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TheSwede

Home Designer Architectural or Pro for a beginner?

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I am a newbie to all kind of 3D-programs, but have become interested in designing/modelling houses and other buildings. I have downloaded the test version of Home Designer Pro and I liked it very much. It seems to be a great program for my needs (but as a beginner it is hard to know what the needs really are..).

I have compared different versions of the Home Designer and the more professional Chief Architect Premier X8. The Premier is to expensive and I don't need such a professional software to do what I want..I think. The Home Designer Suite packade seems on the other hand to be a little bit to simple. So..Pro or Architectural version!?

When I compare these two versions I can see that there are a lot of things missing in the Architectural version which can be find in the Pro version. But many of these things do I not know if I need or not. I don't know how essential they really are..

Some things would I have liked to see/do in the Architectural version: editing a couple of windows, doors etc at the same time, rotate the whole plan/house, set the north point and building the roof manually. But I think I can live whithout these things..at least for a while.

I think it is best to go for the Architectural version first..and if it is not enough it is allways possible to upgrade to the Pro version later. What is your opinion? Do you think I will miss some functions or tools if I go for the Architectural version instead of the Pro? My reason to go for the Architectural version in the first place is to save some money. But if I will miss some very important features with that version I will rather pay the double and get me a copy of the Pro version.

So..which version do you recommend me to start with?

Thanks!

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I have been through a similar process this year and ended up starting with Pro in January after considering Architectural.  More recently I moved up to Premier X8 despite being a home user just working on my own renovation (I find it fun for some reason :)).

 

Chief Architect give fair upgrade prices so you won't lose out starting with Architectural and moving up as required.   However I can now say I would have regretted getting a lesser version than Pro to start with as the time to work around limitations is something you don't get back.  Now on X8 I am finding myself reworking some areas with the superior features and wishing I had started with it (I never dreamt of spending that amount originally though!).

 

Pro has quite a few more manual tools than Architectural and for me I would have struggled without manual roof control, custom counter tops and some other similar features.

 

So my advice would be if you can afford/don't mind the cost of Pro and want to avoid possibly wasting some time then start there.  It will give you a much better and less frustrating experience from the start and if you're doing it partly for interest then that's important.

 

The main reasons that pushed me from Pro to Premier X8 was the ray tracing which has helped with my interior design choices and the ability to build more custom items in CA rather than Sketchup etc. There is a lot more to Premier though than Pro but it still has some annoying limitations especially for European construction (door/window inset, truss design etc) but workarounds are possible.  Sadly I found that almost all of the extra catalogs I purchased when using Pro are free with Premier.  

 

Hope that helps...

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Thank you very much for your answer and advice! :)

 

I think I am going for the Pro version - it feels right,,and if I had bought the Architectural version I probably had upgraded to the Pro version after some weeks or months anyway.  I'll play with the Pro trial version one or two days more before I decide completely, but right now the Pro version feels like the right choice I must say..

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Whatever you end up buying, do yourself a favor and take the time to really learn how to use it. Read the "Users Guide" and then study-practice using the "Reference Manual" little by little until you understand what the software is designed to do, then armed with that knowledge, enjoy creating with it.

 

DJP

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Pro and Premier are for people who do that kind of work for a living, If you want do this for fun or as a hobby then I would go with Architectural. Like David said

learn what the software can and cannot do BEFORE you step up to higher versions.

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editing a couple of windows, doors etc at the same time

 

Pro only.

 

rotate the whole plan/house

 

Neither version really.  You'll adjust the Terrain Perimeter and its position relative to the house (the structure shouldn't be rotated, it can cause lots of problems if you try to do that with wall/roof/etc connections).

 

set the north point

 

Pro only.

 

 

building the roof manually

 

Pro only.

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Today I decided to buy the Architectural version. It is now downloaded and installed!

 

I have gained an insight into the program through the trial, but newly begun, there is much left to learn about all the opportunities available in the program. The Architectual version feels like a good version to start with, I think. The day I find that the tools in this version are not sufficient for me, I will upgrade to the Pro version. But right now I think I'm happy with my choice! :)

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I used the Architectural version for many years before some of the houses I needed to model really required the more complex roof tools.  If you run in to any roadblocks along the way, post here and we'll try to help!

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