for the money why not buy Revit?

At $1,000 per year, why not just rent Revit instead? For me the beauty of SU, and the reason I went with it instead of Revit was the “bang for the buck”. Plus Spec seems like a great plugin but for the money it seems like one might as well just use Revit instead.

Hi Chrislag,

Similar queries have been posted before. It is true that Autodesk’s new subscription-based licencing structure has significantly lowered their prices.

We agree wholeheartedly when you said, 'For me the beauty of SU, and the reason I went with it…was the “bang for the buck”. And we believe that PlusSpec provides far better “bang for the buck” compared to other BIM & Estimating software, such as Revit.

The truth is that current BIM software have innumerable complexities and constraints - especially for Residential design and construction. They are incredibly difficult to learn, cost you a vast sum of money due to prolonged periods of unproductiveness, and the need to upskill staff. Complexity also breeds specialization. Software specialization is bad news for Architects, Builders and Estimators. Why? Architects need to focus on design. Builders need to focus on construction. And Estimators/Quantity Surveyors need to focus on estimating. Software is merely a tool - an evolution of the pencil and paper, which should simply allow you to work faster and smarter.

PlusSpec provides our users with the best of both worlds: Parametric BIM & Estimation/Feasibility (PlusSpec) and Free-form modeling (SketchUp). So why PlusSpec over Revit? Because it provides you with unprecedented design freedom, it is far simpler to learn, and it is quick to master. Time = money, so you need a simple and efficient tool that is actually going to increase your workflow efficiency, and maximize your profits. The problem with our competitors, is that they may appear simple - but they are inherently complex, and require overt specialization. However, PlusSpec shares the SketchUp mantra, in that we believe that you should be focusing your time and energy on design/building, not modelling.

But perhaps one of the biggest point of difference between PlusSpec and other BIM software, is that PlusSpec for SketchUp is actual VDC (Virtual Design & Construction). PlusSpec automatically generates structure & makes you design in the way that we build. This provides a level of communication that other BIM software cannot: as it is true 3D, not just Isometric 3D.

Furthermore, with PlusSpec, you can output quantities, estimates, feasibility studies & specifications with the click of a button (as they are automatically generated and updated in real time) - enabling you to be aware of the cost implications, as your design changes. You can also have endless design options contained in a single model, and immediately understand the cost differences between each option. What other software allows you to do this? Understanding cost (whether you be a Design Professional, or a Construction Industry Professional), is of the utmost importance. Having a live understanding of costs will save you time, money and frustration. And more importantly, it will ensure that each project will fulfill your clients budget, and actually be built.

PlusSpec for SketchUp has been designed by Architects, Builders and Estimators, for Architects, Builders and Estimators - and unlike any of our competitors, it benefits Design Professionals and the Construction Industry, equally. To see more ways that PlusSpec will benefit you, as well as how it will give you a far better bang for your buck than our competitors, please visit our website, and browse the Benefits pages:

It is for those reasons that we are converting more and more Revit, ArchiCAD (and other) users by the day!




I appreciate your informative reply. Thank You.

Hi Chrislag,

No problem. I hope that it helped explain the benefits, and the points of difference that makes PlusSpec truly unique, when compared to other BIM/Estimating software.

Have you had the chance to use PlusSpec yet?

Revit from a residential Builders point of view.
I am not a Revit user, however, I did purchase it in 2007, I am not a computer guru my job was to design & build homes. Being a builder, small or large is a veryy draining job as there is a lot to do, I’m not saying other jobs are not stressful as I have dipped my toe in many buckets of water, however, building in my opinion was/is the most stressful.
If you talk with any builder usually you will get short to the point answers, it is not because builders are obtuse it is more that builders have a lot to do. Knowing that builders have very little time and the are somewhat thrifty, the inclination to buy a high spec computer to run Revit, is just another overhead that does not produce more or better homes. Back when I paid $3500 for Revit I was happy to pay the money yet the time take to learn was excessive, nothing was set up and from hat I saw, it was not a plug and play program. I think the main reason most builders do not use Revit is because it does not work the way we actually build, so it is counter-intuitive and I really can not see that changing anytime soon. I can understand why a draftsperson or an architect is willing to spend the time to learn Revit as this is their primary focus and what they get paid for. In saying that it is okay for the draftsperson to create drawings that can be deciphered by a builder yet I see this as another cost to the builder, interpreting 2d plans is not for the faint-hearted. PlusSpec and Revit are like chalk and cheese. PlusSpec Virtually builds a home, the way we actually build onsite, I am talking Studs, trusses, joists, steel beams. Revit is basically hollow lines with information and calculations that hypothesise the output.
I have to be honest, the output of Revit and the time and money it took away from my construction business was excessive, everything was a battle when it comes to customisation EG. new families, better quality textures, drop edge beams in concrete, software upgrades and no back saving, lag due to too much information, communicating in 3D with customers and subcontractors. Obviously, I must have been frustrated because I spent years building PlusSpec, yet I continued to build houses whilst I I did it, it allowed me to test to program in real time on real customers and real jobs, basically it allowed me to replicate what happens in the field. I did not originally build PlusSpec to sell, I built PlusSpec to increase efficiency in my design construction company, the only reason it went public is because my construction company went from strength to strength, profit was up 15% and I was knocking back work if it was outside of a 15-minute drive from my office. I had no intention of becoming a huge volume builder, 6 jobs a year more than paid the bills.

So to answer your question:

  1. Revit does not output quantities the way industry calculates or purchases products.
  2. Revit is slow and harder to learn.
  3. Revit requires expensive hardware, You can not duck down to the local KMart and expect the computer to run Revit… You can with PlusSpec
  4. You can not back save a model to communicate with people who did not have the money to upgrade. ARGGGHHHHH
  5. Revit does not draw studs, trusses, sure you can get a plugin but man that Plugin is slow! Who has the time to switch in and out of Revit to something it should already do? Not me.
  6. Collaboration, integrated project delivery and communication in true 3D is impossible unless every party has a Revit license. Great marketing strategy for selling Revit, yet hardly practicable for industry.
  7. PluSspec delivers more information in less time and when paired with Sketchup pro, the output quality of construction documentation is superior in many ways.
  8. With Revit you need to be a seasoned pro to make special curves or special items, wouldn’t it be great if Revit had Sketchup functionality inside of it? PlusSpec does and it will also quantify that with a few click.
  9. Revit does not deal with buildability and feasibility of different methods of construction to achieve the same result and that’s because Revit is drawing things that it does not know what is behind the hollow shell. PLusSpec draws more than empty hatched shells and it does it very efficiently.

I hope that helps clarify why PlusSpec over Revit for residential construction. Sure if you are building hospitals, skyscrapers, or airports, I believe you should use Revit because PlusSpec was not designed to do this work, however, I have seen some of our users do many things successfully that it was not designed to do.

Revit is not a competitor to PlusSpec and I do not believe that PlusSpec is a competitor of Revit. I have a healthy respect for some of the unbelievable Revit users that I know, I take my hat off to you.

ArchiCAD vs Revit vs Sketchup with PlusSpec.

To ask these questions I can only guess you have not used PlusSpec or PlusDesignBuild?
Here are 6 reasons PlusSpec is better:

  1. PlusSpec is easier to learn than Revit and Archicad yet delivers more in less time.
  2. PlusSpec enables designers to solve problems and communicate better with downstream participants EG Engineers, Authorities, trades and suppliers.
  3. PlusSpec is a family business, it’s built-in Australia by residential Designers, builders and estimators for residential Design and construction. Revit and Archicad are good at Drafting but that’s the majority of its benefit, PlusSpec and PlusDesignBuild are great at Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). I don’t see any point in designing something that is not within the client’s budget.
  4. PlusSpec has the parametric ability of Revit and ArchiCAD combined with the free form designing ability of Sketchup.
  5. Collaboration is essential in this day and age, although 2D communication is common, efficient communication of design is done in 3D with people that have little or no CAD experience. Anyone can view a model with Sketchup free and it is detailed, manageable and more importantly informative.
  6. Sketchup is an amazing tool yet to be good at it takes experience, PlusSpec and PlusDesignBuidl automate and organise Sketchup the way we build. A design is worth nothing if it can not be built and this is something Revit and ArchiCad do not have.

Like everything, you get what you pay for, you buy Revit Lite cheaply and you get lite software… Buy cheap, buy twice.

The best thing to do is head over to the PlusSpec website and do the free trial. Then let us know what you think. Cheers.