Home Designer Suite

vote here
rate
article by Arya A. author April 05, 2017
our score
Home Designer Suite is a home design software from Chief Architect. It’s a mid-range software option for you homeowners who want to design your own house without breaking the budget. This review covers main features of the software, limitations you’ll encounter using it, pricing, and support.
pros
  • Multiple, realistic camera views
  • Virtual walkthrough
  • Unique object-oriented design style
  • Photo importer
  • 35+ room design templates
cons
  • No cost calculator
  • Complicated learning curve
  • No multiple select editing
Home Designer Suite gave us more design flexibility and options than we ever thought possible.
Arya A., author
Key Factors Home Design
Plans Interior Design
Bottom Line Remodeling
Features and Specifications Deck & Landscaping
File Sharing Kitchens & Baths
Interiors Order Now >>
$ 79 /yr
  • 20+ Design Templates
  • Easy 2D and 3D Design
  • Reference Display Tool
  • Object Painter™ / Eyedropper
Order Now >>
MOST POPULAR
Suite Order Now >>
$ 99 /yr
  • 35+ Design Templates
  • All Interiors Features
  • Plan Check™
  • Model Maker™ Tool
Order Now >>
Architectural Order Now >>
$ 199 /yr
  • 60+ Design Templates
  • All Suite Features
  • Architectural Blocks
  • Rendering Technique Tools
Order Now >>

Features and Specifications Features and Specifications

As would be expected from a Chief Architect product, the Home Designer Suite version promises a lot of advanced functionality and delivers on that promise. Some of the features that users enjoy include:

  • Sun and shadow control: See what different areas will look like based on sun position, time of year, and other time-related factors.
  • Absolute vs. relative height values: As you edit an object, you can specify whether you want heights to adjust according to the position in the plan or relative to other objects or locations in the plan.
  • Single wall paint/material editing: Select one wall to edit instead of having to change the entire room’s color or wall texture.
  • 3D camera and mouse manipulation: This is an excellent tool for getting exact angles and real-time visualization of designs.
  • Edit and save library objects: Change library objects according to your specifications and then save those items in the library for future use.
  • Eyedropper: Pick a color, material, or texture from one area and copy paste it onto another object or area with one click.
  • Manipulate the sample room designs: This is great because it gives inexperienced designers a springboard to work off of but still allows you to personalize the space to your specific tastes.

The software also allows you to import room designs, set up bumping parameters (so the software tells you when you are trying to place an object too close to a wall, cabinet, or other structural element), and turn on cabinet face item locking.

Possibly the most impressive feature of all though is the 3D rendering of your design. While most brands have this option, Home Designer Suite takes it a step beyond with quality and precision visualization that is hard to find in this market, making it the best home design software for this feature.

Ease of Use Ease of Use

It won’t take more than a few minutes to install and set up this software. Unfortunately, that’s where the ease of use ends, or at least initially. The learning curve here is steeper and more involved than most home design software options. That’s because Home Designer Suite uses a slightly different approach than the average drag and drop action you might be used to. It’s an object-focused designer, rather than a concept-focused one, so you’re working with objects instead of individual lines and dimensions.

In some ways, this is much easier because there aren’t thousands of corners, angles, lines, and walls to manipulate, though it does take some getting used to initially. Some people love this builder, while others feel it lacks the fluidity of a drag and drop software.

Drawbacks and Limitations

While not inherently a drawback, the many preparatory steps before you get into the actual designing can be a little annoying for anyone not professionally aware of these necessities. The software will prompt you to choose a house style, framing defaults, and exterior siding, among other steps, before you can begin designing your room. These details are crucial for accuracy and dimensions, but a newcomer to the field might be frustrated by not being able to just dive right in.

And as mentioned in the Ease of Use section, the longer process of learning how to use the Home Designer Suite software might be considered a drawback for someone looking for a fast and simple point and click home design tool.

Pricing Pricing

The Home Designer Suite runs $99.99 and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee like all Chief Architect products, though on Amazon, you can find it for $79.99. The price is about average for what you are getting. If you only need interior designing, though, you can opt for the cheaper Home Designer Interior software.

Support

Home Designer Suite has a huge database of FAQs for users to browse which is filled with solutions to issues other users have come across while using the software. There is also a chat forum for you to ask questions and discuss issues with other Home Designer Suite users.

Home Designer Suite also has a tremendous network of both online and mobile training videos, and even offers classroom and webinar training sessions. There is also phone and email customer support.

Bottom Line Conclusion

Home Designer Suite is an excellent option, one of the best home design software options available today. It may take a little longer to learn the ropes, but with all the material, video tutorials, FAQ database questions, and support options available, there is no question you might that you can’t easily find an answer to. With so many features to work with and a great 3D rendering, this software comes highly recommended if you want to design your own house.