House Design Programs

There are three house design programs I have used. They range in quality and capabilities… and price also. Ive listed these from best to worst, but none of them or too bad. The first one costs money as its made by Better Homes & Gardens…

Better Homes & Gardens – Home Designer Suite

Th Home Designer program is the one I use most often. Its easy to use… you almost dont need to read the instructions. In fact, I never did. A friend gave me this a few years ago (they have newer versions now) and this has suited me well. You can even see 3D views of your designs. See some examples in my previous post. This program stands out from the others as you can get very technical with your measurments, designs, landscaping, etc. Its very all inclusive, yet still easy to use for the common computer user. It was made for MS Windows computers but works great on linux operating systems using Wine (a Windows emulator). If you can find version 6.0 on ebay or something you might be able to get it cheap… like five dollars. On Amazon, they have version 9.0 now for $100 or more, or you could try 8.0 here for $50 and you can download it from Amazon. Not too bad I guess.

The next program I like to use is called floor planner…

As you can see this is a website that requires no software to download (other than adobe flash I think) so it should work on any computer… Windows, Mac or linux OS. This is free and fun to use. Yes, if needed you can see your designs in 3D. You can also pay money for a much more expanded version, but I would think only professionals would be using that. Here is something I cooked up with Floor Planner a while back (thats with a house addition which we arent doing now)…

That last program Ive used, but not in depth is called Sweet Home 3D.

This is another fun program to use for home designing, also with easy 3D views. This is a free program that you can download directly from their website. There is a Windows, Mac and linux installer file depending on your system. Try it out, its free and open source.

My final say…
If you can fork over a little money and want to draw up some excellent designs go for the Better Homes program called Home Designer. If money is an issue I would head over to the Floor Planner website and start designing right away.

Tomorrow, I will start dropping pictures of the renovation 🙂 so stick around.


  1. Gene

    I started with Home Designer Suite (after trying various similar products), and eventually upgraded to Home Designer Pro. It's similar but has more features, most importantly for me, multiple view documents. i.e., you can make a document that includes multiple views of the house, add details, labels, etc. and then modify those as needed. But that's because I was drawing up plans which I then submitted to the building department. For just figuring out a basic design that an architect or draftsman uses to make final plans for, the Suite is nice.

  2. 1916home

    I think also with the Home Designer Pro, you can even print out price list and material lists, say of lumber, drywall, etc. There are some basic features similar to that in the basic suite, but I never did touch upon them so I cant comment. I amy just have to check out the Pro edition if we ever do expand.

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