Contest Winners, Design Contest, Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design

Jeff Burns is the 2018 Residential Design of the Year Contest Winner

2018 Design of Year Contest Winnning Design: Residential Category

By Jake Murray

Congratulations Jeff for taking 1st place in our Design of Year Contest – Residential Category! Jeff was also a finisher in our Residential Design Contest back in July.

Jeff and his wife Julie
Jeff and his wife Julie

“I am a father of 4 awesome children Jacob, Jordan, Jackson, and Jude, and I married my high school sweetheart Julie. And yes, we are all J’s!! “The girls are J.A.B’s and the boys are all J.R.B’s which does get tricky at times! I was born in Fort Walton Beach Florida, being in a military family we moved several times before settling back in Alexandria, Louisiana where I reside today.

“As far back as I can remember, I’ve been drawing, designing, and or building something! I remember sitting and drawing for hours getting lost in my projects! In high school I took 4 years of mechanical drafting which was taught back then on a drafting board. I drew my first home plan by my second year and I never looked back. Before I graduated, I was already drawing and designing small projects for clients! Soon after graduating, I also began a new career in the construction industry, forming my own construction company designing and building.

“As time went on, I knew that computer aided drafting was something I need to look into, and I felt I had to begin to make that change! I had been drafting by hand on a board for over 15 years, so that’s all I had known. After some research and trying multiple programs, I found Chief Architect the software of choice. Since then I have been using Chief Architect for over 9 years. I started out with Home Designer Professional which I used for over 4 years. Then in 2011 I upgraded to Chief, it was at this time I began to realize the full power of the software. In a short period, of time I began to design much faster and I became more and more proficient with my work. I have been rapidly growing my design business ever since.

Elevation view of a Colonial Design with four pillars, second floor covered porch and blue shutters
“With Chief I’m able to proficiently and effectively produce plan documents, designs, and renders at a much faster pace.”

“I am now excited to announce that after 27 years of construction and design, I’ve finally hung up my hammer and as of December, 2018 I’m no longer managing construction projects. I am now solely focused on building a full time drafting & design company.

“It’s because of Chief Architect, that I was able to make this major business move and focus 100% of my energy on my first passion doing what I love to do! I am very pleased with Chief Architect and the powerful software they provide!”

Winning Design

Thank you Jeff for sharing your residential designs with us. We wish you the best of luck with your new company, Jeff Burns Designs! View more of Jeff’s design work in the gallery below.

Design Gallery

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Contest Winners

March’s Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest Winners

Open-concept kitchen rendering with blue tile backsplash and a large, oak island.

March’s Remodel/Addition Design Contest Winners | Chief Architect Blog

Congratulations to our three Chief Architect Design Contest – Kitchen/Bath & Interiors winners!

Thank you all for sharing your designs with us and our community.

1st Place

Mike Irmen of Lewis And Company Construction using Chief Architect Premier X10.

2nd Place

Design by Lori K. Schrock of LKDesignco using Chief Architect Premier X10.

3rd Place

Design by Kaitlyn Graf using Home Designer Professional 2018.

March’s Remodel/Addition Design Contest Winners | Chief Architect Blog

April’s Design Contest is Residential Design, Submit your design.

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Design Contest

Design Contest – Residential Design!

Modern home design with a large back yard and pool.

Chief Architect Design Contests are a fun way to share your designs, build credibility and expose your brand.  Share one of your Residential Designs for a chance to win Chief Gear. Use any Chief Architect or Home Designer software product to create your original design.


  1. Email a single image or a 360° image of your design to
  2. Include your name, company information, and the software you used.
  3. Describe your design and planning process for your submission including any background information about the project.

Entries will be posted in a photo album on Chief Architect’s Facebook page. Fans of Chief Architect will be asked to “Like” their favorite entry. The entry with the most “Likes” and other reactions will be declared the winner.

Facebook Album


1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place


  • Use any Chief Architect or Home Designer software product to create your original design.
  • One submission/file per person (can be a single view, collage, or 360° image)
  • If you submit a 360° image, it must be exported as a JPG format. Also, please include a standard image for us to add to our ChiefBlog.
  • Chief Architect reserves the right to refuse any contest entry.
  • Purchasing “Likes” or “Shares” with goods, services, or monetarily is not permitted.
  • A submitted design may not be entered more than once per year. Re-entry of winning designs is not permitted.
  • Entry Deadline is April 22, 2019 (Voting is open until the 24th)

Send inquiries to

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Contest Winners, Professional, Remodel-Addition

Nathan Ensminger is the 2018 Remodel/Addition Design of the Year Contest Winner

Nathan's 2018 Remodel/Addition Design of the Year Contest Entry.

By Jake Murray

Congratulations to Nathan placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest in September and won the Remodel/Addition Design of the Year Contest in December with his backyard getaway.

Nathan and his family at the beach

“My name is Nathan Ensminger from Wichita Kansas. Back as far as I can remember I watched and mimicked my father as he designed interiors for Lear jet.

“I am a Designer at Heartland Home Improvements, Inc. I started working with Chief Architect about 5 years ago. Chief Architect Premier has been a great tool for me. It allows me to give realistic visuals that help me communicate with my customers, carpenters and trade partners.”

Winning Design

Thank you, Nathan, for sharing your designs and for choosing Chief Architect! You can view more of Nathan’s work in the design gallery below.

Design Gallery

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Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Kitchen Design, Professional

Tahani Places First with Her Kitchen Inspired by a Custom 52″ Range.

Our designer used the range as the centerpiece, opened up the kitchen to the adjacent sunroom, and selected cabinetry, appliances, and fittings and fixtures that would create interest and variety as the kitchen is viewed from different angles.

By Jake Murray

Tahani Share places first in the Chief Architect Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest. She has a background in CAD and now uses Chief Architect as her go-to software for kitchen and bath remodels.

Tahani Share places first in the Chief Architect Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest with her kitchen design.

“My work at Landis Architects/ Builders involves designing additions to existing structures and remodeling interior and exterior spaces in existing homes. Almost every project requires redesigning a kitchen and at least one bathroom. We started using 3D software four years ago. I am part of a team of 5 designers with architectural backgrounds. We now use Chief Architect, AutoCAD Architecture, Sketchup, and Revit. When I design a kitchen or a bathroom, my go-to software is Chief Architect. It’s easy to use, make changes and develop detailed construction drawings. The 3D visualizations are beautiful, clear and quite convincing. They allow me to present my designs efficiently and get faster feedback from the clients. But that’s not all. Designing in 3D changed the whole design process. It also changed my approach to design. I now not only think about the space and form in 3D. I think about every little detail in 3D. Chief helps me explore the size, scale, proportion, color and texture of these details.”

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Events, Professional

How to Prepare for a Chief Architect Training Class

Scott Harris training a Chief Architect class.

By Phillip Gibney

Chief Architect offers in-person training classes throughout the country. These classes are an excellent way to increase your knowledge in the software, get your questions answered, connect with our staff and network with industry peers.

Classes are two days typically starting around 8:30 am and going until about 4:30 pm. Lunch is provided at the venue and usually, there is an evening reception nearby to relax and network. As a class participant, there are several things you can do to help prepare and ensure your success in a training class.

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Contest Winners

2018 Chief Architect Design of the Year Contest Winners

Design of the Year Winners 2019

Congratulations to the 2018 Chief Architect Design of the Year winners!

Throughout 2018, Chief Architect held a monthly design contest for our customers to showcase their work. This year, we had over 175 renderings submitted for our Residential, Remodeling, and Kitchen/Bath/Interiors Design Contests.

Each month our Facebook fans were asked to vote for their favorite design. The winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd) were entered into our year-end Design of the Year contest in December. Voting was open until January 9th and we are pleased to announce the winners! Discover more about the contestants through our Featured Contest Winner stories.

Grand Winners

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Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design

Edgar Pena Places Third with His Spanish Style Texas Home

Layout page featuring Edgar's winning spanish style residental design

By Jake Murray

Edgar places third in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest! Edgar’s achievements have led to his own business, Pena’s Drafting & Design, located in his hometown.

“I am from McAllen, a small town in south Texas, where I started technical drafting in High School. I obtained my Architectural Drafting Associates Degree at South Texas Community College and have designed homes since 2003. After months of planning and researching, I decided to go with Chief Architect. I have been using Chief Architect since 2013, and am glad I made the right choice. Besides customers being amazed to see their home in 3D, I love being able to do a preliminary floor plan in just hours instead of days. Now I can complete a full set of construction drawings in two to three days.” Continue reading…

Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Kitchen Design, Student

Alexis McDaniel Places 2nd with her Contemporary Kitchen

Interior rendering of a contemporary kitchen with a waterfall island and white cabinetry.

By Kendra Dorosh

Alexis places 2nd in the Chief Architect Kitchen, Bath, and Interior Design Contest! She is a Chief Architect Certified Apprentice who has found her passion in interior design.

Alexis McDaniel, Chief Architect Certified Apprentice

Alexis McDaniel, Chief Architect Certified Apprentice

“I’m a senior at Klein Collins High School in Spring Texas, who at a young age fell in love with interior design. My high school has a class where we can design living and commercial spaces using Chief Architect software. It has truly ignited the flame in me to design. I gain so much joy and pleasure from what I do. I have been using Chief Architect for around 3 years, and plan to continue using it. I prefer Chief Architect over other software products because it’s easy to use, and the renderings make a design really come to life.

“I, along with my fellow classmates Mary and Krystina, became a Chief Architect Certified Apprentice last year, which is a huge accomplishment to me. I would also like to mention my teacher Mrs. Mock, who has pushed us to be our best in what we do and has helped in my realization that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” Continue reading…

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