Top 8 Home Design Software for Crafting Your Dream House

a marble bathroom with mirrors

What could be better than the feeling that no one else, but you, have contributed to the creation of your dream home? Designing your own home is an extremely exciting project. You get to think about every corner, every detail of your future home or apartment.

However, to succeed in the design process, you will need reliable and powerful design tools and software! In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best home design software programs that can help to create your dream home.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced designer, you will find a design tool that will help you create a comfortable and unique living place.

Easy-to-Use Home Design Software

RoomSketcher

a screenshot of roomsketcher
Image: Roomsketcher

RoomSketcher is a home design software that has garnered positive feedback for its ease of use and comprehensive features. It is particularly noted for its capabilities in creating floor plans, room building, and 3D rendering.

The design tool is well-regarded for its ‘do it for you’ service, where users can submit a 2D sketch and have RoomSketcher convert it into a detailed 2D or 3D floor plan, often ready within 12 hours. This feature is especially appreciated by those who find the DIY aspect of the software challenging or time-consuming.

Many users appreciate RoomSketcher’s user-friendly interface and the flexibility it offers in terms of previewing designs in 3D, scaling items, and modifying colors and textures. The realism of the 3D renders is another highlighted aspect.

However, some users find the software a bit pricey compared to similar free tools, and there have been comments about the lighting in renders, with walls appearing too dark and flooring overly bright.

Regardless of what home design software you use, you should always make sure that your PC or Mobile Phone is working perfectly to get the most out of the technology. No matter how easy the program is to use, it may be much harder to enjoy the crafting process if there are problems such as your Mac is not recognizing an external monitor.

This can be due to various reasons such as a Mac not detecting a second monitor, or failing to turn on, which can be a real challenge for those who want to see their ideas on a full screen (I know I do! I find it very difficult to create on a laptop screen). That is why solving such technical issues is an integral process before starting your design process.

TurboCAD Floor Plan Home & Landscape Pro

a screenshot of turboCAD
Image: TurboCAD

This design tool is a great choice for those who value ease of use. TurboFloorPlan allows you to quickly create plans and view them in 3D, allowing you to experiment with building design.

Key features include:

  1. New Material Editor: This allows users to easily edit materials to customize designs, including adjustments to RGB values, Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Shadows, Midtones, Highlights, and Gamma Correction.
  2. Shutter Tool: This feature enables the easy addition of shutters that automatically size to your windows.
  3. Double Doors & Mounting Options: Users can quickly and easily add double doors and mounting elements to their designs.
  4. Custom 2D Plant Symbols and Customizable Plant Sizing: These features allow for the creation of custom-drawn 2D plant symbols or the customization of existing ones, and setting the exact plant size needed for designs.
  5. 3D Cutaway Tool: This tool allows cutting from any angle, vertically or horizontally, at a specific elevation.
  6. Layout Manager 2D/3D: Helps in building a presentation of your design into construction documents with various scales and options.
  7. Enhanced Deck, Railing, and Stair Options: Offers improved control over deck construction methods, including additional material application options and new railing styles.
  8. AEC & CAD Symbols Library: The library has been expanded with 1146 new 2D CAD symbols, providing enhanced control over symbol groups.
  9. Photo Rendering (Luxcore): A new photo rendering engine is included for producing stunning images of photographic quality.
  10. Glass Window & Door Panes: Adds a more realistic look to standard renderings with a glass effect that replicates real-life double pane window glass characteristics.

The home design software also includes professionally designed plans for inspiration, a Floor Plan Trace feature for tracing favorite plans or sketches, and a PhotoView feature for adding design features to pictures of existing houses. It supports auto roof gables, and framing options, and provides design tools for creating custom doors.

Users can view their home additions and designs in 2D, elevation, and aerial perspectives, and it offers a comprehensive planting library with a PlantFinder feature for optimal plant selection. The software also includes features for estimating costs, creating blueprints, and designing landscapes, complete with a 3D Custom Workshop for building or modifying objects.

Overall, TurboCad Floor Plan Home and Landscape Pro is praised for its user-friendly nature, making it suitable for beginners, while still offering the necessary tools for advanced users. It is appreciated for its high-quality renderings, powerful design tools, and large object libraries.

The software is ideal for those looking to design home additions, offering easy-to-use yet professional capabilities suitable for producing designs acceptable to building departments.

Interior Design 3D

an open laptop with interior design 3D software on the screen

Interior Design 3D is a desktop program that doesn’t require any previous experience or skills. It has an intuitive interface that you can navigate freely from the very beginning of your home planning journey. 

This interior design app for a PC lets you create your projects from scratch or choose one of layout templates pre-designed by professionals. You’ll find templates for various kinds of rooms, including layouts for apartments and multi-level house plans. Besides, it comes with a built-in collection of customizable furniture and 600+ home decor materials. 

Another standout feature you might like in this program is previewing your 2D and 3D home design. There’s also a special mode that allows you to virtually walk around your own project to see it in practice. In addition, Interior Design 3D offers an easy-to-use printing module that lets you print out your projects in the desired format and quality. 

All in all, Interior Design 3D software is the best option for non-professionals who want to save money on renovation or planning their new home design. It combines all the essential tools for planning your interior design in detail, a great level of customization, and most importantly, ease of use. 

SketchUp

a computer aided sketch of a bedroom

This software is extremely popular and is ideal for those who are looking for a program with an easy-to-use interface and a large set of functions for creating 3D models of buіldings. With its help, you can realize any architectural idea and look at it from all sides.

With SketchUp, you can quickly create detailed 3D models of buildings by adding textures and volume. Among the main advantages:

  • Ease of use. SketchUp offers an intuitіve interface that makes it accessible to beginners.
  • 3D modeling. You can view your home in 3D space and get a realistic idea of how it looks.
  • Rich functionality. The program has a wide range of tools for creating complex designs.

However, some limitations have been noted. The free version of SketchUp is somewhat limited in its ability to customize and fine-tune the look of printed materials. Working on curves or spheres is not straightforward, often requiring plugins.

Additionally, while SketchUp is useful for quick and basic 3D modeling, it may not be as robust as some other software like AutoCAD or Rhino for more complex construction documentation. There have been some concerns about interoperability with other software and occasional bugs.

SketchUp’s simplicity is a double-edged sword; it’s great for quick and basic models but may fall short for more detailed, complex architectural work. Users have also noted that the Pro version, which offers more features, is paid, but generally, it’s considered worth the investment.

Overall, SketchUp is particularly well-suited for those who need a straightforward design tool for 3D modeling, with an easy learning curve and a large library of components and plugins. It’s versatile and quick for modeling, but users looking for in-depth architectural tools might find it lacking in some advanced capabilities​.

HomeByMe

a room plan on homebyme
Image: HomeByMe

HomeByMe is an online tool that allows you to design a house in great detail and view it in real-time using an easy-to-use interface. It operates in a browser, making it accessible from any computer.

The home design software is praised for its combination of ease of use and powerful features, especially useful in renovation projects. However, some users have experienced issues with the software being slow or unresponsive at times, and difficulties in manipulating the position and size of objects.

HomeByMe is appreciated for its functionality and ease of use, especially by those new to interior design and planning. For those seeking a simple, user-friendly tool for home design, HomeByMe is a strong option, but it may have limitations in terms of functionality and customization options compared to more advanced software

Sweet Home is a free designer and it is ideal for those who want to start crafting a house from scratch. The program allows you to easily create plans and view them in 3D, giving you full control over the process.

Sweet Home 3D

It offers a split-screen feature that allows users to view their designs in both 2D and 3D simultaneously, enhancing the design experience by providing a clear overview of the layout and furnishings.

One of the key advantages of Sweet Home 3D is its simplicity and ease of use. The software includes a library with over 100 items, providing a decent range of options for basic home design needs. Users can drag and drop items into their design and customize them to fit their needs. However, the software has a limited number of objects in its library and lacks advanced features such as roofing or fencing wizards.

Despite its limitations in terms of advanced features, Sweet Home 3D is praised for its functionality and value for money. It’s an excellent choice for individuals who are new to home design or those who don’t require complex design tools.

The software is also praised for its compatibility with different operating systems and its ability to handle basic interior design tasks effectively.

Planner 5D

a screenshot for planner 5d

Planner 5D is an online home design tool that allows you to create realistic 3D models and bring your design solutions to life. It stands out with its ability to convert interior plans into HD visualizations, showcasing colors, shadows, and light angles.

This home design software features a library with over 5,000 pre-built items, offering plenty of options for various design projects and it is a software I am familiar with, having used it many times in the past.

One of the key strengths of Planner 5D is its user-friendliness, particularly for those focused on interior design. The built-in 2D/3D editor enables users to arrange, edit, and apply custom surfaces, materials, colors, and patterns to furniture, walls, and floors. This makes it an appealing choice for both beginners and more experienced users.

Additionally, Planner 5D integrates augmented reality and virtual reality tools, enhancing the user experience by allowing them to explore products and view items in a virtual environment, which can help accelerate decision-making and purchasing processes.

Many users find Planner 5D easy to use and appreciate its drag-and-drop capabilities, which make rendering straightforward. The software’s ease of viewing in 3D is also a highlight.

While there have been requests for more advanced features and a more extensive library, the general consensus is that Planner 5D is a valuable design tool for those interested in interior design and architectural planning.

Best House Building Software

Home Designer Suite

This is a powerful designer that allows you to easily create building designs using an intuitive interface. It has a rich set of tools for designing and visualizing buildings, as well as import and export capabilities.

Home Designer Suite is recognized as one of the top home design and house building software applications, especially for users who require advanced features but also want a product that is accessible to beginners. Its key strengths include a vast library of more than 6,000 objects and professional-quality design tools, along with a House Builder Wizard which greatly simplifies the process of creating base floor plans.

However, it does have some limitations, such as the absence of a kitchen design wizard and the need for manual corrections in the roof wizard for non-rectangular or square floor plans.

One of the highlights of Home Designer Suite is its ability to model landscapes in 3D effectively, bringing outdoor spaces like decks and patios to life. It’s particularly powerful in landscape design, with a considerable array of tools for creating and customizing various outdoor elements.

The software also offers detailed interior design options, with an extensive range of customizable objects for furnishing and decorating. Despite its capabilities, the software does have a learning curve, and it takes some time to get accustomed to its many features and tools.

It lacks layers in the Suite version, which might be a drawback for some users, but, priced at $99, it provides a license for both Mac and PC, making it an affordable choice in the Home Designer range.

Chief Architect Premier

front elevation of a house
Image: Chief Architect Premier

This software is the ultimate standard for construction professionals. It impresses with its power and capabilities to create detailed building plans and design visualization.

Chief Architect Premier is a comprehensive architecture design software widely used for residential and light commercial designs. It’s equipped with powerful features for creating detailed architectural designs, including automatic generation of floor plans, 3D models, and 2D drawings.

The software is particularly noted for its capability to create 3D design models as you draw walls and place smart doors and windows, followed by generating a materials list.

One of the key strengths of Chief Architect Premier is its suite of construction document management tools, which are integral for professional-grade architectural projects. These tools include powerful CAD engine capabilities, allowing for the creation of a variety of objects and detailed construction drawings. The software supports 3D modeling and design, allowing users to design in any view and seamlessly edit between 2D and 3D.

Despite its advanced capabilities, Chief Architect Premier does have a learning curve, especially for those new to such comprehensive software. Users can create detailed interior designs using its vast library of objects, including appliances, furniture, and more.

The software is also adept at landscaping, offering a wide range of plants and terrain modeling tools.

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Innovative building design programs are becoming a necessity for modern users, especially those who work in the field of design and architecture. When choosing home design software, it is important to pay attention to your individual needs and your level of expertise.

Each tool has its unique features, so the choice will depend on your specific tasks and needs. There are plenty of home design software programs to choose from that will help build your dream home.

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