For most design professionals today, AutoCAD is the leading home design software. However, there are a number of other home design software packages available, depending on your specific needs. Chief Architect's "Home Designer" and Punch Software's "Home and Landscape Design" are the top two home design software programs for the PC, while Punch Software's "Home and Landscape Design Studio" and Google's "SketchUp 8 Pro" are the top two for the Mac, according to Top10 Reviews. These programs may not be powerful enough for professionals, but they're ideal for a design-oriented, interested homeowner.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Internet connection
Decide on your system requirements -- whether you own a PC or a Mac and the Operating System you're currently running. The home design software you purchase will need to be compatible. Also, check your computer's available memory, as home design software needs a lot of space to work efficiently.
Consider your technical abilities with computer software. How much time will you invest in learning to use this software? This will help you decide on the level of home design software that will be best suited to your abilities.
Observe the various types of home design software. Do you need a more general home software or are you looking to focus on a specific project, like the design of your kitchen, cabinets or the landscaping around your home?
List your expectations for your home design software. Are you looking for a professional program, a basic consumer level program or something in-between? Are you looking for a platform to help you simply visualise your ideas, or a platform that will let you communicate with your design professional? Or maybe you're just looking for software to help you with a college project. Knowing these needs with help you pinpoint a program.
Compare the costs of the various programs available and choose from the shortlist of ones that match your budget as well as your skill-set and design requirements.
Tips and warnings
- Many programs will allow you to download a trial program before you purchase the program -- doing this will help you identify if the program is right for your needs.
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