Recommended home design software
February 27, 2005 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Anyone have recommendations for home construction / design software? I'm looking for a reasonably powerful software package that will let me do both design and 3D visualization of the results.

I'm looking for packages that are more geared to construction than layout - I don't so much care if it does furniture or landscaping as much as if it does walls/floors/stairs etc. Ability to handle two story houses is a must. I'm fine with it being tough to learn, or CAD oriented, as long as it lets me look at a rough rendering in 3D.
posted by true to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
SketchUp will do that for you.
posted by JohnR at 1:15 PM on February 27, 2005

My designer uses Chief Architect
posted by clubfoote at 5:21 PM on February 27, 2005

AutoDesk has Revit and Architectural Desktop. The learning curve on AD is very steep. Revit not as so much but I'm not sure how it is on detailing.

I use straight 2D AutoCAD and then do renderings in 3D Studio Max.
posted by Mitheral at 8:20 PM on February 27, 2005

I just downloaded the SketchUp demo yesterday, and was surprised at how easy and intelligent the interface was. It allows walkthroughs, should do what you want.
posted by SNACKeR at 5:29 AM on February 28, 2005

Another vote for sketchup. That shit is *awesome* -- lots of power, zero learning curve. It's a great way to have comps to show people (real architects, contractors, etc.). It won't do wiring diagrams and other administrivia of design/construction.

But it's awesome for what it is. I espeically like the option to 'turn the lines into sketches' for that architectural comp look.
posted by zpousman at 9:37 AM on February 28, 2005

I haven't tried SketchUp, but VectorWorks is pretty solid, especially if you are more concerned with creating construction drawings. If you are just starting out, it is much better than AutoCAD IMHO.
posted by wezelboy at 11:05 AM on February 28, 2005

Well, if you want to go that way, Corel Designer (nee MicroGrafx Designer) is pretty skookum, according to this review.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:44 PM on February 28, 2005

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