Home design applications are handy tools that can be used to create a real-life simulation of your blueprints. This is the best friend for many architects, engineers, and interior designers who want to be able to see how their design is when fully realized. It can also be handy for presenting their design to their clients as most of these applications have a spectator mode that gives a realistic digital tour of the design, complete with accurate lighting and design.
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home with Landscaping and Decks is one of the most known options for simple yet reliable home design applications. The application was developed by Nova Development which is known for their digital designing products such as InPixio and Print Artist. They are under the Avanquest which is one of the biggest software publishers in the United States which create various software products for desktop computers. They have continued to develop Virtual Architect Ultimate Home which is now in its 10th version. They have continued to add different features and tools to the app to make it better for use.
The interface of home design applications is one of its most important parts. This is because most features and tools among these apps are similar because the needs of its users are also the same. Because of this, the ease of the interface plays a big part in differentiating each one.
We were not disappointed with Virtual Architect’s design. It is designed to be very straightforward and intuitive even in the middle of a lot of features and tools. Upon opening the application, users will immediately be guided by the wizard that gives you a step by step guide through the different features of the application. This guides you through remodeling, creating the walls of the house, landscaping, and more.
The application also offers users with pre-made templates which are quite varied in its designs which makes it compatible for many users. These are almost complete designs that many will find easy to customize to fit their own visions. Playing with the measurements of this template and doing adjustments to it can also help you get familiar with the application’s tool quickly. Users who are familiar with CAD applications will immediately be familiar with the app.
However, compared to other applications, users may notice that the application has an aged look reminiscent of applications launched in the 2000’s era instead of the minimalistic trends followed nowadays by a lot of applications. While this is not exactly a big deal, this may be a disappointment for some.
Given that the application is now in its 10th version, there are a lot of innovations that are added to it to make it compatible even with newer users.
First, the creation of floorplans is even easier with the addition of onscreen angular dimensions that are displayed as you design it for you to make it more accurate.
Next, they have now put a search tool inside the materials library so that you can look for an object much quicker instead of having to scroll through the entire list. You can also access hyperlinks in the application through the right click menu.
Putting double doors has always been a complaint for users of its earlier versions. The tenth version now makes it easier with the use of enhanced door handling. They have also increased the design styles for Windows to include federation and prairie style grill patterns. These windows can easily be combined with the use of glass, sash, or frame, with just a couple of clicks.
Rendering is also improved with the use of more backdrops added with new skyboxes. There is also a Baked lighting option now in the Presentation mode.
Building the house is easy with the application. First, the walls can be intelligently inserted into the design because its parts can easily be connected by the user with just a couple of clicks. The doors also have their own wizard that guides users in attaching them to the walls. The types of doors included in the application are French, sliding, garage, bi-fold, and more. Windows can also be easily attached to the walls. Aside from the earlier mentioned types, they also have hung, bay, sliding, vent, hopper, casement, and more.
The different rooms of the house also have specific features and designs that you can add easily.
First, users can design the electrical planning for the house which includes adding outlets and switches that is especially important for networking and home theatres. HVAC and Plumbing can also be planned through the application.
The application has its dedicated libraries for the kitchen, bathrooms, and other rooms. This can easily be dragged and dropped to the room. They also provide options for the countertops such as granite and marble to give it a better design. A notable feature is having bathrooms that are friendly for the disabled which is rare for these applications.
Designing the outdoors is also very easy with this application which has a dedicated set of features for this. Included in this is terrain modelling so that houses built in hills and valleys can be accommodated. Next, it comes with a unique plant encyclopedia where users can get information about nourishing about 7,500 types of plants so that they can place them strategically in their gardens. These can also be viewed in different types of seasons and growth so that users can see if the vision of their garden will be thoroughly followed.
The outdoors can be designed with several types of fences, gazebos, walkways, fountains, and more to complete the design in mind.
Overall in our reviews we found that Virtual Architect Ultimate was one of the better programs our staff took a look at. The features made it easy to use and the output of the program helped both visualizing and creating the plans for the houses.