MarkMc

Chief Architect vs 2020 Design

Recommended Posts

I hope I'm not overstepping here (the moderators can always move this or delete me)

I was asked to compare the two programs by someone this week since I have fairly extensive experience with both. A number of years ago I'd written something on this forum in response to that question, think it was around X4 or 5? That was generally positive toward Chief but acknowledge some important weaknesses. Several versions later and the improvement to the program for kitchens in measurable. So since I had to write something anyway I thought I'd share it here. The first part is what I slammed together yesterday morning rather quickly. The second part I added today to fill it out a bit, again quickly so excuse the lack of editing and any drivel included..

 

The question:

Quote

seeking an opinion from a seasoned cabinetry business pro who has used both 2020 and Chief to help her to understand how the two products compare and contrast for use in a business which aspires to expand and become a leader in the local market selling not only cabinetry, but also a design/build business model

Reply and note follow.

The short answer would be if you are looking at design build there is simply no contest. There may be some larger DB firms that use both but no one in their right mind would try to get adequate drawings for construction, build, serious remodel from 2020. Where I used to work we needed to do that to a certain extent. Then there were 6 designers, now there are 4 I believe. To solve problems they resort to either CAD or in many cases pencils.

 

I'd suggest that watching the presentation videos on line would be a good idea. Granted from both companies those are as much marketing as real life use.

 

I started using 2020 in 2000, I got Envisioneer (similar to Chief but imports 2020 files) to work with 2020 in 2010. Started with Chief X3 in 2011 so I stopped updating 2020 at V9 but continued to use it as an adjunct for several years. At first I was a somewhat reluctant user and a harsh critic/gadfly about CA's shortcomings. Today I am a true believer. I have kept track to changes in 2020- they have been negligible when it comes to fixing long standing problems IMO. Note since that time 2020 has moved to V11 with a few in between updates, CA is currently at X9 and will have another full upgrade next spring.

 

 

When to use 2020-if business model is to compete with the box stores, or target primarily budget minded customers, draw kitchens with a minimum number of walls and need to get decent pricing quickly using a semi custom cabinet brand from one of the conglomerates-it can be a good choice. 

 

  • 2020 has a larger market share in kitchens so the labor force of people who know how to use it will be wider. That said many higher end kitchen designers can't or won't use it and look on it with absolute scorn.

  • does pricing within the program - reliability of pricing depends on design catalog, drawing. Keeping retail pricing updated within the program is an art form and rarely done. The advent of on line pricing tools from mfg's makes in program pricing moot unless you run a mill IMO.

  • It could be argued that 2020 protects you from yourself preventing the KD from including items are not available. In terms of protecting you from design mistakes, as used by most operators (who are porne to override settings) I'd say Chief wins.

  • If you are a really good user it can possibly be easier to change brands mid-design. However you need to be completely familiar with the catalog of the brand you are changing to. In many cases operators resort to a new drawing.

  • Stability has improved a little since I used it, however when it goes it goes and repair is not for the simple user. Support still sucks.

  • Apparently there is now a work around that will get back disappearing user dimensions and notes most of the time.

  • Changes to the rendering engine get mixed reviews. Can be nicer, can be more challenging.

When to use Chief. Business model is design matters more than price, you care about the final result, better brands of cabinets, most any amount of custom, need to draw accurate spaces/buildings, need detailed drawing for manufacturer or installer, need to move walls, need demo/construction plans, need electric plans. Need to represent stairs, split levels, vaired height rooms (floor or ceiling), any odd type of buiding. Simply the ONLY thing I can do in 2020 that I can't do in Chief is get instant pricing.

  • Single downside is the learning curve is a bit worse though getting up and running to begin with is easy enough. (That said when I first got CA I took an 8 hour on line class, promptly got the flu and did not get near the program for a month. Then drew up a 2100 sq ft house with highly detailed cabinets in kitchen, LR, hall, walk in closet, another closet, master bath, bath, and office hobby work space. Though the drawings are not up to my current standards)

  • Working- unlimited tabs, elevations, multiple perspective views, editable in all views (though some things work better in one than another)

  • Stable-rarely crashes, even more rare to lose much work.

  • Drawing walls and adjusting them is so easy that there is no point in not drawing a complet room. I generally draw most if not all of the floor in question though some outside the area under consideration is approximate. Yesterday I drew first floor of a colonial as built-primary area the kitchen with some windows and such for other rooms from photos-basically show whatever affects views to or from kitchen- in an hour.

  • Changing things- changing colors or doorstyles is far faster. Changing cabinet configuration, custom cabinets, moving walls, windows, doors, no contest.

  • Changing brands has a few issues (I have a system though :) The main issue currently is the height of the top row of drawers.

  • Presentations-clients and contractors are routinely impressed with just the standard (quick) perspective views. Incredibly fast. More photo realistic renderings take some learning, altering materials is easier than in 2020, getting colors truly accurate is a bit of a challenge. (Paint OTOH from the Benni Moore catalog is nicely accurate with decent lighting for Ray Traces. ALL colors look different in Traces than in standard though.

  • The ability to quickly alter cabinets (or anything else) live in 3D is incredibly useful for clients.

  • Dimensions- I've worked out systems for this that are fast. Automatic dimensions are only a little better than 2020 but far easier to adjust. Adjusting any dimensions is easier. They are also stable (never disappear on you)

  • Drawings- just no contest when it comes to dealing with print layouts. A print layout can bring in drawings from multiple plan files or other sources. Elevations can be edited, views and layers controlled.

  • Stability- rarely crashes, have never lost any significant amount of work. Plays nice with the rest of the computer (I'd had 3 complete re-installs using 2020)

  • Support is superb.

  • User library is always accessible. Save ANYTHING- cabinets, moldings, doors, furniture NOTES, details.... Replace from library allows designing with generic rough cabinets and quickly changing them to things you already have stored.

  • Automation-macros- there are a number of built in text macros and many more available for small fees from some users on the forum. They will also write custom macros as needed. Incredible time saver.

  • There are some things that require "work arounds' a few that are inexplicably stupid-clipped corners is a bugaboo to me. There are a few others, I've worked out methods for all of them that are generally easy.

  • NO PRICING-there never will be IMO. However as of X9 a system to have accurate codes for all cabinets AND modifications in a schedule has become a reality. Getting that information into a spreadsheet or an online order is also fast and easy.

  • Building materials- I don't deal with the material list and from what I know there are quirks with it. However many builders have worked out how to deal with it hence can get a decent materials list for an entire building or part of for everything.

  • Terrain, roofs, stairs- while these can at times be challenging they are virtually impossible in 2020.

 

 

To sum up- I"ve used half a dozen 2D CAD programs, DataCad, 2020, AutoKitchen (one day), Pro Kitchen, Envisioneer, Chief Architect and learned to draft with a pencil, run Linux, Windows and 6 months on a Mac with Final Cut Pro, have no idea how many other programs I've dealt with (went to school for tech writing for a while) 

CA is one of the best software packages of any kind that I have ever dealt with. and it has continued to improve based on user feedback every year.

 

I added the following to this post, not in original message. (this is all as of X9)

 

Caveats, complaints

  • Chief will NOT protect you from designing with something unavailable in you brand, or impossible to make. Be well versed in what you have available to order.

  • Framed cabinets in CA don't account for that extra reveal you get so watch out when placing wall cabinets next to deeper talls. If you are not getting flush sides your dimensions will be off.

  • Cabinet interiors (as of X9) will match the exterior and there is no reasonable way to change that. If you are using the cool new open door feature to show clients something and using standard cabinets where the interior will not match be to inform you client. One partial solution is to change the color of the shelves.

  • Same goes for cabinet bottoms- pay attention in case you need to order finished bottoms on wall cabinets.

  • With X9- Chief did a great job fixing nomenclature for cabinet sides shown in the schedule. Automatically finished sides are almost as good as they are in 2020 but have a few quirks. Be sure to check you finished sides before ordering (I set the default to unfinished so I have to)

  • I mentioned that changing brands has a few issues. It is doable but much harder than it needs to be, more so if you want the top row of drawers accurate. That will take some practice.

  • I mentioned clipped corners. A few years ago they fixed the sizing to match industry standard- great. They did not fix how they work. If you place a 24” deep clipped corner cabinet next to a 21” deep cabinet (SOP in my world) the clip will disappear. There are work arounds (which is all I use for them, never use the feature.

  • Stile extended to the floor (base cabinets only) which Chief calls a “closed toe” (never ran into that name myself) was given an “always present” option in X9- not disappear when next to another cabinet- BUT there is no control of each side. You get it on both or not at all. (I don't use it at all because of that)

  • Manufacturer catalogs have NO cabinets in them. I don't find this an issue but you should be aware. They have door styles, molding, colors stuff like that.

  • Adding modifications and or accessories is general manual, more difficult than in 2020. But X9 had provided a way to make much of that far easier. You need to learn how to use the OIP (object information panel) look on the forum.

 

Finally- there are more than enough important productivity tools that are only in the Premier version to make it worth the extra cost. IMO if you are working in kitchens and need Chief you need Premier. Use ctrl + S key often, the F1 key a lot, read the Reference Manual, follow this forum (read everything at least a little), say thanks to the folks at Chief when you think of it.

  • Upvote 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mark,  a  great review.

 

BTW,  I think CA would  garner all of the  2020 clients if they figured out how to do the  pricing.

 

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, dshall said:

Thanks Mark,  a  great review.

 

BTW,  I think CA would  garner all of the  2020 clients if they figured out how to do the  pricing.

 

 

IMO at this time there is no need. I can likely get pricing from Chief as quickly (maybe even faster) than I could from 2020 once I have to check it. One of these days I'll finish my label macro's and maybe do a vid (though I hate vids  shame I couldn't manage to do it at the UGM then again need more than an hour). People just have to get over the idea that they need it the way they get it now. Besides there is so much more involved that is important and CA does more.

 

The last BIG issue for me is changing brand and cabinet construction.

 

Edit to add-If someone has 2020 (may need to be with a dongle) you can use it for pricing. Just select cabinet schedule in Chief, ctrl+C,  paste into spreadsheet, then copy paste items into a 2020 "item list"- though I prefer on line ordering systems where it is just drag and drop instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review, myself, I have never used 20-20 but I know first hand, you have highly customized Chief for your purpose, and you have done it successfully. I wish everyone could see what you have done. I had no idea. That on-line seminar Scott did was very interesting. Thanks Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very complete review comparison.

 

I've personally not used 2020 but i've worked with cabinet designers who did - and i was thoroughly unimpressed.  No question when it comes to cabinets and residential interior design Chief is off-the-charts great.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2017 at 0:22 PM, dshall said:

CA would  garner all of the  2020 clients if they figured out how to do the  pricing.

 

On 6/3/2017 at 3:32 PM, johnny said:

I've personally not used 2020 but i've worked with cabinet designers who did - and i was thoroughly unimpressed. 

Johnny's comment got me thinking about something I left out- collaboration. Not that CA is perfect at it, still better than the alternative if you know how.

IMO the questions should not be "does CA do pricing?" rather "can CA help me make more money?", "save me time?"

Absolutely.

 

Consider that the national average closing rate for walk-ins is 33%, in my tracking web based leads close around 10%, home shows are about that too but for referrals from professionals closing rate runs 80-90%- and pros are repeat business !!

 

I tell architects "think of me as an extra pencil" , make contractors happy with clear drawings so their crews work faster and avoid mistakes, even export to SU for some contractors to use with clients, not to mention show consumers more than they typically see from my competition.

Better drawings, clearer detail, easier installs all keep those professionals coming back AND I get better work because of it. I may be a better designer because of it too.

(FWIW-I was laid off end of Oct. '09, started my business Jan '10 on fumes, got CA Dec '10. I wouldn't be here if not for pro referrals/repeats, certainly would not be doing as well without CA.)

Yeah, yeah, ra, ra .. but if you look back to the old board I was more than a little po'd at them in '11.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, did you see 2020 now has a 360 virtual view like ca?  Have you any experience with their virtual view?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, dskogg said:

Mark, did you see 2020 now has a 360 virtual view like ca?  Have you any experience with their virtual view?

I saw it demonstrated at KBIS. Looks about the same as Chief's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As many of you know, I had to learn 20-20 a couple of years ago (ver 9.6). I hated it. I now have ver 10 and hate it even more!  I work for a big box and 20-20 it shall be. I'm paid to re-boot and curse under my breath.

 

I really appreciate that Mark has again taken his time to so cogently compare CA X9 with 20-20.

 

I won't give the installers my CA elevations - but they have seen them and really want them over the POS elevations from 20-20 ver 10. May I mention that condoc's are done through Powerpoint. No fooling, Powerpoint!

 

I agree with the few shortcomings of CA X9 in that you've got to make sure that the specifying notes are clear with each cabinet. It can be easy to overlook ordering a matching interior when the rendering has a matching interior that you didn't actually set. Of course, if the customer sees a matching interior with an open door - then they could be expecting it without realizing there's an extra cost. Mark worded it well with "saving you from yourself."

 

I keep thinking that cabinets could have more check boxes in the dialog box or another tab in Cabinets for MIP, internal items and such.

 

I am passionate about my customers and will always deliver the very best renderings that I can. That means that I frequently provide CA X9 renderings to sell the job.  That means double work - sort of. I Love CA and I find it enjoyable to see the customers face light up with an X9 rendering - even of an 84 x 96 laundry room.  My passion and CA X9 has created a monster - my sales goals are the highest in our store because I have sold more month over month and year over year. Frequently, I'm at the top of the region's numbers. I am not on a commission either.

 

Bottom Line: if you want to sell kitchen/bathy/ laundry remodeling - Floor through light fixtures and beyond - do it with CA X9. If you ONLY want to sell manufactured cabinets and frustrate yourself, then spend a boatload of cash on a seat of 20-20.

 

GOOD ON MARK!

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheryl,  Thanks for sharing.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a excellent discussion!

I'm a D/B remodeler doing quite a few kitchens and long time CA user considering 20/20.

 

The pricing issue with CA has been tedious, since DeWils Cabinets only offers one by one lookup of each cabinets cost.

I'm having two screens up, with drawings, DeWils page, and Excel and having to read back and forth.  It's time consuming and the opportunity for error is ample.

 

I began to rethink 20/20, but after reading Mark's excellent comparison and other comments by Cheryl, I'm dubious.

One thing might help, after reading Mark's description, is to use schedules.  I've only recently begun to use door and window schedules.

 

We've got two projects this summer with whole house window and door changeouts.   

I've learned those copy & paste into Excel, which is quite helpful when I want to sent my supplier a list for quote.

Maybe the best way for me will be to use a cabinet schedule in CA, export to Excel, but still manually price each box, filler, moulding, etc.

 

This is a great forum!   I'm not a frequent visitor, but I should be.

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Andrew said:

Maybe the best way for me will be to use a cabinet schedule in CA, export to Excel, but still manually price each box, filler, moulding, etc

I've been using schedules to get pricing our of CA for quite some time. Does Dewills have an on line ordering system? I did a qucik (and rare for me to do) video on using an online pricing system with a spreadsheet copied from a schedule. I just use drag and drop from the sheet to the ordering system (including mods). IT was done as a quickie so a few mistakes along the way (a brand I no longer use) That's over in the tips section.

I have one brand that does not have an online system so I use a spreadsheet template of the order form. 3 monitors, pdf catalog on one (with user made bookmarks) , order sheet on main, other side has Chief and a scrub sheet where I adjust things to paste into the main. May actually be as fast as an online system but takes more practice.

There is also an older video of a web meeting we did a few years ago that addresses some of the things I do to get a usable schedule. (Just saw this and have to head for dinner. A bit slammed the next week or two but I'll see if I can fit something in somehwere)

The key is getting the nomenclature to match the mfg's.

Gotta go do dinner, bit slammed the next couple of weeks but will see if I can help.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the CA Cab Schedule all the time. Every time I make a cabinet that I may use again, I take the time to fill in the manufacturer, a Description, and the Nomenclature for that brand including spaces, dots, and hyphens.  I add it to the Library under that Brand. Over 3 years this has saved me a lot of time. 

 

CA is so much faster to use in the design phase! You can actually be creative.

CA produces renderings that are far superior to 20-20's. (And make sales)

CA can produce As-Builts

CA can produce the Framing needed to support the Cabinets.

CA produces real Cross Sections.

CA can produce a Lighting plan.

CA can produce a Plumbing Riser

CA can show a Duct system.

CA has a decent CAD engine if you need to make a Detail.

CA produces Con-Docs that Builders, Architects, and Engineers can instantly read and understand.

 

20-20 was developed for Box Jockeys - In my not-so-humble opinion.

 

For a good chuckle, compare a CA Cab Schedule to a 20-20 Legend! Bah Ha Ha!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started on 2020 v8.1 and now on 2020 v11.  This is the software that my employer has been using since day 1.  I don't particularly like it but it's required.

 

My office was sent a CA x5 demo way back and I've tried it before.  One thing I noticed is that CA works with outside dimensions.  Does the newer version allow users to work with inside dimensions of walls? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has been able to dim to both fin walls, and framing (inside, outside, and center) for a very, very long time. You'll find the settings for dimensions in the Defaults area (looks like a wrench) and also in the Wall Types settings where you set the Main Layer.

 

Take a look at the videos on setting up defaults. CA is much more accommodating than 20-20 - the videos are a wonderful source to get you up to speed. My best regards, ~Cheryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Cheryl said- you can have BOTH - (to framing for the electrician, to rock for the cabinet installer) in different views with a click. If you're going to demo do it with X10- for cabinets there have been leaps starting with X8. FWIW I started with 2020 at V5 something and dropped it after V9, had started checking Chief out around V7 or 8 (not the X series) and switched at X3. One of the big reasons I switched was control of dimensions, notes and schedules.

 

I'm doing a (free) webinar in July if you want to stop in. It's going to cover how to most efficiently get a cabinet schedule in Chief that you can export for pricing but to show that some other useful things will be covered (though I'm not going to cover dimensions or layouts). You will get a sense of what is possible from it, guaranteed. Info on the webinar and how to sign up is listed here

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that you can do inside and outside dimensions manually.  What I'm really after is chief architect automatically showing the inside dimension when I click on the number to edit the wall length.  For example, I draw a 9' wall horizontally then a 9' wall vertically.  CA defaults these as outside dimensions so I would need to set it at 9' 4.5" to get what I want (9').  If I want to change the wall length to 6'...I need to type in 6' 4.5". 

 

Is there a way to set CA to work exclusively with inside dimensions where my 9' is 9'?  Also, drawing a wall 6' 4 3/8" and adding 4 1/2" for the wall leaves room for error/confusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@9000RPM

 

This question belongs in General Q&A. Please delete what you have posted in this thread (under Options), and start a new thread in Q&A.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was about to answer but Eric is correct, more useful to others placed there. Answer is ready when you follow his advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I understand your question correctly, the "Resize About" setting (in General Wall Defaults) should do what you want by setting it to "Inner Surface".

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/30/2018 at 7:07 PM, glennw said:

If I understand your question correctly, the "Resize About" setting (in General Wall Defaults) should do what you want by setting it to "Inner Surface".

 

@glennw

Beautiful...thank you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2017 at 7:08 PM, MarkMc said:

I hope I'm not overstepping here (the moderators can always move this or delete me)

I was asked to compare the two programs by someone this week since I have fairly extensive experience with both. A number of years ago I'd written something on this forum in response to that question, think it was around X4 or 5? That was generally positive toward Chief but acknowledge some important weaknesses. Several versions later and the improvement to the program for kitchens in measurable. So since I had to write something anyway I thought I'd share it here. The first part is what I slammed together yesterday morning rather quickly. The second part I added today to fill it out a bit, again quickly so excuse the lack of editing and any drivel included..

 

The question:

Reply and note follow.

The short answer would be if you are looking at design build there is simply no contest. There may be some larger DB firms that use both but no one in their right mind would try to get adequate drawings for construction, build, serious remodel from 2020. Where I used to work we needed to do that to a certain extent. Then there were 6 designers, now there are 4 I believe. To solve problems they resort to either CAD or in many cases pencils.

 

I'd suggest that watching the presentation videos on line would be a good idea. Granted from both companies those are as much marketing as real life use.

 

I started using 2020 in 2000, I got Envisioneer (similar to Chief but imports 2020 files) to work with 2020 in 2010. Started with Chief X3 in 2011 so I stopped updating 2020 at V9 but continued to use it as an adjunct for several years. At first I was a somewhat reluctant user and a harsh critic/gadfly about CA's shortcomings. Today I am a true believer. I have kept track to changes in 2020- they have been negligible when it comes to fixing long standing problems IMO. Note since that time 2020 has moved to V11 with a few in between updates, CA is currently at X9 and will have another full upgrade next spring.

 

 

When to use 2020-if business model is to compete with the box stores, or target primarily budget minded customers, draw kitchens with a minimum number of walls and need to get decent pricing quickly using a semi custom cabinet brand from one of the conglomerates-it can be a good choice. 

 

  • 2020 has a larger market share in kitchens so the labor force of people who know how to use it will be wider. That said many higher end kitchen designers can't or won't use it and look on it with absolute scorn.

  • does pricing within the program - reliability of pricing depends on design catalog, drawing. Keeping retail pricing updated within the program is an art form and rarely done. The advent of on line pricing tools from mfg's makes in program pricing moot unless you run a mill IMO.

  • It could be argued that 2020 protects you from yourself preventing the KD from including items are not available. In terms of protecting you from design mistakes, as used by most operators (who are porne to override settings) I'd say Chief wins.

  • If you are a really good user it can possibly be easier to change brands mid-design. However you need to be completely familiar with the catalog of the brand you are changing to. In many cases operators resort to a new drawing.

  • Stability has improved a little since I used it, however when it goes it goes and repair is not for the simple user. Support still sucks.

  • Apparently there is now a work around that will get back disappearing user dimensions and notes most of the time.

  • Changes to the rendering engine get mixed reviews. Can be nicer, can be more challenging.

When to use Chief. Business model is design matters more than price, you care about the final result, better brands of cabinets, most any amount of custom, need to draw accurate spaces/buildings, need detailed drawing for manufacturer or installer, need to move walls, need demo/construction plans, need electric plans. Need to represent stairs, split levels, vaired height rooms (floor or ceiling), any odd type of buiding. Simply the ONLY thing I can do in 2020 that I can't do in Chief is get instant pricing.

  • Single downside is the learning curve is a bit worse though getting up and running to begin with is easy enough. (That said when I first got CA I took an 8 hour on line class, promptly got the flu and did not get near the program for a month. Then drew up a 2100 sq ft house with highly detailed cabinets in kitchen, LR, hall, walk in closet, another closet, master bath, bath, and office hobby work space. Though the drawings are not up to my current standards)

  • Working- unlimited tabs, elevations, multiple perspective views, editable in all views (though some things work better in one than another)

  • Stable-rarely crashes, even more rare to lose much work.

  • Drawing walls and adjusting them is so easy that there is no point in not drawing a complet room. I generally draw most if not all of the floor in question though some outside the area under consideration is approximate. Yesterday I drew first floor of a colonial as built-primary area the kitchen with some windows and such for other rooms from photos-basically show whatever affects views to or from kitchen- in an hour.

  • Changing things- changing colors or doorstyles is far faster. Changing cabinet configuration, custom cabinets, moving walls, windows, doors, no contest.

  • Changing brands has a few issues (I have a system though :) The main issue currently is the height of the top row of drawers.

  • Presentations-clients and contractors are routinely impressed with just the standard (quick) perspective views. Incredibly fast. More photo realistic renderings take some learning, altering materials is easier than in 2020, getting colors truly accurate is a bit of a challenge. (Paint OTOH from the Benni Moore catalog is nicely accurate with decent lighting for Ray Traces. ALL colors look different in Traces than in standard though.

  • The ability to quickly alter cabinets (or anything else) live in 3D is incredibly useful for clients.

  • Dimensions- I've worked out systems for this that are fast. Automatic dimensions are only a little better than 2020 but far easier to adjust. Adjusting any dimensions is easier. They are also stable (never disappear on you)

  • Drawings- just no contest when it comes to dealing with print layouts. A print layout can bring in drawings from multiple plan files or other sources. Elevations can be edited, views and layers controlled.

  • Stability- rarely crashes, have never lost any significant amount of work. Plays nice with the rest of the computer (I'd had 3 complete re-installs using 2020)

  • Support is superb.

  • User library is always accessible. Save ANYTHING- cabinets, moldings, doors, furniture NOTES, details.... Replace from library allows designing with generic rough cabinets and quickly changing them to things you already have stored.

  • Automation-macros- there are a number of built in text macros and many more available for small fees from some users on the forum. They will also write custom macros as needed. Incredible time saver.

  • There are some things that require "work arounds' a few that are inexplicably stupid-clipped corners is a bugaboo to me. There are a few others, I've worked out methods for all of them that are generally easy.

  • NO PRICING-there never will be IMO. However as of X9 a system to have accurate codes for all cabinets AND modifications in a schedule has become a reality. Getting that information into a spreadsheet or an online order is also fast and easy.

  • Building materials- I don't deal with the material list and from what I know there are quirks with it. However many builders have worked out how to deal with it hence can get a decent materials list for an entire building or part of for everything.

  • Terrain, roofs, stairs- while these can at times be challenging they are virtually impossible in 2020.

 

 

To sum up- I"ve used half a dozen 2D CAD programs, DataCad, 2020, AutoKitchen (one day), Pro Kitchen, Envisioneer, Chief Architect and learned to draft with a pencil, run Linux, Windows and 6 months on a Mac with Final Cut Pro, have no idea how many other programs I've dealt with (went to school for tech writing for a while) 

CA is one of the best software packages of any kind that I have ever dealt with. and it has continued to improve based on user feedback every year.

 

I added the following to this post, not in original message. (this is all as of X9)

 

Caveats, complaints

  • Chief will NOT protect you from designing with something unavailable in you brand, or impossible to make. Be well versed in what you have available to order.

  • Framed cabinets in CA don't account for that extra reveal you get so watch out when placing wall cabinets next to deeper talls. If you are not getting flush sides your dimensions will be off.

  • Cabinet interiors (as of X9) will match the exterior and there is no reasonable way to change that. If you are using the cool new open door feature to show clients something and using standard cabinets where the interior will not match be to inform you client. One partial solution is to change the color of the shelves.

  • Same goes for cabinet bottoms- pay attention in case you need to order finished bottoms on wall cabinets.

  • With X9- Chief did a great job fixing nomenclature for cabinet sides shown in the schedule. Automatically finished sides are almost as good as they are in 2020 but have a few quirks. Be sure to check you finished sides before ordering (I set the default to unfinished so I have to)

  • I mentioned that changing brands has a few issues. It is doable but much harder than it needs to be, more so if you want the top row of drawers accurate. That will take some practice.

  • I mentioned clipped corners. A few years ago they fixed the sizing to match industry standard- great. They did not fix how they work. If you place a 24” deep clipped corner cabinet next to a 21” deep cabinet (SOP in my world) the clip will disappear. There are work arounds (which is all I use for them, never use the feature.

  • Stile extended to the floor (base cabinets only) which Chief calls a “closed toe” (never ran into that name myself) was given an “always present” option in X9- not disappear when next to another cabinet- BUT there is no control of each side. You get it on both or not at all. (I don't use it at all because of that)

  • Manufacturer catalogs have NO cabinets in them. I don't find this an issue but you should be aware. They have door styles, molding, colors stuff like that.

  • Adding modifications and or accessories is general manual, more difficult than in 2020. But X9 had provided a way to make much of that far easier. You need to learn how to use the OIP (object information panel) look on the forum.

 

Finally- there are more than enough important productivity tools that are only in the Premier version to make it worth the extra cost. IMO if you are working in kitchens and need Chief you need Premier. Use ctrl + S key often, the F1 key a lot, read the Reference Manual, follow this forum (read everything at least a little), say thanks to the folks at Chief when you think of it.

I was recently contacted my a 2020 user asking if I would be interesting in doing their renderings for them because they liked my end results.  Thing is, is it possible to import a 2020 file into chief, or is there some really long and way too hard process that is involved in the whole thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, limitless8 said:

I was recently contacted my a 2020 user asking if I would be interesting in doing their renderings for them because they liked my end results.  Thing is, is it possible to import a 2020 file into chief, or is there some really long and way too hard process that is involved in the whole thing?

 

I believe you will need to start from scratch.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I thought as much, had hopes that maybe there was a magic wand (app) that would help me.  Seems the best approach or only one left is for them to send me cad drawings which I would have to replicate completely in chief and then start pbring it.. c'est la vie...

Thanks KitchenAbode!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, limitless8 said:

Yeah I thought as much, had hopes that maybe there was a magic wand (app) that would help me.  Seems the best approach or only one left is for them to send me cad drawings which I would have to replicate completely in chief and then start pbring it.. c'est la vie...

Thanks KitchenAbode!

 

 

Hopefully Mark will chime in on this as he is highly experienced with both CA and 2020. If there is a way I'm certain he will know about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    27491
    Total Members
    6254
    Most Online
    alexvictory
    Newest Member
    alexvictory
    Joined
  • Similar Content

    • By AlisonWD
      Hello, 
      I am applying a wood material to kitchen cabinets and the wood grain is going vertical in the doors and horizontal in the drawers.
      I checked the cabinet specifications and it shows only one material for doors.
      How can I do the wood grain the same direction in the doors and drawers?
      Thank you. 

    • By thewell
      What happened to the kitchen potracks that Chief used to have?
       
    • By yoseflab
      I'm new to CA and am trying to figure out why my kitchen cabinet doors seem to display the wrong sizes.
      In the default cabinet settings under "box construction" I have framless full overlay 1/16" reveal cabinet, one would expect that [as an example] a wall door height and width of a wall cabinet 15"W x 30"H should be 14 7/8"W x 29 7/8"H (15x30 minus 1/16" on all sides). Instead under "Front/Sides/Back" it shows 28.5"W x 13.5"W indicating that the reveals are 0.75"!!! This makes it difficult to calculate the doors when making specific/custom modifications.
      What am I missing? 



    • By ChiefArchitect
      From the front of the house, near the front door, we look all the way down the length of the living space. This version show an optional fireplace, creating a welcoming living room.