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On this page are free home design software reviews for our three top-rated online programs.
We have only reviewed the online software tools that are truly free. That is, software tools where you aren't getting just a 30-day free trial and you don't have to upgrade to a paid version to save or print. You may have to sign up for a free account however for some functions.
Choosing a House Design Program
When looking for home design software there are several things you'll want to consider.
- Are you just fiddling around with home design ideas for fun?
- Planning a home remodel?
- Needing to create full blueprints for a new home design?
If you're just trying out ideas or if you are remodeling and need to provide basic floor plan sketches to a carpenter, the online, free floor plan software tools can do the trick. Scroll down to see the reviews on this page for the following free house design software programs:
- Autodesk Homestyler
- Floor Planner by Small Blueprinter
Software for New Home Construction
If you are creating full construction drawings for a new home design, you may be better off looking at some of the more full-featured house design software packages that will make it easier to create multi-story designs, add roofs, show cross-sections, elevations and framing details.
Creating full construction drawings certainly is possible using a program such as Google Sketchup but you will need to have the skill of a draftperson and residential designer or architect to create properly dimensioned and accurate drawings.
Below are reviews for the following programs (the stars indicate our rating for each product).
Floorplanner is a simple, basic and free floor plan software tool. It features a simple tool set with which you can create whole rooms, walls, drag and drop windows, doors, skylights, plumbing fixtures, furniture, stairs, people, cars (even an Alpha Romeo) and more from a library.
Once you have designed your rooms or floor plan you can toggle between a 2D or 3D view of your design. In 3D mode, zoom and pan features allow you to look at the design from different angles.
Australian Home Design Software For Mac 2020
The program features simple dimensioning functionality for showing the distances between objects. For walls, dimensioning can either be from the inside or outside surface of the wall or the center of the wall. An icon at the bottom left of the screen allows you to choose to design in metres or feet.
You can add text to drawings for labeling rooms or for adding design notes.
A really nice feature is if you want to start with an image you have sketched, you can add an image to your plan by uploading a JPG, PNG or GIF file. Then you can scale the drawing to the size it should be, then draw the walls using Floorplanner right over top of your sketch.
With Floorplanner, you can save, print or email your drawings or share on Facebook or Twitter. The email features sends the recipient a link to the Floorplanner site where the recipient can view the floor plans in 2D or 3D.
But if you want to save or print drawings, you have to set up a free account with Floorplanner.
There are also (paid) options of upgrading to a Plus or Pro account to eliminate the advertising and provide more features such as image export and publishing capabilities.
Can only see one floor at a time. So it's not good for envisioning a whole house (but it is called Floorplanner not Houseplanner).
You cannot create scaled drawings to provide to trades people (but you can dimension the drawings instead).
Can't clone an existing level. This feature is used with some home design software packages when you create a main level and then clone that level so that you are starting with the same footprint or exterior walls for your upper level.
The program does not include any kind of structural features for showing framing.
Considering that this is a free house design program, it features quite a good and easy to use interface. We recommend this as a simple free home design software tool for trying out your ideas or for creating simple drawings for remodeling.
To try this free house design program:
Go to Floorplanner.
With this program, you can drag and drop rooms or create the floor plan wall by wall. There are features for designating the color of whole rooms for the walls and baseboards, the flooring type and more.
With a free account, a user can put designs in gallery and share designs.
Levels can be cloned to create upper (or lower) levels.
A single button will completely dimension your drawing but there is no way to choose what you want dimensioned or not dimensioned.
Can drag and drop stairs, fireplaces, appliances
Is quite detailed but fairly slow to load objects probably since there is so much data—very slow if you are using library items.
Doesn't seem to be an easy way to resize windows or doors.
To try this free home design software tool:
Go to Autodesk Homestyler.
Floor Planner by Small Blueprinter
Floor Planner by Small Blue Printer (not to be confused with Floorplanner also reviewed above) is a very simple, completely free home design tool. The tool set allows you to drag and drop walls and then resize them to the length you require.
The main benefit of this program is that you can very quickly create a basic floor plan layout. The layout shown in the image here took me about 5 minutes to create without any previous experience with the program. Floor Planner allows you to save and print your plans without having to provide an email address or sign up for an account. There is also a function to export your home design as a JPEG image.
Included in the drag and drop tool set are basic plumbing fixtures, doors and windows, furniture, stairs as well as trees and shrubs. By adding a drag and drop grid scale you can indicate the dimensions for your plan. Under a General Settings menu you can select whether the grid is to indicate a design in metric or Imperial measurements. Another menu lets you specify how many centimetres or feet you would like each grid square to represent. A labeling function provides standard room names or you can label the design however you like with a text tool.
To try this program go to Small Blue Printer.
Gliffy is an online, free home design software tool for creating all types of diagrams—website or software user interface diagrams, venn diagrams, organization charts, flowcharts, network diagrams, and floor plans.
For creating floor plans, rooms are drawn by drawing individual walls. There is no feature to join the walls thus creating a room. So if you drag one wall of the room you then have to lengthen any adjacent walls to meet the moved wall.
There is no automatic dimensioning. There is a graphic item to use for creating dimension lines and a text tool for creating the dimension but the dimensioning could be completely not to scale (that is a user could indicate a short wall as 10 feet and a longer wall as 2 feet).
Gliffy is quite limited in terms of floor plan library items available. But if you simply want an online, free home design software tool that provides basic drawing tools and a few house floor plan library items such as stairs, appliances, doors and windows, this package can do the trick.
You need to sign up for an account to save or export.
Australian Home Design Software For Mac Os
Very simple to use
Has an online user manual
Starts with a floor plan and you have to first Select all objects then delete them all before starting (a minor inconvenience).
Design with walls rather than dragging a whole roomCan't seem to automatically get the walls to join
Need to sign up for a 30-day trial to save your designs or pay $5/month.
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To try this tool online:
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- Go to Gliffy.
- Then, click on Try Gliffy for Free.
- Next, select floor plan in the nav bar
- Then double click the type of floor plan you would like to create.