Have you ever walked into a room that made your jaw drop? Like this hotel room in Norway. Or maybe this humble living room in Utah. Or perhaps this redesigned apartment in Budapest. Now those are some pretty sweet house plans.
A well-designed home can turn even the most run-down part of town into a luxurious oasis. And it all starts at the design phase.
The great thing about residential architecture software is that you can do anything. Forget budget, forget logistics, forget anyone else’s input for now—this is your chance to run wild with some crazy designs that check every box for what your clients envision in a house. As a home builder or remodeler, you have the power to turn that design into reality by using the software as a launching point for your next home construction or remodeling project.
But first you have to create it, and that’s where software comes in. We’ve sorted through hundreds of design and construction software options to find four popular ones that are narrowly focused on creating house plans and provide the kind of measurements that are necessary for home builders and remodelers. They are listed below in alphabetical order.
Chief Architect allows you to draw up 2D plans and then turn them into a three-dimensional rendering. And if you’d rather stay in 3D, you can continue adding walls, stairs, or whatever else you want while in 3D mode.
Designers can go into great detail with this software, which provides tools for home builders and remodelers to create house plans with unusual floor plans and wall angles. Unlike other software, Chief Architect lets you design everything from the ground up, starting with the basic structure of the house and moving into details as small as the light fixtures hanging above the kitchen island.
The software works on both Mac and Windows, as well as on Android and iOS devices. Technical support is only available online and during business hours, although training is conducted both live online and in-person.
You can sign up for a free trial of the software. Once the trial runs out, subscribing to the software costs $199 per month, whereas a one-time purchase will run you $2,695.
- Creates construction drawings, CAD (computer-aided design) details, and 3D models
- Offers a free trial
- Geared specifically toward home builders and remodelers
- Offers classroom training
- Support only available during business hours
Have you used Chief Architect? Leave a review!
If you’re looking for a home architect software option with fewer features at a bargain price, RoomSketcher might be your ideal choice. RoomSketcher is aimed at real-estate professionals, but it creates floor plans that are useful to home builders because of detailed measurements.
With this software, you can create either black and white or color floor plans, as well as 2D or 3D plans. Once you’ve created your room, you can go on a 3D walkthrough with an avatar.
RoomSketcher allows you to either create a floor plan yourself or scan an order and modify it to suit your preferences.
The software is based online, so it can be accessed from anywhere. The most basic version of the software is free to use, but if you want the 2D and 3D floor plans, you’ll need to upgrade to RoomSketcher VIP for $49 per year.
- The basic version is free to use]
- Ready-made floor plans can be ordered directly from the company if you don’t want to create them yourself
- Creates panoramic presentations
- Works on PCs, Macs, and tablets
- The software’s basic free version doesn’t include many features you’d need as a home builder or remodeler, such as floor plans and measurements
Have you used RoomSketcher? Leave a review!
SmartDraw has many uses that go beyond home design, such as creating flow charts and visual diagrams for project management, but the software can also be used for creating floor plans. According to its instructional video, the software has a “floor plans” icon under “popular templates,” allowing you to choose a room template to get started, or you can start with a blank template by clicking “custom floor plan.”
Thanks to a library of hundreds of symbols, you can also select furnishings to add into your floor plan, or add other details like doorways, sinks, and even plants.
SmartDraw runs on Windows, and the software costs $197 per user to download.
- Reviewers praised it for being easy to use
- Extensive library of symbols allows you to go into in great detail
- Support is free via email or phone
- You can work online or offline
- Does not offer an installed Mac version, although you can create designs from a browser on a Mac
Have you used SmartDraw? Leave a review!
Do you have an idea for an amazing floor plan and would like to actually walk through it?
You can do that with Space Designer 3D, an online application that enables you to create a 3D space and then digitally walk through it. And the software offers an extensive symbol library: you can furnish your designs with more than 1,500 details, including beds, chairs, plants, toilets, and just about anything else you’d have in a home.
Once you finish your design on a computer, you can load it on a smartphone or tablet, which allows you to share it with a client or prospect via an Internet browser. The software allows you to print out images of both the 2D and 3D floor plans, a feature we haven’t seen in other software options.
Space Designer 3D requires no download or installation, operating fully within a browser. Like Chief Architect, support is only provided online during business hours, and training is only available online via live chat or email.
Space Designer 3D charges $10 for one floor plan or $20 per month for unlimited floor plans. You can buy more expensive subscriptions to get extras like phone support and live tutorials.
- You can draw floor plans and walk through it in 3D without downloading any software or app
- Enables users to print a 2D floor plan of each level, a 3D outdoor bird’s-eye view, or a 3D indoor interior design
- Allows you to edit designs both on a computer and a tablet
- Geared more toward people making alterations to their home rather than professional home builders and remodelers
- Support is only available during business hours, and only online via live chat or email (phone support requires a more expensive subscription)
Have you used Space Designer 3D? Leave a review!
Which home architecture software did we miss?
The software we listed above represents a cross-section of what you can expect to get in terms of software for making house plans, but we’re sure there are some solid options we missed. What have you used in the past for making house plans that you really enjoyed? Let us know in the comments below.