From Euphrasia on December 16th, 2008 in General Remodel
Whether you’re an architect, interior designer, or landscape designer – or just a wannabe in any of those categories – there are software products to help you get the results of a pro. I was talking with a couple the other day, informally suggesting this and that by way of remodeling ideas for their home, as an initial step towards working together. The woman said she could envision the ideas perfectly. But the man said he had to see something to get the idea. His response is not uncommon, and I find that having clear visuals for sharing ideas is very often the most effective way to work.
With the goal of creating great-looking visuals for presentations, I decided to explore some of the home design software programs on the market, and discovered some really interesting options. I found a really helpful website called TopTenReviews.com, whose tagline is “We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.” I like the sound of that, don’t you?
They have a category for 2009 Home Design Software Products, where they show the ten top-rated products, with rankings in areas including:
- Aesthetic Appeal
- Features and Tools
- Ease of Use
- Support and Documentation
And, these aspects of the various products are so cool:
- 3D Walkthrough
- 3D Flyaround (aerial views)
- 3D Cutaway Slider (dollhouse views)
The software programs all offer extensive Object Libraries so you can import and play around with all kinds of fixtures, furnishings, doors, windows, plants, and so forth. They offer some type of tutorial and manuals, as well as phone and email support, and, in some cases, community forums for users.
For your browsing pleasure, here are the top two recommended products to explore:
- Punch! Professional Home Design Suite. The TopTenReviews review editor says, “Considering the thousands of dollars that you can spend fleshing out your designs with architects, interior designers and the like, Punch! Professional Home Design Suite is easily the best home design software and the best bargain. Whether you want to experiment with interior design, remodel your kitchen, or effectively communicate your ideas to a contractor, Professional Home Design Suite is perfect for your needs.” And there’s a professional grade program for contractors, too.
- Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0. The review editor’s comments includes this gem, “If we ranked home design software based on eye candy alone, this would far outrank its competitors. Everything you create with this software just looks great, and with a fair set of easy-to-use features and strong help support, this product is perfect for the home design novice looking for a simple way to design a home, or just change the look of a few rooms!”
By now, I’m sure you want one of these programs for your very own – or is that just me?