Sketch Your Dream House with the Top 5 Free Architectural Tools

Making decisions about the layout of your future home or the interior design of your apartment can be really complicated without proper visual support. Asking a professional for help in this matter can be quite expensive, so if you have a bit of talent and imagination, why not do it yourself? If you've ever wondered what your dream house would look like, these are the best ways to bring it closer to reality.

All of these applications are free. These are recommended for amateur architects and people who practice architectural design as a hobby. If you are a professional home designer, you should probably look to invest in more powerful tools that stand a better chance of satisfying your requirements.

5. DesignWorkshop Lite

DesignWorkshopDesignWorkshop

Available for Windows as well as for Mac, DesignWorkshop Lite is a great program for 3D design. The free tool will help you draft and preview 3D buildings, landscapes, exhibits, etc. The user interface is easy to understand and control, so the application is perfect for those who want to dabble with 3D home design. The biggest disadvantage of DesignWorkshop Lite is that it doesn't offer a comprehensive library of importable objects, and if you do want more, you will have to pay. Furthermore, complete documentation and tutorials will also cost you.

4. DraftSight

DraftSightDraftSight

Yet another free application, DraftSight specializes in 2D design. The main thing about this tool is that it will help you open, modify and export .DWG files, which is a great way to obtain professionally looking results without any expenses. What makes DraftSight stand out is the program's community, which is always willing to lend a hand either by providing a comprehensive tutorial or giving you the option to import some of the objects created by other users. The downside is that the application can be used exclusively for 2D design, so if you want a 3D preview you will need to use additional software.

3. 3D Home Design

3D Home Design3D Home Design

3D Home Design is a tool that will help you with both 3D and 2D design tasks. With this application you will be able to obtain great-looking results for your indoor and outdoor projects. Probably the biggest plus of this program is its amazingly realistic-looking graphics, while the downside comes from the fact that the main version of 3D Home Design is paid, so most of the important features are reserved for the paying customers.

2. SketchUp Make

SketchUp MakeSketchUp Make

SketchUp Make is a paid application, but its free version is incredibly powerful and highly suitable for amateur home designers. It features support for both 2D and 3D design embeds its own version of a scripting language (Ruby) and, since the tool is incredibly popular, there are tons of add-ons that will help you expand the program's functionality. The things which stand out the most are its constantly growing library of 3D objects and the tool's integration with Google Earth that allows you to place your design on an actual geographical location.

1. Sweet Home 3D

Sweet Home 3DSweet Home 3D

This free tool has user-friendly written all over it. From my perspective, Sweet Home 3D is perfect for those who want to try house drafting as a hobby. The application puts emphasis on interior design, but it can be used for full house design without a problem. The program features a huge catalog with all kinds of 3D objects and scenes, saving you precious time. Sweet Home 3D focuses on the visual aspect and that gives it a huge bonus. The interface looks really nice while the 3D controls and previews are great. What stands out is that once your project is completed, you can use the program's video rendering capacity to create walk-through videos and snapshots of your creation.

Although you will see a virus warning regarding the Sweet Home 3D installer, I can reassure you it's safe. The setup file embeds a 3rd party software called OpenCandy which is an advertising module designed to offer you additional software based on your geolocation. The fact that it scans for your location without asking for permission is seen by a few antivirus programs as suspicious, but that's all that it does. Moreover, you can simply turn down the additional software that will be offered during the installation and avoid any kinds of complications.

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