You don’t have to be a computer genius to try this user-friendly home-design software that will help you get your floorplan just right.
When we were kids, we all started out drawing with crayons, which quickly grew into playing with blocks, Legos, Lincoln Logs and even dioramas to create our version of the perfect house. But you’re not a kid anymore. You’re all grown up and need a more sophisticated way to envision your dream home, since this is something that you’ll actually build someday. Enter home-design software, also known as Computer Aided/Assisted Drafting and Design (CADD). Nowadays it’s simply referred to as CAD.
The CAD Advantage
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with drawing your dream home on a white paper napkin. But eventually you’ll want to make changes and revisions, and erasing anything-whether it’s a master bedroom or a whole level-off a napkin drawing will leave you with tattered remnants of your dream. This is where CAD comes in, because it was designed especially for the fickle-minded dreamer. It lets you edit, go back and fix a mistake or even try an alternative route. It also brings your design to a real-world scale so you can really see how rooms fit together with other structural elements. Other pluses include easy 3-D functionality and a realistic look-you can even outfit your ÒhomeÓ with everything from furniture to flowers.
Of the hundreds of products out there, you’re probably wondering which one is best for you. First of all, keep in mind, that the options I’ll go over here aren’t professional design software. This is CAD 101, your basic, fun, see-what-I-can-do floorplan-design software for the layperson.
To help you with your decision, I’ve outlined my top three picks in the chart (opposite). Don’t feel limited to these choices, though. Explore other options to see what else is out there. But remember to base your decision on these criteria: ease of use, intuitiveness, immediate feedback, affordability and the ability to share with others what you’re working on. That’s the point of using this cool software, after all: to articulate what you’ve been dreaming about for so long and being able to show your builder exactly what you want.
To read the full article on CAD software, check out the May 2005 issue of Log Home Living.