Chief Architect Three Day Training McGrath, MN JUNE 10-14, 2018

Join Dan Baumann, John Schrader and other Chief Architect enthusiasts for three days of comprehensive intermediate live training in a fun, exclusive, all-inclusive northern Minnesota hideaway

Mastering Your Chief Software!

  • Develop advanced Chief skills in 3-days not 3-years!
  • Close more sales by becoming an advanced Chief user
  • Get better at solving client design problems using Chief
  • Create all the details you need using Chief's CAD tools
  • Get “Best Practices" for using Chief & Drawing Plans
  • Create better 3D models to communicate your ideas

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Finally, An Easy Way To Learn The Right Way To Use Chief Architect!

The Live, In Person Chief Architect Training Event

If you're struggling to get the results you want from Chief Architect it's not your fault, you just haven't seen how the program works yet.

During this training event you'll discover what you need to know to draw plans faster, create more accurate and detailed 3D models, use the 2D CAD tools and assemble great working drawings on the layout.

This course is geared towards users that are familiar with the program & want to get a better understanding of what the program can do.

3-Day Intermediate Training Course

No matter what your experience level is with Chief Architect, Dan and John will help you understand how Chief works and the best ways to use it to get the results you want, fast! 

  • Overview of the interface, preferences, and defaults
  • Review the "Best Practices" for completing a plan
  • Using and understanding the 2D CAD tools
  • Proper procedures for creating and using templates
  • Dimensioning the different views on your plan
  • Proven methods for creating more accurate models
  • Adding, positioning and grouping windows and doors
  • Simple methods for adding various types of stairs
  • Using the automatic and manual roof tools
  • How to quickly and accurately add stairs
  • Setting up and creating a cabinet layout and plan
  • Creating and using slabs and molding polylines
  • Creating and using symbols and images
  • Adding cameras and using the rendering tools
  • Introduction to layers, layer sets, and annotations
  • Assembling your views using the layout pages
  • Procedures and techniques for selling plans for more
  • Networking, Q&A and much more ..........

It's Not Just A Class - It's An Event

Hi Fellow Chief Architect Enthusiast,

For over 25 years I've been using Chief Architect to draw plans for homeowners and contractors and have also had the privilege of working with and teaching 1000's of fantastic people the best ways to use Chief.

It's very rewarding to watch the transformations that occur when someone becomes fluent with Chief and learns how to use it to create amazing plans.

They discover the potential of the software as a sales and production tool for all of their projects plus the benefits it brings in the way it gets used as a communication platform.

But as everyone gets busy in their business and life and it's sometimes difficult to take the time necessary to focus their attention on learning how to use the software to it's fullest. To dig in and absorb the best practices needed to truly understand Chief and the many ways to use it effectively.

Everyone learns differently, and there are many ways to learn how to use Chief. Whether it's trial and error, YouTube and other videos, webinars, manuals and online courses and more. The bottom line is whatever you can do to learn this software is a good thing.

In all my years of doing all of the different kinds of training methods, the one form of training that stands out above all the rest as the best way to learn Chief Architect, are live training classes. Being in a distraction-free environment for two or three days allows even the busiest of people to focus on and absorb the information being taught.

But as good as live classes are they still have one large flaw that has always bugged me. They are too impersonal. People show up, sit through class all day, and then leave. There is little exchange of information between everyone. Networking and business ideas are rarely explored.

In 2008, I stopped doing live training classes for many years, but four years ago I had this crazy idea of renting a house during the International Builders Show in Las Vegas and filling it with other Chief Architect users for a week of education and networking.

I imagined an event where a group of like-minded professionals would come together and be willing to spend time learning, sharing ideas and breaking bread together.

An event where the exchange of knowledge and ideas would lead to improvements in everyone's businesses and at the same time, we would be building friendships. Most importantly, we would all have a great time doing it.

These events have become everything that I dreamed they would and I am excited to make this experience available to even more people.

I look forward to seeing you at The Shire in the Woods.

To your success,

Dan Baumann

Meet Your Instructors

Dan Baumann

With more than 24 years of experience using and teaching Chief Architect, Dan is highly qualified to teach you the best practices needed to complete your building plans and models using this software. His 20 years of experience as a remodeling contractor also give him the insights into what it takes to run a successful design-build construction company.

Dan's passion for maximizing the compensation you receive for your design services helps ensure that your design sales become the profit center of your business.

John Schrader

President, John Schrader Construction

John has been involved in the residential remodeling and building industry for 33 years and has been using Chief Architect in his business for over 12 years.

John will assist and share his passion and insights into how Chief works for him and how you can use it to improve your business. 

Our Agenda

Day 1 - Sunday, June 10, 2018

Arrive after 3:00 pm and get settled in. We'll have a relaxing dinner and take some time to get to know each other around the campfire with a soda or adult beverage.

Day 2 -Monday, June 11, 2018

Breakfast starts at 7 am and at 8:30 we'll assemble in the Octagon for a full day of Chief Architect training where we'll cover the topics that have been custom designed just for the group attending.

Lunch will be from 11:30 to 12:30. Training for the day will end at 5-ish and dinner will be at 6 pm. The evening will be filled with hiking in the woods, networking, and time around the table to clarify the things you learned that day. More than likely we'll end the day with a campfire.

Day 3 - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This day will be much like Monday as we dig deeper into Chief Architect and look to get more of your questions answered.

Day 4 - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

On the third day of class, we'll get into some more advanced Chief Architect function and cover the things in the program that you can use to increase productivity. We'll also spend some time discussing business and how you can make more money selling the plans that you create.

Day 5 - Thursday, June 14, 2018

We'll start the day with a leisurely breakfast while we pack up and get ready to leave. Check out is at noon and at that time we'll part company with hugs and smiles.

Post Event Webinar - Tuesday, June 26, & Tuesday, July 10, 2018

All attendees will meet in a private GoToWebinar session from 3:00 to 4:30 CST. You'll be able to get clarity on things and ask your questions about Chief Architect and Design-Build.


Escape Your Daily Hustle & Bustle To A Great Learning Experience At The Shire In The Woods

This Chief Architect three-day training event will be held at The Shire in the Woods Resort from June 10-14, 2018. Google Map

The Shire in the Woods, is a small, secluded resort where it's natural surroundings will nourish and rejuvenate your soul. It's located 18 miles east of northern Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, and is tucked away at the heart of the Solana State Forest.

The resort is two hours north of Minneapolis, MN. It's a pleasant drive, and you can either drive yourself, or we'll coordinate carpools.

Once you arrive you'll soon discover why this is the perfect spot to get together and learn Chief, network and have a great time.

The Resort

We'll have plenty of time to do some hiking in the beautiful forest, relax and enjoy a campfire in the evening or just hang out in the cabins. 

The Octagon

The training will take place in this spacious cabin with it's large projection screen. Everyone will have plenty of room to spread out and work on their computers.

The Cedar House

The Cedar House is where we'll eat together. The cabins are comfortable and there are plenty of sleeping accommodations for everyone. 

The Tree Lodge

This cabin has private rooms and some very comfortable beds so everyone can have some privacy during their stay at the Chief Experts Academy Training event at The Shire in the Woods. 

Testimonials From Other Chief Architect Users

What Others Are Saying About These Events

This short clip was created for the 2017 Orlando International Builders Show promotion and it features a few of the attendees along with Dan. 

"There is no better way to go about training. There's no better way to go about the comradery, the networking. This is the premier way to attend anything having to do with training, conferences, whatever and in this case Chief Architect. It's fantastic."

Kevin Transue, CHC Creative Remodeling


"Dan, are a gifted teacher and big soul. I am grateful for the week spent under your guidance and am inspired that my tired old brain will actually learn this program now. I look forward to working with you by phone and in person in the coming months/years..... The students:.... again, I feel so lucky to have spent this time with each of you. I appreciated the camaraderie and help from those of you who actually understood the program, the time cooking and eating together, the discussion of personal/world views in a respectful setting, and the overall goodness that was present in this group. It was a special time that I will remember for a long time."

Jonathan Mills
Mills Builders

"To all of the Gang - You inspired me - I decided to keep on trying new things with Chief so I took my computer to a site measure yesterday and did the as-built drawing on site. I will need to get used to the extra time working on-site for a measure, but it worked out great. I realized, besides the benefit of being able to verify details as you are drawing, there is another benefit. I came back to my office with a drawing I could immediately start moving into design ideas while the inspiration from being in the actual spaces was still fresh. There was no lag time while I slogged through as-builts and then had to restart the creative part of the process. It will take some time to adjust to a measure taking longer, but I saved time over all and the process feels more fluid. Who knows what Dan will get us to try next!"

Margaret Griffith
Griffith Design

"I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting everyone there. Great bunch of folks, almost felt like being with a group of Texans. :-) The interaction during the fixing of meals, etc. was great and the help from those that were more advanced was appreciated."

Jim Aswell
Kingwood, TX

"It was a great week with lots of education in so many ways. Thanks Dan for a job well done and to all of my fellow class mates for a fun and relaxing environment. Think we should all consider a "Family" reunion to further our education sometime in the not too distant future. Thanks everyone!"

Kevin Kofron
Kofron Builders Inc.

" have taken several classes from Dan and I always learn new way of using the software to get more done is less time. All of his training is well worth the time, cost and effort. I will remain a client for years to come."

Debra Taylor Purvis
Design House, Inc.

"His ability to make the software do things is amazing. He helps us to think outside of the box in our design projects. If you're using Chief Architect software I strongly recommend working with Dan and all of his training."

Dennis Gehman
Gehman Custom Remodeling

"Dan had helped to give me a deep understanding of how Chief works. His classes are lively, entertaining and always very educational. I highly recommend all of the online and live training that Dan provides."

Kevin Transue
CHC Creative Remodeling

What's Included In This Event

This is not an ordinary training class! From the moment you arrive, you will be treated like part of the family. You will be immersed in an atmosphere like you've never experienced and you will leave with a new level of understanding of Chief Architect, new ideas for your business and new friendships that will last a lifetime

Four Nights Lodging at The Shire in the Woods

You'll be staying in one of the three cabins we'll be using at the Shire in the Woods Resort and Retreat. These comfortable cabins are located in a peaceful and natural state park in northern Minnesota. It's the perfect setting for your uninterrupted Chief Architect learning experience.
All Food & Beverages
All meals will be provided during your stay. Each day we'll start with a healthy breakfast followed by lunch that will feature an ala carte menu. Dinner will include grilling and other great food. Beverages are included.

Three Days of Training
In this small group setting, you will learn the correct way to use Chief Architect. You'll have time to ask questions, discuss projects and get deep into the inner workings of the program. You will come away with a true understanding of how to create more detailed plans in less time.

Two Post Event Webinars
These live, private webinars will give you a chance to ask the questions you need to get clarification of the things you need to keep moving forward with Chief and your design business. They will be recorded for review at any time.

Networking & Friendships
One of the reasons this is called an event is because it goes beyond training. You'll make friends that you'll be able to network with long after the class if over. Many that have attended this event in the past are now doing business with each other.

Chief Experts Academy 3-Day Training Event

Join us for this all-inclusive event and learn how to master Chief Architect, explore other areas of your business and come away with new ideas and new friends.

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4 - Nights Lodging

All Food & Beverages

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2 - Post Event Webinars

Networking & Friendships


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4 - Nights Lodging

All Food & Beverages

3 - Days of Training

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Networking & Friendships


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Got Questions? - Call Dan at 952-451-9911

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What the heck is "Immersion" training? Sounds like a dip in a pool. Rest assured, you won't get wet. Unless it's raining while we hike through the woods during one of our breaks. The bottom line is you'll be immersed in learning Chief Architect and how to make more money in your design business from the moment you arrive, to the moment you leave.

Where is this training event located? This small retreat called The Shire in the Woods is approximately two hours north of Minneapolis MN. The address is 14044 220th Street, McGrath, MN 56350. Phone 320-592-0180 Google Map

Why have this event at The Shire in the Woods? After staying there for a week by myself in May 2017, I fell in love with this place for a lot of reasons. It's clean, comfortable, quite and the owners are wonderful. Nestled in the woods, we'll be immersed in nature. The large building called the Octagon has plenty of room for everyone and will be the perfect place for us to focus on Chief Architect. The cabin called the Cedar House had plenty of room for us, and it has a lovely kitchen. The cabin called The Tree Lodge has two private bedrooms plus two other full sized beds. 

Why not just rent a conference room? After years of doing training in hotel conference rooms, I've learned that it's too impersonal. Having done events around the International Builders Show where we all stayed in the house together, I've discovered that when we are together for an extended period, we learn more, share ideas, and become friends.

What are the rooms like at the Shire? The cabins are comfortable, but there are no rooms with private bathrooms. This event will be limited to ten people. There are a total of nine private rooms (3 - queen and 6 - twin beds), two rooms with full size beds and a loft that can sleep five. When you enroll for this event, I will call you and discuss which room you will be assigned to. It's on a first come, first served basis so sign up quickly to get your pick of rooms.

Does staying together really make that much difference? Attendees have said that they were able to cement the ideas they learned while sitting around the table after class reviewing things with someone else staying there. Simply put, YES, this is an amazing way to learn and make life-long friends. Just imagine what you'll learn with an adult beverage sitting around a campfire at night! -Priceless!

Are the food and beverages includes? All you have to do is show up. All food, snacks, milk, juice, water and beer will be included. We will confirm with you if you have any special dietary needs. You do need to supply any hard liquor.

Who does all of the cooking? Patti Schrader will be with us to help with the preparation and cooking of all meals. It will be helpful and expected that everyone chips in to lend a hand with food preparation and cleanup.

Do I have to bring my computer? Yes, bring your laptop or desktop? There will be plenty of power to go around.

Is there internet service available? The internet at this location is satellite. It's not the fastest but it should work fine for most things you need to do.

Should I wait to Register? Registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. When the seats are gone, they are gone! If you would like to be added to a waiting list or be informed of our next event, please email [email protected]

Can I stay at one of the other cabins at the resort? It would be great if you would stay with us but if you want privacy, you are welcome to contact the resort about renting one of the other cabins. The rates quoted for the class does not change.

Can I bring someone with me from my company? Yes, you can, but the pricing is on a per person basis. Call Dan at 952-236-4427 to discuss the details.

Can I stay somewhere else, but still attend the training classes? The classes have limited seating and those staying at the cabins will get priority. Any remaining seats will be available for those not staying at the house. Call Dan at 952-236-4427 to discuss the details.

What topics are being discussed in the training classes? General information for each course is provided above. Some of the curriculum will be developed based on an interview process with those that will be attending.

Do I need to be on the latest version of Chief Architect? To avoid confusion during the class, we do insist that you have the latest version of Chief Architect Premier on your computer.

What's the nearest airport? Minneapolis, St. Paul International Airport MSP is approximately two hours from The Shire in the Woods. If we can accommodate it, we'll plan on meeting somewhere and carpooling. More on this when it gets closer to the event.

Are there any other fees? Prices quoted include all taxes and fees. You just need to get there.

What is the Cancellation Policy? If you need to cancel, you’ll receive a full refund within 30 days of the event. After 30 days, "IF" we can sell your space to someone else, we’ll give you a full refund.

How much experience do I need to have with Chief Architect to attend this event? Everyone from intermediate to advanced users will benefit from this event. You do need to know your way around the software. With a small group we'll have time to cover your questions and you will come away ready to create better plans in less time.

Why do you have two live webinars after the event? So we can all stay in touch and get any questions you may have answered. These webinars will be great training opportunities for you. If you can't make it they will be recorded.

What happens after I sign up? When you sign up you will be enrolled in a members area at Chief Experts Academy just for this event. In this area you will be able to ask questions. enroll for the webinars and access any handouts and recordings.

Pictures from the June 2017 Shire in the Woods event

Pictures From Past Chief Experts Academy Events