Designing your own deck is an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It can also be frustrating if you don't have the proper tools. Deck design and planning software tools help you lay out your deck, including how it will look and the plans for building it. These tools have libraries of components like plants and chairs to help you visualise your new deck. Use the best-reviewed or free tools to help you lay out your deck.
IMSI Design's TurboFloorPlan 3D Home and Landscape Pro software helps you design and lay out your home's interior and landscape, including creating your own deck using the Deck Builder and Deck Wizard tools. Add a deck to a virtual home, and layout your furniture and lighting. Add landscape components like flowers, trees and shrubs by using the landscape objects library, which has over 7,500 items. You can try this product free for 15 days, but it costs £64.90 in 2011. This is a Windows-based program.
The Punch Software Landscape, Deck and Patio Designer NexGen Version 2 costs £32.40 in 2011, and it is available for both Mac and Windows operating systems. This program helps you design your whole outdoor living space, including your patio and deck. Draw the shape of your house, and the program uses the curves of your home to create your deck. Use deck templates as a starting point for your own deck design. This program uses a drag-and-drop interface for adding components to your deck design, meaning that you don't need CAD experience to use it.
The Home Designer Landscape and Deck features a design library with over 4,000 library items, including more than 3,600 plant components. This program features site planning tools that allow you to input your actual terrain and use that to plan out your deck. View your designs in either day or night view to see how shadows affect the look of your design. Add colours to your deck or home using the Material Painter tool. As of 2011, this program costs £51, and it is a Windows-based program.
Google SketchUp is a free tool from Google that helps you create designs for buildings, landscapes and homes. You can create both 2-D and 3-D models of your designs. Take virtual walkthroughs of your designs, and add furniture to your deck to see how these components work within the space. This program is for both Windows and Mac users. The Latitudes Deck and Railing company's Deck Visualizer allows you to choose from four different scenes and add different decking components to that scene. For example, you can add balusters, posts and railings made of different composite materials. This is a free tool, and it is hosted online, meaning you don't have to download anything. It is also compatible with any operating system.