Is PlusSpec BIM plugin worth the cost?


I am a Archicad user employing 5 seats. I am looking to simply our system, and reduce costs. I have been evaluating SketchUp and I love it. For a BIM, I find PlusSpec intriguing, however the expense seems unwarranted.

I did some quick math and compared a price model over a 5 year period. I understand that each system has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

SketchUp with PlusSpec Option
SketchUp pro with 5 seats = $3475
SketchUp with 3 upgrades per seat = $3000 (have to keep pace with PlusSpec updates)
PlusSpec @ 5 seats, 1000 per seat @ 5 years = 25,000 (mandatory yearly subscription)
Total investment = $31,475 over a 5 year period

Archicad 19 Option
Archicad Solo (full version less teamwork and cinerender) = $2500 per seat*5 seats = $12,500
I own the software, no upgrades planned for 5 year period
Archicad solo is fully BIM and also produces take-offf calculations.
Custom training @$125/hr = lets do 30 hours = $3750
Total investment in a program we already know = $16,250.

To use SketchUp with the BIM PlusSpec would cost me $15,225 more, or $3045 more per year over a 5 year period.

So - my question, why is SketchUp with PlusSpec so much better than archicad to justify that huge cost increase? Please help me understand?

Thank you for any comments…
(Again, I am SketchUp bias. I would love to have SketchUp as my horses, but only if the extra expense is justified)

I would like to know as well.

Hi Jef,

Thanks for your post. I am the Business Development and Product Manager at RubySketch (the makers of PlusSpec), and I wanted to personally reply to your question.

PlusSpec is subscription based because we release 3-4 major updates every year. We develop technology so quickly that a perpetual licence would be outdated in 6-12 months. Imagine in 5 years time.

Archicad is an excellent tool, but it is difficult to learn and costly. That is a very steep price to pay for a piece of software that will not change or improve for 5 years.

PlusSpec for SketchUp is more than just a more efficient drafting board, and has been built for the entire Industry. It’s core focus is to challenge the way we do things by improving communication, which will make you more efficient and more profitable - and will allow you to develop better relationships with your clients, and all other project stakeholders. It is the perfect balance between design and construction (producing Virtual Design & Construction models), and gives you the best of BIM and estimation, as well as SketchUp’s design focus and ease of modelling. If you are an Architect or Designer, it is the only viable solution for you to produce accurate feasibility studies and maintain better cost/budget control over your projects. If you are a Builder, it will transform the way you quote/estimate by drastically reducing error and oversight.

Regarding our pricing structure for multi-seats, please note that we offer a competitive pricing structure for companies with 5 or more PlusSpec seats. We do not have a set price that we advertise on our website, as the price will depend on the exact amount of licenses, etc. Please contact me directly to discuss the details:

Talk soon!

Hi Drew, thank you very much for your reply.

Okay, I understand the business model of subscription only, and respect that decision. I just wish the price point was lower, as I am sure everyone does. (with anything right?) Regarding your 3-4 releases a year, it makes total sense when still in early development. (As compared to revit or archicad) I get it.

If I were to compare the Archicad subscription model over a 5 year period, with a full on version of Archicad, for 5 seats, (what they call rental) I would be paying +/- 2600 per seat, 5 seats over 5 years = 65,000. Gulp. Plusspec in comparison to this model would be half the cost. This is a favorable comparison for Plusspec. :slight_smile:

However, this is my gap. Since Archicad is so much further developed, with so many built-ins, I don’t need to upgrade every year. I can ride my current investment out for a couple of years and then upgrade, and save 25-50% over the course of 5 years. So right now, it just doesn’t make sense for me to jump. I will keep checking in and in a couple of years, it may be worth it then. I am rooting for you.

Thank you!

Oh - and I will email you about what the saving would be for 5 seats, and more than likely get a single seat for me to play with for a year. Cant hurt, and will be fun…Thanks again

Hi Jef,

Thanks for your personal email. I look forward to talking with you further.

For all of the other folks that may come across this post, I also want to point out that the license cost of $990 is in Australian dollars. $990 AUD equates to approximately $730 USD (at the time of writing this). So the pricing calculations that you mentioned above are significantly less considering that you are based in North America.

A drawback to me is the need for a second license for my laptop when I’m on the road. Every other software title (sketchup included) I use, allows a second installation.

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Are you referring to SketchUp or PlusSpec?

SketchUp DOES allow a 2nd installation on another computer (laptop, desktop, whatever - Trimble cares only about the count!).

As I don’t use PlusSpec, I can’t speak to their terms.

I am referring to PlusSpec. I am aware of Sketchup allowing a second installation, as I said.

<smacks self on head>
Well, DUH! For some reason, your “(SketchUp included)” just didn’t register in my mind when I read the post I replied to!

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Plusspec Lite - soon to be released
I just received an email to register for their Plusspec LIte - the Lite price is approximately 15% of the full version.
It appears to be a significantly “stripped down” version.;
The key arguments against the subscription model licensing system still apply, as discussed in the SketchUcation link above.

Plusspec Lite is not for commercial use.

So the Price to use Plusspec if you are a Pro is still the same.

In comparison the Medeek Wall LT version is only a one time $35.00 fee and can still be used for commercial work. The primary disadvantage is the lack of full framing of the walls.