Home Design Software: Where to Find It

We have all heard about the various home design software available at many retailers like Best Buy, however most of that, software costs more money than most of us want to spend. So where can we go to find home design software that is free? This article examines a few web sites that offer free home design software.

1) Showoff.com

Showoff.com is an interactive web based home design software that is free to use so long as you have an internet connection. The download is small at only 2mb, and the software is surprisingly fun to use. You are able to visualize remodeling and landscape design with the use of real photographs. You can use your own photographs or use the ones provided by the software suite. Showoff’s home design software gives a realistic view of changes made to your home or yard.

2) Design Workshop Lite

Design Workshop Lite is completely free software offered by Artifice. With Design Workshop Lite, you can design your dream home from concept to finish, and enable a complete walkthrough of the finished design. This home design software also allows you to visit famous homes and buildings around the world, where you can take a virtual walk through of the building and even a fly-by. The Design Workshop Lite home design software also offers 3D objects exchange where you can create and share objects with others to use in both interior and exterior designs. They have a complete tutorial system, and offer expanded versions for a nominal cost.

3) Better Homes and Gardens: Home Design Software

The Better Homes and Gardens: Home Design Software is one of my favorites; even my son enjoys designing houses with it. It does carry a price tag of $59.00, but is well worth the money. With the Home Design Software suite, you can plan the size of your dream home, plan out every room in detail and even add cabinets or textures to the interior of your dream home. Something I love about the Home Design Software from Better Homes and Gardens is the amount of realism you achieve with the software. I love the amount of choices from color to fabrics, to landscaping. The Home Design Software offers a wonderful drag and drop feature, which allows you to drag items from the library to your design.

You can also change your plan or even your current home in drastic ways from moving walls, to adding on a room or screen room all with ease. The tutorials are fantastic and the web site offers an enormous amount of downloads, resources, and even user-submitted designs. I definitely recommend this software as one of the best for low cost home design.

4) Google SketchUp

Google has hit the jackpot with their SketchUp software. The Google SketchUp software is completely free, and truly amazing. I have used SketchUp for everything from designing bookcases, reptile tanks, even in my college art classes and I have yet to find anything wrong with the software. It is very user friendly, and Google offers in depth tutorials and educational materials to help you learn about using the software. Google also offers a 3D Warehouse where you can see the models and SketchUps created by other users.

With the Google SketchUp software, you can take your home design from 2D to 3D with ease, which allows you to view the rendering in a variety of ways. You can also take accurate measurements, which is important in any home design and take a complete walk through of your model. You can choose from a variety of colors when designing and painting your home design, and even add real time shadows via Google Earth so you can see when sunlight will hit a room and when the room will be shaded.

Google SketchUp is an incredible tool for Home Design, and the fact that it is free only makes it better. I still enjoy playing around with Google SketchUp even if I am not designing a home or any sort of graphic project.

The software above provide great alternatives to the higher priced home design software, and best of all; most of the software I reviewed is free to use. You can check with your local building supply store like Home Depot or Lowes for other home design software, and also check your local library to see if they have anything available to try.

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