Residential Home Design

Contest Winners, Design Contest, Professional, Residential Home Design

Karen Hamilton places 3rd with her Crafstman-Style Home Design

This home is to be constructed in Wisconsin. The client wanted a Craftsman-style residence with two masters, a home theater, wine room, two utility rooms, and a total of five bedrooms.

Karen Hamilton placed 3rd in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest. From a young age, Karen has had a passion for design. Today, she uses her passion to create beautiful renderings for her clients.

“My father was a custom home builder in south Texas and I grew up walking through construction sites.  That instilled a desire in me to be able to create my own designs that I could watch go from concept to reality.   I began designing in 1978 under the tutelage of a fabulous designer from New York who was living in south Texas at the time.  Over the past 39 years, I have drawn hundreds of new homes, an office building or two, a couple of churches, and two restaurants.   One of my early jobs was with an architect specializing in historical restoration and I am very grateful to have had that experience.

“I currently live in Seabrook, Texas which is a suburb of Houston.  I am proud to say I have lived in Texas my entire life.   I have three sons and a grandson. My husband and I just celebrated our 37th anniversary.  In my spare time, I take tap dance lessons and paint watercolor portraits.

“I have been using Chief Architect software for over twenty years, starting in the late 1990’s.   The program I had purchased at that time was a home version and I became quite adept at using it.  In 1997, I was hired by an architectural firm who had just made the decision to have the entire company use Chief Architect.  Even as the new hire, I ended up training all the design staff on its use purely because I had already mastered the home version.   I have used other home design programs over the years but Chief offers the best options for me.  It’s not just a drafting/drawing program.  It is a DESIGN program and was created to facilitate not just putting walls and windows together but to create a cohesive, functional result.

“One of my favorite functions of Chief and/or Home Design Pro is the ability to calculate the square footage continuously.  That is so important for most projects and it establishes a parameter immediately.  I always say, “Yes, I can think outside of the box but I need a box to think outside of.”  Chief helps me establish that “box.”    One disadvantage of Chief?  When I occasionally let clients look over my shoulder as I revise their plans, they are so fascinated by the visuals, the camera shots, the ability to do a walk-through, that I can’t get them to leave my office sometimes!”


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Contest Winners, Design Contest, Professional, Residential Home Design

Steve McCloskey places 2nd with his Clerestory Home Design

This house was designed from the ground up using Chief Architect X9. Our customer was looking for a modern style home with a lot of windows and open space. They wanted to take advantage of the sloped site and the mountainous views around them.

Steve McCloskey placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest. His dedication to the business shows through in the realistic detail of his designs.

“I am from Altoona, PA. Our company, McCloskey Builders, is currently celebrating 30 years in business.  We specialize in custom homes and also commercial construction.  About 10 years ago we started to incorporate a design process into our way of doing business.

“I have been using Chief Architect for about 7 years.  Prior to Chief Architect, we were using a very basic (store bought) design software.  We found that our needs outgrew the basic design program. We were looking to incorporate more “life-like” images into our designs.  We were looking for a program that could use real products and material in order to give our customer a realistic design. Through research, we found Chief Architect.

“Our company over the past 10 years has transitioned into mostly a design-build construction company.   Chief Architect has been an asset in that transition and we use the program on both our residential and commercial projects.”


Connect with Steve

McCloskey Builders
419 North 2nd Street
Altoona PA 16601
(814) 941-2278


Winning Design

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Other designs from McCloskey Builders:



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Contest Winners, Design Contest, Professional, Residential Home Design

William M. Woody wins 1st place with his Log Cabin Design

This cabin is a stacked 6x12 log on log featuring two bedrooms, a large centered fireplace in the great room, an upstairs open loft, heavy timber beams, and heavy timber rafters. Finished with hand hewing, this rustic cabin will nestle in nicely in the Great Smoky Mountains, and look as if it has been there for over a century. Adorned with rounded cedar tree posts on the porches, this home will have wonderful mountain views from those porches, and be a relaxing place to sit and watch the sunset. This home is replacing one destroyed in the Cobbly Nob area, just outside of Gatlinburg, TN burned by the wildfire's that ravaged the town late in 2016, transforming the landscape forever. The production and manufacture of this home has already begun as the rebuilding continues for one more of these home owners. Logs where modeled in Cadwork. Chief Architect X9 was used to complete the plans, add textures, and finish the model. Lumion 7 was used for the final rendering.

William M. Woody won 1st place in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest. William uses his vast experience in the Residential Design Business as well as his skills with Chief Architect Software to create exceptional plans and renderings for his clients.

William M. Woody, 1st Place winner of the October 2017 Chief Architect Residential Design Contest

“I began working here at Hearthstone Log and Timber Frame Homes, back in 1999 and after working for eighteen years in the residential design business, gaining valuable experience, producing countless sets of blueprints, nothing excites me more than seeing a finished product. I love visiting job sites or seeing photos of projects that I helped complete. It’s so fulfilling to see that thing that you created brought to life. It’s not often I get the chance, however, because we are busy designing and shipping projects literally all over the world.

“Yet, using Chief Architect gives me the chance to see the projects as they are being designed, working out the details and then creating a nice rendering to give me the opportunity to actually see the house before it’s ever built. That’s something so rewarding and valuable, not only to me as the designer but to our clients as well, affording them the opportunity to actually get a sense of their home before it’s ever built. All too often I meet clients who just have a hard time seeing through the black and white lines on the paper and visualizing what they are getting. Actually being able to show them the physical space gives them a real-world understanding of what they are getting.

“I began using Chief Architect back with version 6, but I really didn’t dive into the deep end of the Chief pool until version X2. I have been using it ever since. Now it has become the go-to tool for conceptualizing our projects quickly in order to give clients a clear understanding of what they are getting. There’s nothing like seeing the look on their face when they get that first glimpse.

“Moving forward here at Hearthstone, Inc. is all about getting better at what we do, and we have a lot of new and exciting things going on. Right now we have settled into a brand new facility and are in the early development stages of getting a new estimating system together, in order to help us more quickly and accurately price our projects. We hope that we can incorporate Chief’s Materials List to help us with that goal. Also, Hearthstone, Inc was two full decades ahead of our time in using Cad/Cam technology in the manufacture of our homes, we recently sprang forward again with an exciting new Antiquing technology to give our brand new timbers the look, and feel of a two-century-old aged piece of wood. Brand new material, that looks reclaimed. Adding these new textures to my Chief Architect Materials library has been very exciting, and getting our customer’s pumped up about what we can do for them.”


Winning Design

William also won 1st place in April’s Residential Design Contest! We want to thank him for his commitment to Chief Architect and for sharing his design process with us and our Social Media followers.

Connect With William

Project Designer
Hearthstone, Inc.
120 Willis Rd.
Newport, Tn. 37821
(800) 247-4442

See more designs from William and Hearthstone, Inc.

Westminster Church Pavilion:

View William M. Woody in Chief Architect’s 360° Panorama Viewer.


Shaver’s Creek:


Shaver’s Creek Construction Plans

Cooper Log on Log:


Tiny Houses:


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