Contest Winners

Contest Winners, Professional, Residential Home Design

Chace Groves wins 2nd with his 360 modern home design!

Modern home design with pool overlooking the ocean.

Chace won 2nd in our Residential Design Contest and has found his passion in home design.

“Born and raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex of Texas, I’ve always had an eye for design. Supported by my father and mother and their commercial construction business, I was very fond of many local architectural firms. I had set up a few one on one interviews to discuss my future goals, the educational process, and the work atmosphere. My mind was set on architecture since I was very young.

I loved going to work with my dad to watch the schools and business buildings being built from ground break to the punch list. I would take my dad’s blueprints and turn them over to draw my own plans and ideas. In my middle school years, I would draw plans and elevations in Microsoft words with the “Shapes” feature until my grandparents purchased me my first home design software.

“While in college, I purchased Chief Architect’s Home Designer Architectural 2014. With the software, I designed my grandparent’s retirement home, which was shortly after built and managed by my grandfather, who was a retired contractor.  I did a few drafting remodel jobs after that for friends and family. After earning my Associates Degree at a nearby Jr. college, I attended Architectural school at the University of Texas at Arlington to pursue my childhood dreams. Unfortunately, after two years of the program, I decided I wasn’t happy with the school’s program and I didn’t care to stay and get my Master’s degree in Architecture. It just didn’t seem worth the time for the official stamped architectural seal after three more years and then taking all the A.R.E. exams. I couldn’t stand going over what I already knew, all the hand drawings and renderings with expensive Rapidograph pens, and finger cuts from x-acto blades.

“I then transferred to Texas State Technical College where I picked up my learning in AutoCAD and Revit, and was introduced to mechanical drafting and 3D printing technologies through Inventor and SolidWorks to add to the “Experience” section of my resume.  It took me ten years to put myself through college part-time and work a full-time job. I landed my first real design job during the last year of school, and I was the happiest I’d been in those last ten years.”


View Chace Groves winning design in Chief Architect’s 360° Panorama Viewer.


“I use all the software in my knowledge base for different projects. I sometimes use multiple software programs to finish one project. All software is different in the sense that they have different features and are better at certain tasks. The key features of Chief Architect and its products are its ease to almost effortlessly “whip up” a quick demonstration of your design, its fast rendering results to share with the client. Other’s renderings take longer to produce these results and often not in real-time. The walk-through feature is another good tool, especially for remote clients. Since I have updated to the 2018 version, I greatly appreciate the “Import 3D” feature. This allows me to incorporate my 3D designs of various things. I use the “Export” feature just as often. The “Architectural Block” feature allows me to group these components and save them to use again. I look forward to more features from Chief Architect in the near future.”


See more of Chace’s work:

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Contest Winners, Residential Home Design

Valerie Nagle Wins 1st with Her Tudor Home Design

Victorian home design with brick siding, dormers, and picket fence.

Valerie won 1st in our Residential Design Contest and has been using Home Designer software since 2012! As a repeat Design Contest winner, she has continuously shown her love for design through many styles and spaces.


Valerie Nagle“I started drawing floor plans when I was 9 years old, and I have been hooked on it ever since. I know I have much yet to learn, but Home Design is my passion, and my dream is to work for an Architect and learn more. I returned to school in 2002 and studied drafting which included Hand Drafting and AutoCAD. I earned an entry level drafting certificate in 2003 with a 3.9-grade level. About 1997 we got our first computer and it was not long before I bought my First Design software. Broderbund was my first program, then Better Homes and Gardens and lastly Chief Architect’s Home Designer software. Someday I would like to own the professional version. I live in central WV, but we will soon be moving back to my home state of PA. Besides designing homes, I enjoy reading, pets, cooking, drawing/painting, camping and more. This is a great honor for me and I thank everyone who voted for my entry for this month. I’m looking forward to next month’s contest. Congratulations to the other two winners!”

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Contest Winners, Remodel-Addition

Megan Bowler Wins 3rd with Her Kitchen Remodel Project

Megan placed 3rd  in June’s Remodel-Addition Design Contest! She discovered Chief Architect a few years ago when she was looking for a program to use to remodel her own kitchen.

“I’m a software developer from Utah who loves to design and create in my spare time (which isn’t plentiful with a full-time job and a toddler).  I have loved doodling since I was little and remember using my dad’s engineering paper to draw up designs as to how I’d remodel my parents’ home and yard when I was young.  I love browsing floor plans and touring homes and imagining my ultimate dream home.  I’m certainly not an expert, but love to play around with ideas and try to think outside of the box.  (And would probably be happy doing something along these lines as a job if the opportunity ever came up.) Continue reading…

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Contest Winners, Remodel-Addition, Student

Havier Kiesow Wins 1st with His Remodeled Home Design


Havier is a 15-year-old student from Sheboygan, Wisconsin and placed 1st in our Remodel-Addition Design Contest! It’s an honor to be a part of bringing his passion to life.

“My parents bought my first Chief Architect Home Designer Suite software for Christmas in 2013.  I started learning how to use the software and my first designs were pretty simple.  I’ve since designed countless homes and buildings.  The Chief Architect software began my passion for exterior and interior home design and I always look forward to software updates.  I am planning to go to college and obtain a degree in architecture and design.” Continue reading…

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Bathroom Design, Contest Winners, Professional

Rene Rabbitt wins with Master Bathroom Design

Bathroom Design with walk in shower, built-in tub and spa feel.

Rene of Daoust Design and Construction placed 3rd in May’s Kitchen/Bath and Interior Design Contest. He has been using Chief Architect for almost 10 years and focuses on the 3D tools to beat out the competition.

“I grew up in Oakland California and went into building custom homes in the Bay Area right out of high school. I have been a builder for over 17 years in residential remodeling, which is what inspired me to start designing. Ten years ago I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do some freelance design for an architecture firm that was using Chief Architect X3. I fell in love with the software and its ability to create realistic visual depictions of the kitchens and baths I would then get to build. I am currently a licensed General Contractor (inactive) working for Daoust Design and Construction as Lead Design/Production Manager. Continue reading…

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