Professional, Remodel-Addition, Residential Home Design, Student

Featured Student – Corey Small

Floor plan laying out the first floor footprint of stable with living area.

Corey won gold at Kansas SkillsUSA! His passion for architecture began at an early age and has developed through college and now into a full-time career.

“My dad is a land surveyor and I was always interested in architecture. In fact, when I was young my mother would take me to the library and instead of checking out normal young adult/children’s books I would get a few copies of Architectural Digest and look at all the house designs. My interest was always there, it just took me a bit after high school to get settled and figure out what I was going to do. I graduated from Augusta, Kansas in 2009 and just recently decided to go back to school. I started attending Wichita Area Technical College in fall of 2016, having had all my general education taken care of I didn’t have much to take. That’s where I was introduced to Chief Architect. I loved using it right from the get go. I would put off my assignments because I would get too enveloped in my own ideas, just experimenting with the program. One of the first things I tried was to recreate the clue board mansion into a real world building through Chief Architect. I had heard a lot about the Skills competition through the school but had no intentions of signing up. I was determined to get through school and get a job and wasn’t looking for too many extracurricular activities.

The competition was to take an old barn, with existing dimensions and turn it into a livable space for a ranch home.

“My instructor talked me into doing it and I figured why not, it would be a fun real world test of my knowledge thus far. The competition was to take an old barn, with existing dimensions and turn it into a livable space for a ranch home. I soared through it at a pretty good pace, I felt good with my attempt but with the time constraints of the competition I wasn’t expecting much as I really had to skip out on a few details to get done in time.

“The next day we went to the awards ceremony and I was honestly hoping just to medal but instead ending up taking the gold. It was a relief and really gave me confidence in my skills going into the job market. Not long after, I interviewed for a company here in Wichita, MKEC. I ended up accepting a position in their structural department. This is where my dad works. Going into school, MKEC was the company I wanted to work for, so it’s been a pretty monumental achievement for me. I am currently a drafter and I plan on continuing my education at WATC/WSU in order to get my bachelor’s in engineering technology.

“Winning the national championship was probably even more monumental to me than landing my dream job.”

Here is his winning design. Join us in congratulating Corey for his success!

Floor plan laying out the first floor footprint of stable with living area.

1st Floorplan


Floor plan laying out the first floor footprint of stable with living area.

2nd Floorplan


Front elevation of a barn with living quarters on the second floor.

Front Elevation


Side elevation of a barn with living quarters on the second floor.

Side Elevation


Door, window and cabinet schedules for final construction documentation.


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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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Events, Professional, Stories

Networking for Design and Construction

By Derek Pedersen

Have you ever wondered why you should go to that industry related seminar or evening social event with a guest speaker?

It’s because networking is an essential part of building a business.  Networking is an easy and often free strategy for marketing and sales opportunities, as well as connecting and building relationships with service providers for your business. Continue reading…

Bathroom Design, Contest Winners, Professional

Debra Taylor Purvis Wins 1st with her Rustic Bathroom Design

Rustic elegant master bathroom with rain shower, free standing tub and custom ceiling.

Debra placed 1st in our Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest! She develops house plans and has been a Chief Architect customer for almost 20 years!


Debra Taylor Purvis“I’m from south Mississippi. I live/work in a little town called Wiggins since my husband and I got married 32 years ago.  I’m a Certified Professional Building Designer and a professional member of the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD).

“I started what would be my “career” after taking an architectural drafting class in high school. After college I started working for an engineering firm, drawing road projects, subdivisions, and local projects “on the board.”  After working with them 8 years (and doing house plans at night) I decided to leave there and open DesignHouse Inc – House Plans in 1991, full-time. I knew if I was going pursue this design field I would have to transition off the board onto a CAD program.  I’ve used several programs over the years but nothing has offered my clients the views that Chief does. Continue reading…

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Contest Winners, Design Contest, Professional, Residential Home Design

Richard Norris wins 2nd with his Phoenix Home Design!

Home design captured mountain with views of the esteemed Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona.

Richard placed 2nd in our Residential Home Design Contest. He has always had an eye for creative design and is now working with Norris Architects to dive deeper into architecture.


Richard Norris

“I lived my former years with the notion I wanted to go into Real Estate. As a child, I had a burning passion for building with Legos, crafting creative objects from obscure materials and creating abstract, yet understandable forms through any medium I could get my hands on. Essentially, my passion for architecture, houses, the glitz, the glam, the overall peculiar curiosity for a betterment of design of the sort had always been a prevalent part of my upbringing. The moment I turned 18, I obtained my real estate licensure in Arizona and soon discovered that I had an insatiable desire for more; I started working alongside my father, who is an architect, learning the complex jargon and every bit of minutia involved in the trade. I still love what I do to this date despite the constant desire to discover and master everything in the realm of architecture. Continue reading…

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