you do only interiors, baths, and kitchens – consider getting Chief Interiors. Chief is the least expensive option in the marketplace for what it can do; it’s really a very powerful tool.
Chief’s annual $495 Software and Support Assurance (SSA) program is the best value and least expensive of all major competitors. You’ll get upgrades, access to at least one new library per month, unlimited technical support, and access to all training videos. It’s a very good value.
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