Do-it-yourselfers can create professional-looking patio designs by using software programs. Whether you want to be able to have a basic design ready to take to an architect or contractor or are interested in completing the entire building process from start to finish, you can find a program that meets your needs. These programs let you design the patio you want before you ever pick up a shovel.
Punch Landscape Deck and Patio Designer
Punch Landscape Deck and Patio Designer offers a full array of features for homeowners who want to design their own patio. Integrated videos guide you step-by-step through selecting plans and materials, including 5,000 different stone choices for making your patio come to life on your computer screen. From designing the basic shape to drawing the plans to accessorising for a real-life view, this software walks you through the entire design process. It can even export your plans into computer-aided design (CAD) format so that you can transfer your ideas to a building professional if you decide not to do the construction yourself.
Turbo FLOORPLAN 3D Home & Landscape Pro
Turbo FLOORPLAN 3D Home & Landscape Pro, by IMSI Design, lets you design a home, patios and decks, and even landscaping--7,500 plant selections are part of the software's features. You can design your patio with specific furniture in mind and work a lighting design into the overall plan. The program is supported for PCs running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. IMSI offers a free 15-day trial version of the software.
Total 3D Landscape and Deck
Total 3D Landscape and Deck, marketed by Individual Software, is a simple-to-use program designed for use by homeowners. The software lets you to scan in pre-existing plans, upload pictures and estimate and keep track of your budget. The software is supported for Windows 2000, Me, XP, Vista and Windows 7.
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