Chief Architect – Landscape and Design Software

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.


design software


Learn About Yard Design Software

Chief Architect is the creator of high-end home and landscape design software for consumers and professionals alike. The company created their first piece of design software in 1991. Today, their Chief Architect Home Designer and Professional products serve as their flagship line. The company is a member of the American Institute of Building Design, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Their software is not only intuitive, but fun to use as you create your landscape before it is built.

The latest series, Chief Architect 10, comes with more than 40 tutorial videos and include a Quick Start option with tutorials tailored to your desired project type.


       For Consumers:



design software



design software



design software







design software



design software

Intuitive Design Tools:

  • Start your project quickly by selecting one of several pre-made templates which include landscapes, decks, swimming pools, and terrain.
  • Multiple Views:  View your project in both 2D and 3D modes with the point & click camera tool. Instantly make all surfaces transparent using the Glass House™ view mode.
  • Virtual Tours:  By simply drawing a line, you can create a path from which a camera will follow. This is used to create engaging virtual tours across the digital landscape.
  • Day/Night View:  The landscape can be viewed in varying light conditions which include both day and night. Variable light intensity in combination with realistic shadows provides realism.
  • Furniture / Object Library:  Users can place a multitude of furniture pieces throughout their digital yard, including swing sets, chairs and gazebos. The color and size of every object can be changed.
  • Walkways & Paths:  Tools are available which let you place stepping stones and pavers on the ground to create a path.
  • Color Options:  With the Material Painter® tool, the color of any material can be changed. Literally thousands of colors and textures are available with Chief Architect professional software. You can even create your own textures by taking a sample from any photograph.

Plant Life:

  • To get started quickly, users can select from many pre-arranged landscape styles and flower beds. You can modify these designs or create your own from scratch. The Replace tool allows any existing plant to be selected and replaced with a different one.
  • Import Photos:  Pictures of any existing landscape or home can be imported for use as a backdrop or texture.
  • Drag & Drop Functionality:  Any object from the immense Chief Architect library can be dragged and dropped directly into the digital environment. The library includes pavers, plants, windows, doors, accessories, furniture and much more. Additional objects may be downloaded from the Chief Architect website.
  • Quick Plant Population: Large swaths of land can be quickly populated with plants using a single click.
  • Plant Scheduler: This tool creates a detailed list of every plant in you digital yard. The list can be used when purchasing and caring for plants.


Choose from 3,600 Plants:

  • The selection of plants from Chief Architect numbers in the thousands and each plant is very realistic. Can’t find a plant you like? No problem- simply create a plan of your own using a picture of it. CA software includes an intuitive database which helps you learn and care for each plant. Information like bloom time, sunlight, water, and height is all included.
  • Hardiness maps are included that show where plants grow best.
  • Plants can be sorted by their traits.
  • Growth Simulator:  Using this tool, you can see how big your plants will grow over the course of months or years.

Terrain Creation:

  • Water Features:  Ponds, waterfalls and streams can be placed and sized using a tool.
  • Build terrain dividers, walls and terraces to divide your lawn into professional segments.
  • A tool is available which allows for varying ground elevation.
  • GPS Capability: The software can import GPS information to copy terrain from real life. Odd and un-uniform landscapes can be made quickly.

Deck Creation:

  • Create virtually any type of deck, including post/beam, tiered and free standing styles. Single/multiple deck levels can be created.
  • Do you have a sloping yard? The software will create a level deck even if the ground slopes.
  • Frame your deck easily using the various frame tools.
  • Detailed features like bordering, beam direction, over-hang, gaps, stairs, railings and ramps can all be defined.
  • Furniture can be placed directly onto the deck surface for visualization purposes.
  • Estimate the total cost for your deck project by printing a categorized spreadsheet. The Chief Architect software can also show you how much wood and other materials are needed.
  • Roofing such as awnings and gazebos can be placed quickly using the automatic roofing tool.

Project Planning:

  • Build your own plot/perimeter plans and create 3D models of your landscape.design software
  • Use a grid to plan your landscape in 2D mode.
  • Create a sprinkler system.
  • Measure the dimensions between any object.
  • Create driveways, sidewalks and fences which follow the elevation of the land.
  • And MORE!

design software

Leave a Comment