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  1. Not at all. Enjoy your insight. I don't know about others, but I feel like I'm getting hit from all sides as of late. Software increases, printing, ink, storage, monthly website fees, everything. Some builders are reducing square footage on their spec homes and we charge by the foot. I've had builders ask to pay less for plans because their costs are going up or their homes are taking longer to sell. I say no of course, but that's all to say that I'm seeing indications and I think others are as well. My company has been very blessed with the amount of work we receive and even if hard times hit, we'll be fine. I just don't know how others are doing it and when I see companies like CA going to a different model, it makes me wonder.
  2. I do not provide materials lists, as a rule. I work with many builders but one in particular I've done probably 75-100 homes for, so I know just how he builds. We did a little test to see how practical it would be going forward - a service he'd be happy to pay for if it worked out. He was kind enough to give me the takeoffs that the lumber company and all other suppliers gave him based on several of my spec home plans. I designed the next plan (a straightforward neighborhood spec home) using those takeoffs as a guide. I didn't give him the materials list for the new one either but he did give me his based on the takeoff. It was nowhere near close (I'd say 70% and that's not good enough for me). The amount of time it takes me to input all of that and generate a 70% takeoff (or more accurately, 30% deficient) is simply not worth it to me. Most suppliers are going to do their own anyway because if they are wrong, they want to be wrong for their own reasons. The lumber suppliers around here would never use a materials list generated by anyone but themselves. When I combine that info with the practical knowledge of not always knowing who is going to build the plan, it's prohibitive to even try. Some builders use engineered trusses, some are stick framing, I've got guys using OSB, others using ZIP panels, some that will use CMU block with a 4" slab and others that are monolithic slab only. They use my plans but they have so many individual variations I couldn't keep up. Recently, a customer just had to have a materials list. I warned him in advance and marked "For Estimating Purposes Only. Do Not Rely Upon." all over it. He sent me a text message telling me the materials list was not right and just about demanding that I redo it. I said no. I provide all typical schedules and information. Materials lists and takeoffs are not a service I ever see the possibility of offering again. On the other hand, if a builder asks me for the number of squares of roofing, how much LVP, carpet, etc., I can typically entertain that with reasonable accuracy to get them close.
  3. For me, it's certainly absorbed on a cost per plan basis. But one would be a fool to not consider every dollar and I do. Just because a business is successful does not mean we shouldn't pay attention to pennies or compare cost vs. value. Right now, Chief is and hopefully continues to be the best cost vs. value option for my business. I don't want to change. But just as I consider the cost of paper, ink, and other operational costs, I'll continue to evaluate on a daily basis. But I'm not just talking about a guy like me that does 250 houses a year though. I'm sure the heads at Chief Architect know their business model better than I do. But I remember when starting out, if the first-year difference was double between the two products I was evaluating, I'd certainly have gone with the lower initial investment because the money wasn't yet there to act long-term. Many of those customers who were like me are going to go elsewhere because they can't look more than 12 months down the road on a business that's just getting started. CA will likely end up making a little more money on their committed users but they're likely to see a decrease in their initial purchases. Maybe that's their plan and it's a good one. I don't know. I'm not the CEO.
  4. I'm a fan of Chief Architect. I've been using since X8 and design about 250 homes per year. I'm on X14 and will continue to upgrade as long as it makes financial sense. I too see the SSA simply as the route to continue upgrades at a reasonable rate. I've called support exactly one time since I started using Chief. This forum is where I get all my answers because most users are smarter than me. I see SoftPlan as the most direct competitor to Chief. At $95.00 per month ($1140 per year), a person is not saving with Chief when they start out, but over time they do. I simply see the SSA as the per month continual subscription fee. When the initial investment/monthly fee dynamic changes the customer will too. I don't have any problem with a company making money; just keep in mind that we're also in the business of making money. I'm not a Ford or Chevy guy. If they both work about the same, it's the one that's more efficient and keeps more money in my pocket. If one is truly better, the financial investment is the deciding factor on whether it's worth it. Tread lightly. Many of us are loyal customers. But loyalty quickly fades in a downward trending economy when we need to buy groceries.
  5. Probably because I was too boneheaded to think of that and overthought it. Thanks.
  6. I would like to display construction lines on the front elevation to convey the location of ridges in relation to other points. The adverse effect is that they also show up on the rear elevation, where they don't make sense. Is there a way to display construction lines only on the front but hide them on the rear? The only thing I thought of was to duplicate the plan, turn that layer off in the other plan, and relink the layout to that plan. But it seems there might be a better way to hide those construction lines in a single elevation that I'm overlooking.
  7. I'm just advocating for purchasing your own large format printer. I have two - HP 520 and HP 630. It's so much easier to set everything the way you want it, make variations between plans, and not have to communicate that to someone behind a counter. I always print one set of plans to proof before I print the rest to make sure there's no errors. I can print in real time and not waste trips to the print shop. You can always charge your clients for the prints, still less than the print shops, and make a little money there. I use poster board to cut binding strips. My kids put the plans together. I do a lot of plans (I use 40 rolls of paper per month, so 6000 feet of paper) and can't imagine outsourcing that. My plotters have paid for themselves a dozen times over. And my kids are cheap labor.
  8. I've had the same issue. Not sure why it does it. It occurs for me when just moving a building or structure say 10' feet or so. It will also occur when using the reverse plan tool. I do not find that it occurs when you use the "edit - edit area - edit all floors" to select what you want to move, which may be an answer for the OP. I use the same thing when not only moving objects but reversing the plan and reflecting about a line.
  9. I have essentially used your method. Sometimes I will use soffits, set the bottom to 0", and can give them the exact rise/run that I want to. I make one for each step and then make them into an architectural block. I might change the layer they are on to my stair layer, etc., depending on where I need to display them later. This way they still show up as a solid in 3D views, ortho views, and such. Whether I use your way or my other method just depends on what I need to show and how quick I'm trying to be.
  10. Go in to your wall settings. I would check my foundation and exterior walls. Make sure that you have your foundation set to build to exterior of your main floor layer, assuming that's what you are trying to align with.
  11. When I print the layout from Chief, I always select "Chief Architect Save AS PDF" from the dropdown, the paper set as landscape and Arch D selected for the size. This prints it to a PDF, the benefit that I can also email it just like this to a builder/client. When I physically print the plan, I simply open the PDF, select print as I would anything else, go to page setup, again select the paper size as Arch D and make sure the page sizing is set to "actual size."
  12. Several ways I've found to do it. On this home I'm finishing today the entire upper floor has a 5' wall height, the interior sloping to the typical 8' ceiling. I have an exception though, and that's the bedroom on the back of the home. I didn't want any slope in that room. I drew a new roof plane over just that corner, move in the Z plane 3' to make it 8' on the exterior, and joined the two roof planes together. If you are moving the whole roof plane on the back of the home as it appears you are, I'd use Javatom's recommendation and just Z that whole plane the 4 feet and rejoin the planes. If you are wanting to keep rebuilding that roof plane without having to repeat that manual roof process I'd do as GlennW says and create a room on the second floor and use autoroof.
  13. Both good options working out well. Thanks.
  14. How would you draw this front porch/roof detail? I'm not sure my method is the fastest/most effective. I'm simply doing a gable over the front porch with no overhang (which is kind of what the picture is showing) and then using a polyline solid for the curves and placing it over the wall. Thanks for the input.
  15. I would separate that porch into more than one porch with a room divider or invisible wall. The porch with the gable, I would set at 1 foot higher than the main roof, give it the gable, and unselect ceiling over this room. For the porch with the lower pitch, I would select its option as having no roof at all. I would then manually draw those roof planes. In 3D view I’d then clean anything up by joining roof planes.