Designing TownHouses


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We are a design build firm that has primarily built for in-house both for selling and renting of single and multi-family units (apartments)  We have built and drawn most of what we do for more than 45 years. Our local area is now producing many townhouse units primarily because of the sales price and lot cost and we would like to enter this market. We feel that our knowledge permits us better planning and designing of actual units so therefor we have chosen to draw them initially ourselves (we do have to have an Architects stamp our plans with units more than 3 and more than 3 stories or over 5,000 ft. We have found and Architect willing  to work with us. A young guy who in school used Revit but we personally never liked this program several years back when we had legal copies). 


We have and are drawing units but we think that we have reached the limits or the capacity of what Chief Architect is capable of doing.   attaching examples......


Suggestions for other software please?



KW 8 Unit Join Flr1.jpg

KW 8 Unit Join Front.jpg

KW 8 Unit Join Rear.jpg

Edited by KevinWaldron
correct spelling
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you don't state what limits of Chief that you are running into ?


have you discussed your needs to CA's sales team ?


It may be possible that you need other software such as Revit

or software that has true BIM capabilities


hard to advise without knowing what your issues are



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One major issue is speed........ both in perspectives and floor plans and doing any kind of realistic changing    (using a i7-8700 with 64GB ram 1 GB-SSD  with 2x Nviidia GTX 1080 TI 11 GB and 2-8TB storage units)


Cutting and pasting units and floors gets old ....especially if you have a lot of units...... (project size is 134 units ...In addition we have approximately 26 different plans)


Cad work is all being done already on TurboCad 2018 because of the limitations of placing large amounts of units all together for a plot plan and connecting with engineer.


Additionally more information is needed on the plan such as gutter downspouts water extraction location at the time of foundation plumbing and slab installation as well as electrical outside disconnect etc........ ( much of this is not required for code but is required by us as we need this information for a total project ...... typically the civil engineer does not locate these kinds of items.)

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I hate to be the anti-Chief guy - but Chief is terribly inefficient at this type of work.  In other apps you have instancing of units and basically anything you want - which is key for multi-unit buildings.  I would not use Chief for this if I was you.


Look at Vectorworks or Allplan. 

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I did a few townhouse buildings (6-8 units in each) about 12 years ago in version 10 (not X10).  Each unit had a different floor height as it was on sloping land.  What a nightmare, and I can't overstate it enough......I suspect CA is more stable in that regards now but I had rooms / units constantly jumping around as far as ceiling heights go...

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I had rooms / units constantly jumping around as far as ceiling heights go...




ver10 is when I started requesting wall, room, floor, area locks


I would get an room or area "right" and then later notice that "things" were off


It may have been user error but I still would like a warning

when Chief feels the need to change MY work




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