Scottisimo

Sketchup vs Chief

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Has anyone used Sketchup?  I would be interested in knowing what the advantages of Chief over Sketchup are, for architectural drawings?  Thanks in advance

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Suggest getting the trial of Chief and seeing for yourself.

 

Sketchup can complement Chief, but they are very different tools.

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Thanks for the reply, Eric.  I have never used either of them.  Could you expound a little bit more about the differences?  I do plan to get the trial version.

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We use both and I agree with Eric. They are entirely different tools. Barely comparable at all in my opinion. What do you do for a living? And can you be more specific about how you would be using the software?

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Thanks for the reply, Michael. I am a General Contractor, doing mostly high-end remodeling in Los Angeles.   I have 2 reasons why I need some sort of 3D software:

 

1.  My clients are always asking what something will look like, and the architect's 2D drawings don't help much in that regard.

 

2.  If you can believe this, I am not very good at visualizing things 3-dimensionally.  Not a good deficit for a contractor to have.  I would like the software so that I can visualize the project, in 3D, from any viewpoint.  My employees and subs are often asking me questions that I have a hard time answering because I can't visualize in 3 D very well.  Often, they are better at this than I am, which is sort of embarassing. 

 

3.  It occurs to me that Chief Architect would be very helpful at generating lumber and other material lists, counting up the SY of stucco and drywall needed, etc.  As far as I know, Sketchup won't do that.  It seems that Chief would make material lists for everything:  doors, windows, insulation, electrical fixtures, etc.  That would be very time saving as far as estimating. 

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I am a builder in Florida and I would highly recommend Chief. I am a small builder and I draw my own plans. Chief will give you credibility with the customer.  Never used Sketch up appears to be a generic program  Not just of r residential construction. I have gotten to the point I hate building when I did not draw the plan.

 

Adam

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Both are tools capable of nearly anything with VERY different paths to "nearly anything". You have to decide what you want.. Just 3d, Construction Docs?.. Search "Nick Sonder Architect" on youtube to see what even "seemingly simple" sketchup can do.

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Nick Sonder has a new series out too actually just got an email from Sketchup about it, though I am firmly in the CA camp despite the Materials List not being as Useful as I had 1st hoped.

 

http://blog.sketchup.com/sketchupdate/more-modeling-and-documentation-tips-sketchup-guru?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRons6zOZKXonjHpfsX56eQlWKO%2Fgokz2EFye%2BLIHETpodcMTcJnPa%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7bBKc1j1d8QWBXj

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Mick,

 

The point being when it comes to built-in libraries/materials Chief is unequaled.. Sketchup, Archicad, Revit... etc. ALL require you find/build you own to make them do what you specialize in...But then again they are built with that in mind as they decide they can't do it all, therefore delegating to 3rd party developers to fill the "gaps".. And that can be a bear to manage for the user.

 

Chief with Skethups slick interface (AND a third party API) will absolutely concquer the world.

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Thanks for the reply, Michael. I am a General Contractor, doing mostly high-end remodeling in Los Angeles.   I have 2 reasons why I need some sort of 3D software:

 

1.  My clients are always asking what something will look like, and the architect's 2D drawings don't help much in that regard.

 

2.  If you can believe this, I am not very good at visualizing things 3-dimensionally.  Not a good deficit for a contractor to have.  I would like the software so that I can visualize the project, in 3D, from any viewpoint.  My employees and subs are often asking me questions that I have a hard time answering because I can't visualize in 3 D very well.  Often, they are better at this than I am, which is sort of embarassing. 

 

3.  It occurs to me that Chief Architect would be very helpful at generating lumber and other material lists, counting up the SY of stucco and drywall needed, etc.  As far as I know, Sketchup won't do that.  It seems that Chief would make material lists for everything:  doors, windows, insulation, electrical fixtures, etc.  That would be very time saving as far as estimating. 

 

I would definitely recommend Chief then.  You can pretty easily hit the ground running with it for simple 3D renderings of basic designs.  Just be prepared to spend a fair amount of time to become proficient at it and to be able to draw up more complex designs, details, and plans. 

 

My take on Sketchup:

It comes across as very intuitive for simple little things and as such is a little deceptive.  In my opinion, its really quite cumbersome to use for anything of any complexity.  I know of a handful of tradesmen who use it to draw up details, but know of very few builders or designers that do.  In order to make it feasible for use as an architectural design program, you would almost certainly have to purchase, download, and learn a huge pile of 3rd party add-ons and even then, I really don't find Sketchup all that effective for most modelling.  I actually find I can model most things quicker in Chief.  Everyone will point you to Nick Sonder (a well know architect that uses Sketchup for his design work), however just ask yourself this...Why is there so much attention given to one guy who uses Sketchup as a full architectural design program?  I think the answer is that its probably somewhat of a gimmick.  There's no one architect famous for using Chief because so many do.

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I would definitely recommend Chief then.  You can pretty easily hit the ground running with it for simple 3D renderings of basic designs.  Just be prepared to spend a fair amount of time to become proficient at it and to be able to draw up more complex designs, details, and plans. 

 

My take on Sketchup:

It comes across as very intuitive for simple little things and as such is a little deceptive.  In my opinion, its really quite cumbersome to use for anything of any complexity.  I know of a handful of tradesmen who use it to draw up details, but know of very few builders or designers that do.  In order to make it feasible for use as an architectural design program, you would almost certainly have to purchase, download, and learn a huge pile of 3rd party add-ons and even then, I really don't find Sketchup all that effective for most modelling.  I actually find I can model most things quicker in Chief.  Everyone will point you to Nick Sonder (a well know architect that uses Sketchup for his design work), however just ask yourself this...Why is there so much attention given to one guy who uses Sketchup as a full architectural design program?  I think the answer is that its probably somewhat of a gimmick.  There's no one architect famous for using Chief because so many do.

Michael,  Thanks for all your posts.  You have been quite helpful.  Scott

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I use Chief Architect in my business (remodeling and custom home design), I use the free  version of Sketch Up as an adjunct ( I mainly use it to make symbols and Architectural appliques for special projects), my best Sketch Up resource is  the 3D Warehouse where you can pick from thousands of free symbols to use in my Chief Plans.I have seen some very nice constructs made in Sketch Up but I am set in my ways and do not feel the need to master a second application.

 

DJP

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i use Chief as my main software for what i do.

 

but im always looking at other apps (sketchup, Softplan, etc.) to see what other can do.

 

there are Pros n Cons in very app in the market, when you compare them side by side. no apps is ever perfect.

 

i think Chief is the most comprehensive app that serves my need, so that is why i use it.

 

but i am amazed to what some Skectchup user can produced for their plan.

 

look at this Detail...

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Love Sketchup's interface, love Chief's focus on residential design and 3D. Also love SU's ability, and the skilled user's ability to detail as shown above, but here's something I've learned working with many contractors over the years. They don't want details.

 

Sometimes they get stuck and ask for advice from me or my Structural Engineer but mostly the fewer details I can include in the plans the better they like it. Not so they can short cut the code and build crap, but rather it gives them the flexibility to build it right in the field instead of following some 2D or 3D representation of how some designer thinks it should be built. I have a feeling that might go against the inclination of some who feel the need to detail everything in an exacting manner, and for some clients it's needed, but for the most part I don't need and can't use the wonderful 3D detailing shown in the video above.

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Love Sketchup's interface, love Chief's focus on residential design and 3D. Also love SU's ability, and the skilled user's ability to detail as shown above, but here's something I've learned working with many contractors over the years. They don't want details.

 

Sometimes they get stuck and ask for advice from me or my Structural Engineer but mostly the fewer details I can include in the plans the better they like it. Not so they can short cut the code and build crap, but rather it gives them the flexibility to build it right in the field instead of following some 2D or 3D representation of how some designer thinks it should be built. I have a feeling that might go against the inclination of some who feel the need to detail everything in an exacting manner, and for some clients it's needed, but for the most part I don't need and can't use the wonderful 3D detailing shown in the video above.

 

i agree with you on this. LESS IS MORE.

 

"gives them the flexibility to build it right in the field instead of following some 2D or 3D representation" 

 

for my Contruction Drawing, i only provide enough detail to pass, get the Building Permit.

i work with a handful of contractor and engineers that knows how build certain things way better than i could ever detail it.

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Chief is a parametric software for residential design and documentation.

Sketchup is a 3D modeler that can be coerced to produce documents.

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Kevin,

Chief is a great residential software program that has a nich market.

 

Can it be better?  It has to evolve and change to stay valid for future users.

If it does not address simple 3d modelling as "flagged" in these discussions it could

lose ground to SketchUp in the residential market.

 

I think that SketchUp is evolving into a possible competetitor to Chief and its strength

may lie in its previous weakness, the use of third party plugins.

 

Check out the latest "BIM" plugin, I think you will be impressed.

 

+PlusSpec | BIM for SketchUp
https://plusspec.com/
PlusSpec is built to simplify BIM in SketchUp so just about anyone can use and understand.

 

I trust Chief is watching this development on the horizon and hopefully

learning from it and making Chief the best it can be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...I think that SketchUp is evolving into a possible competetitor to Chief and its strength

may lie in its previous weakness, the use of third party plugins...

 

Still a weakness in my opinion.  That one single plug-in is like $750 and it really isn't all that great.  Plus you have to deal with a handful of other plug-ins and their related expenses, updates, support, etc. and all those plug-ins may or may not work properly with futre updates of Sketchup and/or your other pile of plug-ins. 

 

Do you use Sketchup for producing plans?  You might, but I can't help but notice the vast majority of people I've heard touting Sketchup's amazing abilities don't even use it.  I know from a little experience that most of the hype is just that.  Hype. 

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Still a weakness in my opinion.  That one single plug-in is like $750 and it really isn't all that great.  Plus you have to deal with a handful of other plug-ins and their related expenses, updates, support, etc. and all those plug-ins may or may not work properly with futre updates of Sketchup and/or your other pile of plug-ins. 

 

Do you use Sketchup for producing plans?  You might, but I can't help but notice the vast majority of people I've heard touting Sketchup's amazing abilities don't even use it.  I know from a little experience that most of the hype is just that.  Hype. 

Thank you everyone for your feedback.  I have downloaded the trial version of Chief and am trying to learn to draw exterior walls.  Extremely frustrating.  I am following the scenario given in the Users Guide, and it seems that I do what they tell me to do, but it doesn't work the way they say it should.  I have always been a good student and good at following directions, so I suspect that this is a case of badly written directions.  If this is true, it would be very disappointing for such an expensive, highly touted, program.  Any comments?

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Thank you everyone for your feedback.  I have downloaded the trial version of Chief and am trying to learn to draw exterior walls.  Extremely frustrating.  I am following the scenario given in the Users Guide, and it seems that I do what they tell me to do, but it doesn't work the way they say it should.  I have always been a good student and good at following directions, so I suspect that this is a case of badly written directions.  If this is true, it would be very disappointing for such an expensive, highly touted, program.  Any comments?

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Scottisimo,

 

YouTube has numerous Chief Architect Tutorials.

 

search: " Chief architect tutorials on how to draw walls"

 

for example:      

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SketchUp and Chief - can they work together better?

 

I like Chief and have been using it since Chief 6.
My comments are in the aid of making Chief better
integrated with SketchUp.

BIM is the "key" and it is here and increasing in application!
(refer to ArchiCad and Revit latest versions.)

For residential documentation Chief is my current tool of choice.


I use SketchUp mainly for Concept Design. 3d Detailing in SketchUp aids
the "complete" solution of details and conveys the detail to the client and contractor.

I have being using Sketchup now for around 10 years. I am seeing its application
improve in the design workflow.  In the last few years SketchUp has improved
considerablly in its use of plugins.

The multiple plugins (over 800 plus) for SketchUp produced by various individuals of varing expertise
has been the "achille heel" of SketchUp in the past.

However with "Trimble" behind SketchUp and its large and increasing user base changes are accelerating.

PLUGIN SOLUTIONS FOR SKETCHUP:

This is being solved by the "SketchUcation Plugin Store"
http://sketchucation.com/pluginstore

and Trimble's Extension Warehouse  https://extensions.sketchup.com/

Updates of Plugins are now automatic by using
SketchUcation Tools plugin.

http://sketchucation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=332&t=59212#p538734

This tool allows the 800 plus plugins to be managed by only activating those plugins that
suite the "tasks" at hand. For example Landscape, Free Form models, Canopy design etc.

SketchUp Make is free and is used by every kid with a computer who
is interested in 3d modelling.  Building design and architectural students use it at school.

I think it would be "clever" of Chief to better integrate models make in SketchUp
using the BIM structure.















 

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Facer03:

 

I started pushing for BIM almost a decade earlier

 

the lack of interest is telling

 

bottom line - don't hold your breath :(

 

Lew

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..... I have downloaded the trial version of Chief and am trying to learn to draw exterior walls.  Extremely frustrating.  I am following the scenario given in the Users Guide, and it seems that I do what they tell me to do, but it doesn't work the way they say it should. .......

 

 Drawing the walls is the first task we all learn.  It is extremely easy.  If you are having a difficult time drawing the walls,  I suggest you find another program.

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Scottisimo,<br /><br />I had my 7 year old granddaughter last week and we were designing her house. She had no trouble drawing the walls.<br />You must be overthinking something or locked in CAD mode in your thinking. NOt trying to be negative just pointing out that it is really easy so you must have a mental block on how you are trying to do it. IT does not work like CAD drawing although you can do it in a very similar manner. There is more than one way to do a lot of tings in CHief.

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