View Full Version : Software for designing house

Andy Pogue
11-17-2017, 3:01 PM
I have a tentative house plan. SWMBO wants to see more than lines on paper. Something like sketch up would be helpful, but I️ don’t have time or inclination to learn it. Question- is there something user friendly that I can buy for PC or Mac that will allow me to “flesh out” my graft paper sketch? And that is affordable for this one time (although critical) design?
Thanks for any suggestions

Dave Richards
11-17-2017, 4:02 PM
I don't think you're going to find any software for the application that is any easier or more flexible than SketchUp. They'll all have a learning curve. If you're only plan is to use it for one project, maybe you should consider hiring someone else to do the modeling for you.

Greg R Bradley
11-17-2017, 4:49 PM
The Chief Architect pro products and the Home Designer DIY products share the same general function with various levels of functionality. Look for their "Overview Video" to get a general idea and "Compare Products" to decide how much functionality you need. $99, $199, $495. Same basic functions as the Chief Architect pro products that cost about $3000 and has lots of library items and other neat stuff for professionals.

Jim Becker
11-17-2017, 5:17 PM
I used SketchUp for the initial designs for our home addition that was built in 2008. The architect took that work and translated it into real plans including valid integration into the existing structure. I found SU really easy to learn and use for this.

Greg R Bradley
11-17-2017, 5:42 PM
As much as Sketchup is a wonderful tool, I drew this from scratch in 2 minutes in Chief Architect. All framing, insulation, and roofing details are there also. You could grab that door and change the width in 10 seconds and all framing, insulation, etc. would adjust automatically. Add a third window in the left side in 2d or 3d in 10 seconds and change the model number, dimensions, or style in 10 seconds. Change all the windows to triple sliders in 10 seconds also. Change your exterior walls to 2x6 with framing on 24" centers takes another 10 seconds. So would making the walls 10' instead of 8', etc. etc.

Mark Paavola
11-17-2017, 11:22 PM
I vote for Home designer like Greg mentioned. It is the homeowner version of Chief Architect. I have used it for the addition to my house, my shop and several projects for friends. Very good product for the price.

Dan Friedrichs
11-19-2017, 8:12 PM
Greg, thanks for the Home Designer suggestion. I'd never heard of it - wow, what a program! I'm about to start the design of a new house, and learning Chief Architect seems well worthwhile...