Designing a blueprint and visualizing are two very different tasks. As a casual viewer, most would likely want to see a 3D visualization instead, free from measurements and transparent views. For this, architects, engineers, and interior designers use 3D Home Design applications to transform their design into a 3D render that they can tour and visit any time that they want. This may only show the main house or it can be completed with all the furniture and objects that they want to see in their final home design.
Most 3D home design applications have simple steps for designing the final house design. First, the user can simply incorporate an already existing blueprint of a house. They can also start from scratch if they prefer this. Lastly, they can also choose to incorporate a template made by the application’s developers which they can simply modify and resize to fit their exact vision. After this, they can start making the measurement of each wall, window, door, and everything else to be more precise to their needs. This usually ends with a completed space for the bedroom, bathroom, living room, and more.
Finally, the user can then design the house with actual objects and furniture to complete their vision. This can fit any room of the house. Applications even incorporate actual brands to their objects library to make the design more specific. Users are also allowed to upload photos of specific patterns and images that they want to insert into the furniture and objects. Some applications also calculate the maximum costs of all the objects that they have inserted into their design which makes presenting your designs to customers easier and more specific.
DreamPlan is the best home design software we reviewed and was designed by NCH software and is a very solid home design application all-around. It is mainly designed for use by complete home design amateurs and experts at the same time. This is made possible by its use of countless wizards and guides, each with their own corresponding features to teach users. These are also intuitive to use and are not in any way annoying to use. They are very informative and can make you familiar with the application with just a single use which is why this application gets a very high rating from us.
The application comes with both a paid and a free version. The latter lets you try out basic home designing with a couple of features. Here, you can decide whether the application’s design is for you. This is a rare feature that users should take advantage of before committing to the application.
Aside from the mentioned wizards for guiding users in using the tools, the application also comes with the option to change measurements and add objects even while in 3D view. This is a big difference from other apps which require you to change from a 2D view first before being able to modify the design. With this, you can have a firmer grasp on the measurements of the home and how it would look like in real life.
Another helpful feature of the application is the roof wizard that smartly creates one for the house. Since this is usually a tool of great difficulty for many users because of the need for many measurements, the app takes care of this by putting it automatically. Even with this, users can still adjust the roof to fit their exact vision.
One feature that many home design applications try to perfect nowadays is the interior and landscape design. After all, the topographical features of the exterior has a direct influence on the home design. This includes the garden, patio, pool, and more. DreamPlan is filled with over 65 items for this, with additional objects that you can download in an expansion pack from online. This includes tools for plumbing, furniture, and more.
The only downside with the application is its quite limited objects library. But as mentioned above, this can be expanded to suit the users’ needs. Some of their objects are also branded which makes it very specific for both the user’s needs and the budget estimate.
The application is created by Chief Architect which is one of the most trusted brands for home design. The application is created to be accessible for beginners but very competent for professional users’ needs. It has a lot of CAD features which creates complex designs but can be used easily. Although there is a bit of a learning curve with using the application, many will find it accessible and intuitive enough.
The application is very specific in its home design process. Beginning at the initial stages, it will immediately ask for the size of the base floor complete with the number of rooms, dimensions of each and more. This is very helpful in case you already created a blueprint before using the application. Without this, though, you can still choose from already existing templates.
As with the earlier application, Home Designer also allows users to incorporate specific images into their design if they want to achieve a more realistic final product. They can also estimate the final price of the house with the cost estimator that mostly has correct prices when we tested it.
The biggest advantage with the application is its very abundant objects library. This contains more than 6,000 entries. This includes important parts of the house such as furniture, gadgets, flooring, appliances and more. The best part is that you can customize its color, pattern, size and more to fit your exact needs.You can even import more 3D objects into the design in case their abundant library of objects is not enough for you which makes it a very good application for interior designers.
Aside from this, we especially loved the exterior design process of the house. Inserting plants, pools, patios, and decks was very easy. They have more than a thousand entries into their plant library which makes gardening very easier to plan. Users can also manipulate the terrain to fit into the specific area where the house will be built on.
Finally, creating a 3D version of your home design is very easy with the application because of its reliable lighting options.
There are only a couple of issues with the application. First, its roofing wizard, although automatic when it covers the room, may still require some manual corrections from the user. Aside from this, it may be too resource-demanding especially for older computers which have only a small RAM or which use outdated processors.
Sweet Home 3D is one of the simplest applications that we’ve ever used. Even with this, it is still capable of amazing designs based on the user’s input. With the application, users can either start from scratch, insert a blueprint to base their design from, or download a template coming from the online gallery of the application.
With the app, users can simply drag and drop from the menu and into the design. This can be done in the 2D view. After this, you can then see the changes in the actual home design in the 3D view which is displayed beside the former. This makes it easier to see the changes that you’ve done to your home design. This also removes the confusion when going back and forth between 2D and 3D designs and helps in ensuring that exact measurements will be met.
The application has a total objects library of more than 100 entries for inside the house and 25 for those outside. These can easily be dragged and dropped from the menu and modified to fit your exact view.
The main strength of the application also tends to be a weakness. After all, not all users want a very simple feature set that can potentially decrease the number of designs that they can execute. The application also suffers from a limited objects library that needs more variations in terms of design inspirations for users to be able to create more unique designs. The application also lacks a roofing wizard which may be a big deal breaker for some who want to have more convenience when designing the house. Aside from this, the application is a very solid choice for home design.
In the end, our best choice is DreamPlan because of its perfect mix of simplicity, various features, and more. Home Designer Suite is our second choice because of its abundant objects library along with its features that are good for complex designs. Third is Sweet Home 3D that is the simplest to use and is the most recommended for home designing beginners.