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remodeling

Customer Stories, Featured Customers

A Designer’s Journey from Hand-Drafting to Design Software

Modern farmhouse style home with black windows, white siding, and a standing seam metal roof.

Author's Portrait by Kendra Dorosh

Have you spent hours laboring over a drafting table? Remodel/ Addition Design Contest winner Sandra Lukas can relate.


Black and white image of a woman with short hair and large sunglasses.

Sandra’s winning design in the Chief Architect Remodel/ Addition Design Contest caught our attention and inspired us to learn more about her story. It turns out that she hand-drafted designs for high-end spec homes for years before making the jump to Chief Architect’s Home Designer Professional software. Follow along as she takes us on a trip down memory lane from her days of hand drafting to how she discovered and fell in love with design software.

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Customer Stories, Featured Customers

Two-Time Design of the Year Contest Winner, Nathan Ensminger!

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

By Jake Murray

Congratulations to Nathan, who has won the Chief Architect Design of the Year Contest for two years running! What will he design next?

In 2018, Nathan placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest in September and won the 2018 Design of the Year Contest in December with his backyard getaway. Nathan wasted no time and entered into the Kitchen/Bath and Interior Design Contest in June of 2019 where he took 1st place with his Kitchen design. Nathan then went on to win the 2020 Design of the Year Contest in December. He’s certainly on a roll and we look forward to seeing what he’ll submit next year!

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Chief & News, Industry News, Original Research, Stories

The Construction Industry’s Top 5 Challenges in 2020

Clerestory house design with an increasing arrow overlaid on it.

Author's PortraitBy Kendra Dorosh

What are the biggest challenges your business will face over the next year? If you said finding skilled labor and completing projects on time, you aren’t alone.

With housing starts at a high and labor shortages expected to continue, we set out to identify the biggest challenges that businesses are facing in the coming year and what they’re planning to do to address them. We heard from 35 building industry professionals who provided us with a pulse on what they are preparing for in the coming year.

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Chief & News, Industry News, Original Research, Tips & Techniques

Capturing As-Built Measurements for Remodel Projects

The as-built home with an overlay drawing of the proposed remodel and addition.

Author's PortraitBy Kendra Dorosh

How do remodeling professionals capture as-built measurements?  Paper, Napkin, App, or Laptop software?  Chief Architect software surveyed remodelers and found 75% measure as-built homes by hand using paper and pencil.  The compounding effects of repetition have made this an efficient process. If the system works, why change?

What is an As-Built plan?

The As-Built plan refers to the original condition of the house before remodeling. Remodeling projects and home additions start with as-built measurements, also called red-line drawings or record drawings. It’s vital to map out the as-built plan as precisely as possible.

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Contest Winners, Featured Customers, Professional, Remodel-Addition

Dave Kangas Wins 3rd Place with his Period-Specific Addition to a 1890’s Queen Anne Cottage.

By: Jake Murray

Dave placed third in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest. His mission to design spaces that foster bonds between families has contributed to his success as a designer.

Dave, his wife Deanna, and their two daughters

“I’ve been designing on-and-off in an official capacity since 2005 (the design office was using v9.5 at the time), but I started using Chief Architect in 2000 or 2001 using version 6. Before Chief Architect, I started with notebooks full of sketches from age 12 and up! Continue reading…

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Featured Customers, Professional, Stories

Leslee Spade Wins 1st Place with a Conch House Remodel in the Keys!

A small conch house on a gorgeous lot in the Keys with plenty of room to go up and out with this build.

By Jake Murray

Leslee placed first in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest! Her winning design is a showcase of the potential for concrete structures in the Keys.

Leslee grew up knowing she’d be an artist of some sort. As soon as she began to write, she began to draw.  As a child, she would sit and watch “Picture Pages” with Bill Cosby and according to her family was very accurate in her early efforts. She also painted her dad’s brand new leather jacket he got for Christmas with nail polish when she was 4 years old. Leslee’s mother, Roberta, knew right then her daughter would grow up to be an artist. Her passion led her to win many art competitions while in school. Continue reading…

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