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Diagram of features available in all Home Designer products

All features in Essentials, Suite, and Interiors are included in Architectural

  • Interiors

    Home Designer Interiors
  • Essentials

    Home Designer Essentials
  • Suite

    Home Designer Suite
  • Architectural

    Home Designer Architectural
  • Pro

    Home Designer Pro

Design Tools

Design Templates aid in quickly beginning a new project.
  • 20+
  • 15+
  • 35+
  • 60+
  • 60+
Editing Feedback. Preview the placement and orientation of objects while moving your cursor makes adding and moving items easy and fast.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Free Sample home plans for design inspiration.
  • 1000
  • 500
  • 1,500
  • 2,500
  • 5,000
Create Billboard Image. Import a photo of your home as a background scene then design landscaping like plants and pathways.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Reference Display Tool. Turn on a Reference of adjacent floors to aid in designing multi-tiered decks or room layout between floors.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Custom Room Label Controls. Name individual rooms from a defined list of types or create new custom room labels.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Room Labels with Room Size. Display the Dimensional Size and the Square Footage labels for a room at one time.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Multiple Select & Edit Rooms. Group select multiple rooms and edit their attributes at once.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Multiple-Select Editing. For example, select all your cabinets and change them all with one command.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Lock Aspect Ratio for Resizing Symbols and Moldings. Choose to retain the scale of symbol based items and moldings when modifying one dimension.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Center Objects Tool. Center cabinets under windows, windows in walls, dormers on a roof, and several other items 3D and 2D.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Make Parallel Tool. Use the Make Parallel tool to align objects parallel or perpendicular to other objects.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Edit Area Tool. Use Edit Area to select, move, edit, and copy entire regions of your design.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Rotate and Reverse Plan. Quickly change the orientation of your design for alternate versions or to better fit the lot.
  • -
  • Excludes Rotate
  • Excludes Rotate
  • Excludes Rotate
  • Yes
Printable Layout Sheets. Create blueprint layouts with 3D, CAD, Cross-Section / Elevation, and Plan Views. Define any scale for the drawing.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Labeled Callouts. Use callouts to reference between details, plans, and cross-sections in a blueprint layout.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Backup Entire Plan. Export a bundle of all the files referenced in your plan, good for sharing with other users who do not have your custom materials and images.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Space Planning Assistant. Layout out room boxes in a bubble diagram to quickly create a floor plan. Convert diagram into walls, windows, and doors to finalized and furnish the design.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Model Maker™ Tool. Using the Print Model feature allows you to print paper models that are tabbed for assembly.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Virtual Graph Paper™ displays a reference grid.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Plan Check™ reviews your design against basic building principles.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Room Planner Import. Create designs on your mobile device using Chief Architect Room Planner, and then import the rooms for detailed modification.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Import Adobe® PDF Files. Retain print resolution and quality when printing final documents with embedded PDF files.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

3D Tools

Import 3D Library objects in .3DS, .OBJ, .SKP, & .DAE formats. *SKP is not supported for Mac.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
STL Import and Export. Use the .STL format to use with 3D Printers.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Rendering Controls. Set up camera angles and locations to create realistic 3D renderings with shadows in interior and exterior scenes.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Reflections and Fast Shadows in Render Views. Quickly generate views where mirrors show reflections, sunlight streams through windows, and objects cast shadows. Navigate these scenes in real-time.
  • Yes
  • Excludes Reflections
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Rendering Technique Tools. Create artistic views of your designs like Watercolor, Technical Illustration, and Vector Views.
  • Excludes Vector Views
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Export image files of your designs to share. (.JPG, .PNG, .BMP)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Crop Picture Images Added to Plan. Crop handles allow picture boundaries to be reduced or enlarged.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Create accurate day or night-time views of your lighting plan.
  • No Night Views
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Custom Lighting. Define shadows, intensity, and more. Locate lights by label name or room location with the Adjust Lighting Dialog.
  • No Adjust Lighting Dialog
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Easily Control Lighting. Edit controls for lighting allow you to turn lights on or off with a single click.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Lighting Units. Choose from common wattage/lumens values for lights or specify custom values.
  • Yes
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Saved Cameras. Save and load 3D and Render Views to quickly view your favorite camera images.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Save Cross-Section Slider with Camera. Adjustments to views using the Cross-Section Slider are saved with the view when the camera is saved. Control the cut distance of the Cross-Section Slider with an input value in the dialog.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Display Lower Levels with the Floor Overview Camera. A 3D display option allows lower floors to be viewed under a current floor, such as open below rooms used for stairways or lofts.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Full control of render settings allows you to customize your photo-realistic rendering for speed or visual quality.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Delete Surface Tool. Explore your structure in 3D by temporarily removing surfaces without changing your design.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Define the North Pointer for Sun Angles.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Convert Polyline Tool. Create 3D objects (countertops, slabs, terrain features, and more) from CAD objects.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Aerial View. Secondary view window gives overview for fast navigation of plan while editing close up.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Material Eye-Dropper and Color Chooser™. Quick "drag-and-drop" application of materials and colors.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Blend Color Tool. Change the Color of any material while retaining its texture, similar to applying stain to wood.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Record Walkthroughs Along a Specified Path. Add key frames at any point on the spline to control view direction and speed; walk up or down stairs and to span walkthrough between floors.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
iOS Compatible Movies. Record walk-throughs and animations that you can share to watch on your iOS devices. Available in the Mac version only.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Record Walkthroughs with the stylized views of Rendering Techniques.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes

Cost Estimating / Materials List

Standard Project Cost Estimation. Automatically generate a materials list for budgeting and planning an entire project.
  • Interior Materials
  • House Materials
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced Project Cost Estimator. Automatically generate a materials list for budget planning, by room, by floor, or by entire project.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Specify when a room is calculated in the Living Area. For example, specify the garage or attic to be included or excluded in the living area calculation.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Deck and Framing Cut & Buy Lists. A Structural Lumber Table can be used to calculate lumber materials for a Cut & Buy List. This calculation is in addition to square feet and lineal feet calculations and can be especially helpful for your framing and decking board calculations.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Export Materials Lists to spreadsheet programs including Microsoft® Excel.
  • Text File Only
  • Text File Only
  • Text File Only
  • Text File Only
  • Yes
Save snapshot Materials Lists for different stages of the project. Allows you to evaluate different ideas, compare cost differences, and plan stages of construction.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Add detail to each individual component in the materials list for a comprehensive cost estimate breakdown. For example, assign components to your cabinets, such as doors, pulls, and hinges and assign costs for each item.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Master List allows you to store and manage commonly-used material prices.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes

Dimensioning

Manual and Automatic dimensioning. Includes One-Click™ Automatic dimensions.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Auto Refresh Exterior Dimensions. Keep Auto Exterior Dimensions up-to-date as you move walls and openings in your design.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Automatic Interior Dimensions. Automatically dimension interior rooms. Set defaults for locating objects.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Delete Automatic Dimensions. Use the Delete Objects tool to delete Automatic Dimensions from a Floor or the Entire Plan. Manually edited or modified dimensions will remain.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Temporary Dynamic Wall Dimension. Display temporary dimensions as walls are drawn.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced Dimensioning Tools. Includes angular, end-to-end, and interior dimensions.
  • Interior Dimensions
  • -
  • Interior Dimensions
  • Interior Dimensions
  • Yes
Fully Editable Dimensions. Change where dimensions locate walls, windows, doors, and other objects, both when generating dimensions automatically or manually.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Input Accurate Dimensions using a DISTO™ or other Laser Distance Meter. Use a Bluetooth or Wireless compatible device to automatically measure a space then input the distances directly into dimension strings.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Wall Editing with Dimensions. Adjust wall lengths by selecting dimensions or temporary dimensions that run parallel to the wall.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Box and Bumpout Extension Snaps. Snap to projected 90° intersections.
  • not visual
  • not visual
  • not visual
  • not visual
  • Yes
Dimension Location Snaps for Furniture Items. Set dimensions to snap to the centers and/or sides of furniture objects for Manual and Automatic Dimensions.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Manually enter dimensions (lengths or angles) to precisely position walls and objects. Use dimensions to quickly position objects with precision.
  • Lengths
  • Lengths
  • Lengths
  • Lengths
  • Lengths & Angles
Tape Measure Tool. Use the Tape Measure Tool to find the measurements of any item.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
End-to-End Dimension Tool. Drag dimension from start to finish creating a single dimension string.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Dimension Number Height Control. Adjust the number height for dimensions on a per-dimension basis.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Default Dimension Format & Arrows. Control the unit formatting, arrows for the default dimensions. Quickly change the look of the dimensions in your design through a single dialog.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

CAD / Elevations

Create Elevation, Wall Elevation, and Cross Section Views for the interior and exterior of your design.
  • -
  • No Cross Section
  • No Cross Section
  • No Cross Section
  • Yes
Create back-clipped Cross Section/Elevation Views to limit your view to relevant details for precise plan editing.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Clip Cross-Section Views at Sides. Turn on clipping for sides of cross-sections views.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Create Rendered Elevation and Cross-Section Views with photo-realistic textures.
  • -
  • No Cross Section
  • No Cross Section
  • No Cross Section
  • Yes
Import / Export files in DXF file format.
  • -
  • -
  • Export Only
  • Export Only
  • Yes
Standard CAD tools to detail your designs.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced CAD tools to detail cross-section views with insulation, cross-boxes, and more.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Polyline Editing. Select any polyline and choose Close Polyline to automatically connect the start and end points. Editing of filleted polylines retains fillet radius.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Advanced CAD editing tools such as replicate, line weights, point-to-point move, custom patterns, and more.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
CAD-to-Walls™. Convert CAD lines from DXF file format to walls. Convert plans created in other CAD programs.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Visual CAD Snaps™ feature with setup dialog and snap options to control.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Toggle control for Angle Snaps & Object Snaps.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Layers can be used to separate key building components such as electrical or framing. Display or hide features of your design, set colors, lock layers, and use reference layers for precise editing. Use layers to control the display of labels in plan views like: Architectural Blocks, Cabinets, Electrical, Fixtures, Furniture, Shapes, Hardware, Millwork, Plants, and Sprinklers.
  • Limited
  • Limited
  • Limited
  • Limited
  • Yes
Control Placing Objects on Hidden and Locked Layers. Ability to override the placement of objects on layers that are turned Off or that are hidden.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Layer for Camera Labels. Label display for cameras is now independent from the camera display.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Automatic Roof Labels. Display labels for roofs, skylights and holes. Label includes pitch direction arrow and the roof angle in pitch or degrees. Modify the arrow style and text style of the roof labels.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Labels for Layout Boxes. Automatic labels for layout views will display the camera name for elevation and section views or the floor plan name for plan views. Create custom labels that will move with the views and you set up you layout.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Specify labels for Light Source or “added light” objects. Uniquely name light sources in your scenes for easy recognition.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Soffit, Shelf, and Partition Labels. Assign custom labels through the new Label Tab for soffits, shelves, and partitions.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Labels for Bay, Box, and Bow Windows. Customize labels through the Label Tab of the Bay, Box, and Bow Window dialogs.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Primary and Secondary Terrain contour labels. The primary and secondary labels are now independent of each other. Control the highlight for negative value contour labels.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Control Over Arrowhead Style. Specify the arrowhead type used for Joist Directions, Sun Angles, Roof Labels, and Stairs and Ramps.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Text Style Tools. Create Text Styles and assign them per layer, per default, or per object to control the appearance of labels, dimensions and other text in your design.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Limited
Show or Hide Electrical Connections, Architectural Blocks, Hardware, Plant Schedules, and Light Sources using layer controls.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Plant Schedules. Manage multiple schedules of the same type and independently control their display of labels. Schedules update when items in the plan are added to or removed from the schedule display.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Specify Line Style and Fill Style for Schedules. Change schedule grid color and overall background color on a per schedule basis.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Automatic GFCI Outlets in Kitchens. Use the Auto Place Outlet tool to add GFCI outlets to your kitchen rooms.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

Windows / Doors / Cabinets

Standard Cabinet Tools.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced Cabinet Tools. Attach moldings & hardware, angled front cabinets, and more.
  • Moldings Only
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Place Multiple Appliances in a Cabinet. Add an oven and a warming drawer to the same cabinet; adjust or replace the appliance type by editing it in the Cabinet Specification dialog.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Multiple Door and Drawer Styles per Cabinet. Assign different door or drawer styles to a single cabinet; wall cabinets with glass doors on top; base drawer bases with slab and panel drawers.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Custom Backsplash Tool. Click to generate a Custom Backsplash that automatically fits around cabinets, openings, and appliances.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Rounded Countertop Corners for Automatic Countertops.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Frameless Cabinet Settings. Change the cabinet style in one click with the new Frameless and Full Overlay options for cabinets.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Design and edit Custom Countertop shapes and styles.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Pass-Thru Tool. Create an opening between two rooms.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Atrium Door Options. Create Center Swing Double Doors, also known as atrium patio doors.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Visualize door placement prior to actually placing the door with intuitive control of the hinge and swing.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Window and Door Casings Display in Plan View. Display or hide interior and exterior casings using the “Casings, Interior” and “Casings, Exterior” layers.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Lintel and Sill Control. Separately display Lintels or Sills for windows.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Automatic Frame Depth. Set window frame depth to automatically fit into wall.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Door Defaults by Door Type. Set unique door defaults for different types of doors: hinged, pocket, bifold, sliding, and garage.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Control Trim for Interior Doors and Windows. Separately specify the materials and trim assigned to each side of an opening.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
3D Door Display Options. Edit tools “Show Door Open in 3D” and “Show Door Closed in 3D” make it fast and easy to control the state of doors in 3D views.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Adjust the Hinge/Swing Amount for Bi-fold doors.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Parametric Window Tools. Create Double-Hung, Fixed, Casement, Hopper, and other windows styles and change a window's style on the fly using parametric tools.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Bay, Box, Bow Window Tools. Click and drop bay, box, and bow windows in a wall. Resize and customize the unit as a whole.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Floor and Ceiling Material and Thickness Control for Bay/Box/Bow Windows. Specify floor and ceiling finish and platform thickness in the windows’ specification dialog.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Adjustable Louver Sizes. Louver attribute allows you to control their size in windows and doors.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Arched Top Windows & Doors. Specify Round Top, Gothic Arch, or Broken Arch shapes to windows and doors. Adjust the amount of curvature.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Angled Top Window Controls. Adjust the angle of window tops. Apply changes to the left, right, or center of the window.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Window Treatments & Interior Shutters. Adjust curtains by the height off floor and height above casing. Specify shutters on the interior of a window. Blinds fit inside casing when attached to windows.
  • Yes
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes

Libraries / Catalogs

Library Items to customize and create designs.
  • 4,800+
  • 5,000+
  • 6,500+
  • 8,800+
  • 8,800+
Catalog Migration. Core, Bonus, Manufacturer and User Catalogs from previous installs automatically migrate and update to latest version at install time. Use the catalog migration dialog to specify which catalogs to bring forward.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Automatic Catalog Updates. Check for updates for catalogs distributed by Chief Architect and automatically update to the latest version.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced library items - Cabinet/Door Hardware, and molding profiles.
  • Moldings Only
  • Moldings Only
  • Moldings Only
  • Yes
  • Yes
Ability to Add items to the Library Browser.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Ability to Export Custom Libraries. Share your libraries with other Home Designer Users.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Library Search Bar. Quickly search for Library items by keyword, object type, or style. Search results instantly display nad update as you type. Customize search attributes for User Catalog content.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Library Browser filtered views. Choose to show or hide entire library catalogs in the Library Browser tree.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Library Tree Categories. Manufacturer, User, Home Designer Core, and Bonus catalogs are grouped into separate categories for easier navigation.
  • Yes
  • Excludes Manufacturer and Bonus categories.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Library Object Shortcuts. Create shortcut items to any object in the Library Browser to customize your organization.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Library Catalog Downloads Status. Options to Continue or Cancel downloads when Home Designer closes. Catalog Downloads automatically restart if Home Designer is closed then re-launched.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Multiple Select Library Items. Use the Shift or Ctrl keys to copy, move, and edit groups of objects.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
View number of Objects in Library Catalog. Select any folder to view on the Status Bar the number of items.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

Stairs / Ramps / Railings

Shoe Control for Railings. Control the height off of floor for the bottom rail (shoe) for Railings and Ramp Railings.
  • Railings Only
  • Railings Only
  • Railings Only
  • Yes
  • Yes
Control Railing Beam Materials. Set the material assigned to beams above railings separately from other railing components.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Assign symbol Railing Balusters, Newels, and Panels. Specify railings, balusters, and newels from the Library Browser for railing walls.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced stair tools allow control of shape, starter treads, flaring, tread width, and more. Full control over curved staircases.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Limited
  • Yes
Wrap Around Stairs. Join stairs on outside or inside corners.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
One-Click™ Stairs & Ramps. Auto place stairs from platform to platform. Place full length stairs with a single click. Stairs and Ramps automatically connect to the terrain when drawn from the ground to the structure.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Define Stair Starting Elevation. Specify whether stairs and ramps are located at the sub-floor or the finished floor elevation.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Landing Tool. Create Custom Landings to auto-connect Stair sections or Ramp sections together. Choose auto adjust features for the height and thickness based on stair or ramp connection. Turn railings on or off per Landing edge.
  • Excludes Editing and Auto Adjust
  • Excludes Editing and Auto Adjust
  • Excludes Editing and Auto Adjust
  • Excludes Editing and Auto Adjust
  • Yes
Ramp Tool. Default Ramp is ADA compliant. Specify length, slope rise and run for non-traditional ramps such as skateboard ramps.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes

Building Tools

Automatic building tools for roof generation, stairs, dimensioning, foundations, and more.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Automatic building tools for framing and electrical.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Ceiling Plane tool - create custom ceilings of any slope and shape; vaulted, cathedral, and more.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Building tools to customize floors and ceilings. Control over ceiling height and vault.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Automatic Roofs. Gable, hip, shed, gambrel, and more.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Gable & Hip Roof Toggle tool. Toggle the roof between these two styles using the Gable / Hip tool in 3D and 2D.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
One-Click Auto Dormer™. Build dormer on roof automatically while cutting a hole for the ceiling.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Automatic Structural Dormers. Build dormers automatically with walls that reach the floor.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Dormer Overhang Controls. Separately control the eave and gable overhang distance for automatic dormers.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Unblock and manually edit Automatic Dormers.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Auto Place and Delete Corner Boards and Quoins. Automatically add or remove trim details to wall corners.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Auto Roof Returns™.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Ridge Caps automatically generate on roofs.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Actual and Projected Area of Roof Planes. Find references to both the Actual and the Projected square footage of Roof Planes in the roof dialog’s Polyline tab.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Manual Roof Tools. Create and edit any custom roof planes. Start with an automatic roof and then add custom details, or create the entire roof manually.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Control Rafter Spacing per Roof Plane. Specify rafter spacing values for individual roof planes in a design.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Customize construction methods for walls, floors, ceilings, and foundations. Specify wall layers, floor structure, platform height, mudsills, framing methods, and more.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Design Multiple-Story Buildings. Create structures with up to 5 floor levels in addition to an attic and basement foundation.
  • 3 Levels
  • 3 Levels
  • 3 Levels
  • Yes
  • Yes
Custom Wall Types. Create, copy, and delete wall types with layers to match your projects.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Half-Wall Tool. Draw half walls and specify their default values (also known as solid railings).
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Create pony walls and edit wall shape in cross-section view. Add beadboard to a kitchen, add stone to the outside of your design, or create a stepped foundation for a hillside lot.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Limited
  • Yes
Pony Wall Height Controls. Adjust the height of individual Pony Walls by typing the lower wall’s height into the dialog.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Specify Foundation types by room.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Treated Bottom Plates. Any wall over concrete foundation or flooring automatically generates a treated bottom plate.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Elevation and Cross-Section cameras show the foundation in the view - see your basement, slab, or crawlspace in a section view.
  • -
  • No Cross Section
  • No Cross Section
  • No Cross Section
  • Yes
Vertical Footing Control. Define stepped foundations with vertical footing control. Choose to show or hide vertical footings for stepped foundations.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Specify Foundation Piers as Round or Square.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Garage Slabs with Monolithic Foundations. Select components of the slab and adjust garage specific settings to suit your design
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Foundations with Slab at top of Stem Wall.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Display cutout indicators for Garage Doors in foundation stem walls and curbing. Choose to show or hide foundation cutouts in Plan view through the window or door’s dialog.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Show or Hide through Dialog
Foundation Defaults. Detailed control over the foundation automatically generated for Garage rooms.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Monolithic Slab technology. Designing slab foundations is fast, easy, and accurate.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Slab Volume listed in the slab specification dialog for easy reference.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Control Roof Lookout Framing. Turn on or off the automatic generation of lookout framing in the Framing dialog.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Manual framing tools for fully editable framing, including joists, rafters, trusses, beams, posts, and more. Create any framing system for your design.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Automatic Framing Control. Set the program to update your framing as the design changes.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Post & Beam Framing Tools. Specify Round or Square posts. Set the Default Material for Posts in the framing defaults.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Specify the size and style (In Line, Stagger, or Cross) of Roof Blocking and Bridging.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Advanced architectural object editing including replication, rotation, and reflection.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes

Landscaping / Decking / Terrain

Landscaping Plants
  • Interior Plants Only
  • 500+
  • 1,500+
  • 3,600+
  • 3,600+
Plant Encyclopedia & Plant Chooser™
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Plant Hardiness Zone Maps
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Plant Schedules. Generate a list of all the plants used in your design.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Grow Plants Slider Tool - 0 - 20 years.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Distribute Objects in Garden Beds. Auto-populate your garden beds automatically.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Show plants with filled colors in your 2D landscape design.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
2D plant symbol types allow you to customize the look and feel of your landscape and plants.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Lock and Reset the aspect ratio for plants and images - choose to stretch or resize plants and images based on your design needs.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Landscaping Style Templates.
  • -
  • -
  • Limited
  • Yes
  • Yes
Complete Deck & Fence Tools.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Deck Designer™ Tool. Design Straight and Curved Decks. Define roof and ceiling attributes for a covered deck. Control the orientation and size of deck planking, gap, width, overhang, direction, border planks.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Auto Re-Build Deck Framing. Deck Framing updates as the deck design changes.
  • -
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced Railing Tools. Custom Railing Panels, Control of Height & Railing Styles, great for custom decks.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Polygon Deck tool creates deck shapes automatically.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Deck Planking Control. Change angles, borders, and create patterns with deck planking.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
Pre-Arranged Garden Beds.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Standard Landscaping Terrain Tools.
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Advanced Landscaping Terrain Tools. Hill and Valley tools for terrain features.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Terrain Hole Tool. Cut holes in terrain for pools, spas, and advanced terrain features.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Define custom Terrain, including sloped lots and input elevation points.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Import Terrain Assistant.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Create split-entry homes with daylight basements.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Straight & Curved Terrain Walls, Curbs, & Retaining Wall tools.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Straight & Curved Roads & Sidewalks, & Driveway & Parking Lot tools.
  • -
  • Straight Sidewalks Only
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Stepping Stone Tools. Click and drop stepping stone shapes onto terrain to quickly create paths and hardscaping interest.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Water Feature Tools. Create various shaped ponds and water features or design a lake front home.
  • -
  • Round Only
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Stream Tools. Add streams, creeks, and water features to your design.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Image/Plant Object Specification. Set the X and Y coordinates for image and plant objects for specific planting definition.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Define Terrain Elevation Splines, Elevation Regions, and Terrain Breaks.
  • -
  • -
  • Elevation Regions
  • Elevation Regions
  • Yes
Import GPS Assistant. Quickly model your terrain with GPS data.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Display angles as Azimuth Bearings.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Dimension to Plants & Images.
  • Yes
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

General / Support

Updated User-Interface. Dialogs have been updated with a new look and feel, and have been re-designed to optimize the access to controls.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Mac & PC compatible. Chief Architect can be installed and run natively either on Mac or Windows operating systems with a single license.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
64-bit Software Installation option. The 64-bit version is more efficient in managing memory and you will see better performance on larger plan files. A 32-bit version is available and will also run on 64-bit operating systems.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Support for Multiple Monitors. Tabbed view windows can be torn or undocked from main user interface and moved between monitors independently.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Rendered Previews in Dialogs. View, rotate, and spin previews of 3D objects in specification dialogs to get a better sense of their attributes while making modifications.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Maximum Print Size
  • 12"x18"
  • 8.5" x 14"
  • 12" x 18"
  • 12" x 18"
  • Architectural C 18" x 24"
Save Prints in PDF Format. Save to a PDF file for outsourcing a print job.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Loan/Mortgage Calculator.
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Fully editable working environment including customizable toolbars.
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Yes
Home Designer Pro compatibility with other Home Designer Products.
  • View & Notate Only
  • View & Notate Only
  • View & Notate Only
  • View & Notate Only
  • Edit, View & Notate
Compatible with - 3D Home Architect® (Version 3.0 and 4.0).
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Compatible with Chief Architect® (Version 10.0 and prior).
  • Viewing Mode Only
  • Viewing Mode Only
  • Viewing Mode Only
  • Viewing Mode Only
  • Viewing Mode Only
Compatible with Chief Architect® (Version X1-X6). Edit plans created using Chief Architect.
  • Basic Editing, Change Materials & Colors, Move Furniture
  • Basic Editing, Change Materials & Colors, Move Furniture
  • Basic Editing, Change Materials & Colors, Move Furniture
  • Basic Editing, Change Materials & Colors, Move Furniture
  • Yes
Online Training Tutorials with "How-To" videos.
  • 40+ videos
  • 25+ videos
  • 30+ videos
  • 40+ videos
  • 90+ videos
Searchable Training Videos. Use keywords to find exactly the help you need.
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Windows® 8 / 7 / Vista. Mac IOS
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Free Online Technical Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes