May 10, 2007 9:41 am
Opening up a topic for general discussion here...
Has anyone had any experience with computer based home design software, and have any recommendations about what to look at, and what to avoid?
I'm PC literate (work in the business), but I don't really want to spend the 6 months saving up for AutoCad, and the next 6 months learning to use it.
Key requirements - something which is functional, reasonably easy to learn, and not too expensive.
I'd be amazed if no-one on these forums has had a crack at designing their own home.
Re: Home Design Software2
May 10, 2007 9:56 am
I found these when we were designing our house. Still had them saved in my bookmarks.
We ended up doing it ourselves starting out on a scrap of paper and then getting the plans professionally drawn up. We've been holding our breath to see if it all works out and so far, so good.
Re: Home Design Software3
May 10, 2007 10:21 am
Hi, I've been using 'Google Sketchup' It's really easy to use and it also lets me do up a 3d version to show my fiancee. It's not really of a professional level, but all the project builders we've been to have been happy to quote off of it.
Find it here: http://sketchup.google.com/
Re: Home Design Software4
May 10, 2007 10:36 am
I use a package from Punch Software called Home Design Studio. I’ve also used their Architectural Series 4000 product. They have a range of products ranging from about $50 up to about $250. Can’t really compare it anything else, but it does the job. Once you’ve learnt how to use it you can quickly put together a house and play with different ideas.
I’ve used Home Design Studio to put together a concept design of my proposed new home. Might post some scenes from the package at a later stage.
The other main player in the non-professional home design market is the Better Homes and Gardens series. The product is developed by Chief Architect, which also do professional architectural software costing several thousands. The non-professional product price range is similar to Punch Software’s price range and you can upgrade to the professional package as used by architects if you want to and still read all your files.
The good thing about the packages is that you can buy the bottom of the line package for about $50 and upgrade to the higher packages if you find it really useful, as I did.
Re: Home Design Software5
May 10, 2007 12:47 pm
I have used Punch and Design Home 3d but I always come back to My Virtual Home.
Very easy to learn, very intuitive and graphically a good program.
Re: Home Design Software6
May 10, 2007 1:15 pm
I looked at the My Virtual Home web site, but I got the impression it was a useful tool for visualising how the home might look when decorated.
Matt - Are you saying that it had a floor plan design capability?
I downloaded and installed Sketchup from Google. Looks good, but I didn't think that it had the detail necessary for developing basic floor plans. I'll take another look.
I also downloaded the trial for Fastplans (black mountain software). Low cost, but an obtuse user interface which was very annoying - to draw a line, click, hit enter, then hit an arrow in the direct you want to go and enter the length. Accurate, but a bit frustrating.
Thanks for all the input so far!
Re: Home Design Software7
May 10, 2007 1:24 pm
its sure does! you design the floor plan and then ad the design aspects.
it does single / multiple story, different ceiling heights the whole lot!!
It is an awesome program and the best bit is you can "virtually" walk around at each stage!!
Re: Home Design Software8
May 10, 2007 3:03 pm
Being a Mac user my options are limited, but with Sketchup i was able to get my ideas on the screen in an intuitive manner ( I couldn't even figure out how to draw a rectangle of set size in Cadintosh!) Plus the files are cross platform compatible. Here's some screenshots from our house design.
(Hope this works ...)
Re: Home Design Software10
May 10, 2007 3:14 pm
I'm also a Macintosh user and I'm currently using Punch Software's Home Design Studio. There are certain things I like about Home Design Studio such as the ability to input land contours.
One thing I hate about Home Design Studio is most of the supplied furniture is intricate (meaning that it chews up memory and slows everything down) and it all looks like it's come from the 70's.
Like your work.
Re: Home Design Software12
May 11, 2007 12:48 am
Thanks, but i think i might be getting credit for some one elses hard work. Sketchup i found so simple to use i was drawing models of a similar quality nearly straight away, the only skills i have picked up are short cuts that make drawing faster. Once you can use the pencil, tape measure, rectangle and Fill tools you're pretty much set.
Re: Home Design Software13
May 11, 2007 9:56 am
I'm not sure what you meant. Did you draw the plans from scratch or modify an existing plan? If you did it from scratch, which is my assumption, then you deserve all the credit. Easy to use tools should be the norm not the exception.
Re: Home Design Software14
May 11, 2007 12:17 pm
Well in that case Thanks again. It's all our own design , not many project builders had plans that suited our 37m wide block that would have allowed for passive cooling and heating (or that didn't look like something that belonged on a farm). So we designed it out of an unwillingness to compromise, would have been nicer (and quicker) if we could have just chosen an off the shelf model. But this way we will at least have a better chance of getting it right, plus allows us to have individual touches like the library with built in shelves, or a work shop nook in the garage.
my virtual home15
May 15, 2007 11:04 am
My VIrtual Home is great if you already have a plan. Great if you modified a plan or started from scratch and want to have a virtual walkthru. You can even insert your own photo's into photo frames!
I think you can also download it for free.
Re: Home Design Software16
May 15, 2007 11:30 am
Here's a couple of snapshots I did this morning with my virtual home:
This is looking down the hallway from the front entrance
and this is the back:
I will post more later...
Re: Home Design Software19
May 15, 2007 4:17 pm
Well spotted I actually had not finished the facade yet (hence no pic...)and had not picked that up yet.
I will be sure to correct that before the next pics go up!!
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