15 Best Free Home Design Software and Tools in 2023
25 Mins Read
January 01, 2023
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What is a Home Design Software?
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Digitization is sweeping over businesses, and home designing is no different. A home design software is a computer-powered tool that helps architects, other interior design professionals, and homeowners build their visions virtually in real-time. These software come with a series of features that allow even those with limited experience to create something meaningful that can be used for actual creation.
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A home design software brings about efficiency and enables the user to preview design implementations in the virtual world and make the requisite changes to extract the final output to work on. It allows the homeowner and other users to get an accurate idea of what the final product would look like.
These tools contain a vast number of features including:
Be it a renovation, an extension, or a brand new build – in today’s date, it is critical to be able to flesh out your ideas visually, and project your design vision as accurately as possible to everyone involved in the project. And a home design software can help you do just that! Whether you’re a pro interior designer or decorator, homeowner, there are plenty of home design software available in the market today that are user-friendly, affordable, and even in a lot of cases, free!
Unless you’re a professional with a lot of design and building experience, it’s often pretty hard to put a finger on and pin down how much your home design project might end up costing you. So any good home design software allows you to create a true-to-life vision of your design, build a floor plan, assemble items, create a colour palette, a mood board, and eventually set the wall colouring, place the furniture, adjust the lighting, take a realistic rendering, and see for yourself how your space would turn up looking when all the elements of your design have been put together.
And you get to do all this before you’ve spent a single dime and any real work has even begun on your project! What can be more powerful and cost-effective than that? Not only are you and everyone else who is connected to the project, aligned from the get-go on what the outcome will look like, you’ve removed all the guesswork, and built your own confidence and blueprint to follow for the whole course of the project.
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In the past, it was impossible for anyone without formal training or education to think of embarking on designing an interior design for homes. Things have changed rapidly in this technology-driven era.
Be it someone looking to build a dream house or a professional involved in the process of designing the home interiors for their clients, having home design software has become an integral part of the process. It helps eradicate several bottlenecks associated with doing the design work manually.
In the past, design software was heavy and required high-end devices to operate smoothly. Today, there are a plethora of software that are light on your hardware and can run on small machines like your smartphone.
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So, what do you look at while choosing the best house design software for yourself? The following pointers can give you a headstart –
Your device choice
The first thing to consider while choosing the best home design software for yourself is understanding your usage. Unlike in the past, today, you have software designed especially for smartphones, on-premise, or cloud-based use.
So if you are someone who designs primarily in their office or the comfort of their home, having an on-premise solution can be the best fit. Mobile software is handy and may not offer granular controls, but it is good enough to get the job done.
In contrast, if you are always on the go and travel to and from home, office, and client places, having a cloud-based solution would suit your requirements the best.
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Low Learning Curve
A cluttered software where you spend hours figuring out the basics should never be the first choice for most purposes. Designing is a creative job requiring you to have greater control over the multitude of aspects involved.
So, instead, opting for a clutter-free tool that offers the proper functionalities and has a low learning curve should be the primary criterion when choosing the best home design software for your needs.
Free or Paid
In most cases, free house design software would offer you limited functionalities that enable you to design basic interiors. For example, if you are looking to create a basic floor plan, a free software version would suffice. While it is an excellent start for beginners, experienced professionals may not feel at home with these software.
Paid software comes with a variety of advanced functionalities that enable you to create the most intricate designs with ease. In addition, from making supply lists to creating cost estimates, these software versions support the entire process with functionalities that help you devise a full-fledged plan with ease.
2D and 3D views
2D models enable setting precise measurements and developing space layouts. In comparison, 3D imagery adds a depth layer and gives you a realistic view of what to expect from your design. It enables you to integrate additional elements, such as appliances, furniture, and more, to ensure an all-around view of the plan you are devising.
Given that both 2D and 3D have their advantages, choosing software that lets you switch between 2D and 3D views seamlessly would augur well for your plans.
Free software only comes with a limited library containing a handful of interior and exterior space additions. In contrast, paid software offers designers on-brand offerings to enable them to visualize the product they want to add in real life in the virtual world.
In addition, many software also comes equipped with outdoor element functionalities to advance the process further and create life-like results virtually.
Read also – 20 Best Floor Plan Apps
Today, design professionals are spoilt for choice, with software costing anywhere between a few to hundreds of dollars for an annual subscription. While this may seem an excellent problem, it is far from that. We have often encountered homeowners and interior designers struggling to find the right solutions for their needs.
So, we have curated a list of top options across categories to help settle the issue –
Foyr Neo is an online, lightning-fast designing and visualization software, whose rendering speed and quality are literally second to none. It is a great choice if you’re looking to get ahead quickly while designing and end up with an outcome that looks like a real photograph! It is super-intuitive and has a zero learning curve – so, great for those who don’t have a lot of time to sit and learn clunky and complex software.
It has a pre-built catalog loaded with over 60K pre-modeled products that you can browse and choose from to use in your home design (instead of creating anything from scratch), paired with bonus beautiful inspiration rooms to fuel your imagination on days you’re not feeling the most creative! It also has unbelievably easy-to-use 3D rendering controls, together with AI-assisted features like auto docking and dragging and dropping furniture, textures, and colors into your canvas, which enable you to work on your design in a fraction of the time.
You can also get the perfect lighting for your render and create professional-grade photorealistic 3D renders in minutes. So from drawing up a 2D floor plan to easily switching to 3D and customizing your space, its brilliant 3D visualization lets you design with clarity and efficiency like few others do.
With Foyr Neo you get:
✔️ Ready-to-use home design templates.
✔️ Ease of use (drag-drop functionality, seamless navigation and dimensioning which is super easy).
✔️ Access to 60K+ products in the catalog including a range of cabinetry, textures, finishes and panellings to choose from.
✔️The ability to:
– Design in live 3D mode.
– Upload your own models; create 3D models in just a few clicks.
– Wow your clients with 4K photorealistic renders + 3D walkthroughs in minutes.
“I cannot express how much I am LOVING NEO! The learning curve literally feels like ZERO as I created a beautiful home design in only a few short hours of signing up for their free trial. This would have taken me weeks in any other software program that requires a lot of skill, training, money and time.”
– Laytricia Towery, Interior Designer, 918 Design Co.
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Floor planner is another home design software that offers designs that are great for floor plans and marketing your designs. With an easy-to-use program that allows you to investigate its massive library of furniture, cabinetry, and accessories, your home will come to life in no time. The program also allows the placement of walls, windows, and other structures as well as text features to show dimensions.
✔️ A great option for creating interactive floor plans and blueprints.
✔️ You only get your first plan free, but with unlimited edits, so you’ll only need one.
✔️ You can decorate a room with just one click, and the software’s auto-furnish function will do the rest.
✔️ Not suitable if you’re looking for a realistic output or a fancy 3D rendering of your home design.
✔️ Restricted to layouts and blueprints.
Homestyler is a free online 3D home designing software which is very simple to learn, and therefore immensely popular among people who are not professionals but are trying their hands on designing their perfect space. Creating the layout of the home is extremely easy on this software.
All you have to do is drag and drop the available shapes and add on extra shapes to expand the design of your home, and you’re all set! While Homestyler can be used to design any room in the house, it does have special features and modules for the more specific rooms like kitchens and bathrooms.
✔️ The software allows you to create your home project and share your ideas with friends, family and even interior design professionals.
✔️ It showcases furniture from your favourite furniture stores like Ikea, Target, etc.
✔️ It has a mobile version which lets you view, complete and access your work on the go.
✔️ Lacks an exhaustive feature set to design a full home.
✔️ Not for serious or professional designers.
✔️ More for e-commerce workflows rather than designing.
✔️ Time-taking and requires a lot of patience as you have to learn the functions of the program.
Some designers call Chief Architect one of the best home design softwares in the market. It is easy to use, fast and produces 3D visualizations that portray an accurate depiction of what the finished project will end up looking like. The program comes with a versatile material library, and plenty of 3D assets to drag and drop your way around the design. The attention to detail for an interior design and rendering program is second to none and will help any firm showcase their designs to clients and contractors.
This software is often used by architects, interior designers, landscape designers, and even do-it-your-self because of its ease of use. As this is a large program it requires a PC or Mac with at least 4GB of memory and 5 GB of available hard-disk space as well as internet access. This program can be rented for $49/month.
✔️ Anyone can use it; very simple & intuitive.
✔️ Quality of 3D renderings.
✔️ Takes up a lot of space on the computer.
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SketchUp is a powerful design tool that allows you to create your home designs from scratch. The software only works on a web browser but is robust and versatile. It is relatively easy to learn and peer support is available if you need more guidance or ideas when designing your dream space. By simply visiting the software’s 3D warehouse, you will find numerous kitchen designs from fellow users that you can manipulate by adding or removing elements to create a customized space of your own.
✔️ One of the leading programs.
✔️ Been in the market for decades – tried & tested.
✔️ Expensive to upgrade for full features.
✔️ Difficult to learn to use.
Read also – Top 10 SketchUp Alternatives for Designers
Most of the home design softwares are quite complicated and have a fair bit of a learning curve. That said, there are some that are also easy to use, and Sweet Home 3D is one among them. Using Sweet Home 3D, you can create straight, round or sloping walls with precise dimensions, with just your mouse and keyboard.
The software lets you insert doors and windows in walls by simply dragging them in the plan. You can add furniture to your model using an extensive, searchable catalog, which is organized by categories such as kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. For each added element (e.g. wall, floor), it’s possible to change the color, texture, size, thickness, location and orientation.
✔️ While designing, you can simultaneously view a design in 3D from an aerial point of view, or navigate from a virtual visitor point of view.
✔️ It lets you annotate the plan with room areas, dimension lines, texts and arrows.
✔️ It even lets you create photorealistic images and videos and lets you customize the lights.
✔️ You also can import existing home blueprints to add upon them, and export created designs as PDFs and vector images.
✔️ An upgraded version can only be enhanced using a variety of plug-ins.
✔️ The software runs only on Windows, macOS, Linux and Solaris.
Virtual Architect Ultimate is one of the easiest home design softwares to use. It lets you do everything from redesigning your bathroom to building your dream home from the ground up, all with just a click of the mouse. Although Virtual Architect Ultimate is a little pricier than some of its competitors, you get a lot of extra features for the cost, including a massive library with thousands of 3D graphics to help you visualize and plan your living space.
You can even upload your own digital photos to use as a backdrop for your ongoing project. One of the best things about the software is that it is wizard-driven. This means it allows you to work on your projects both smoothly and quickly, even if you have no design experience. All you have to do is a point and click. The wizards do the rest.
✔️ Wizard-driven interface, thereby providing faster results.
✔️ Lets you upload digital photos to help plan any room makeover.
✔️ Provides technical support and tutorial videos.
✔️ Pricier than most of its competitors.
✔️ Steep learning curve.
✔️ You have to pay for phone support.
Read also – Best 3D Rendering Software for Home Designers
With 3DS Max your clients will experience your proposed work in beautiful, high-tech detail. The software delivers superb graphics for 3D animations and models, as well as games and images. You can use the toolsets to shape and define dramatic environments and objects and create immersive worlds, stunning visualizations, and engaging virtual experiences.
✔️ Its integrated, interactive Arnold renderer allows users to view accurate and detailed previews while they work.
✔️ Its automated processes help streamline deadlines and content production, so you can spend more time being creative and less time managing workflows.
✔️ This software is compatible with Windows only.
Read also – 12 Best 3D Architecture Software
This building information modeling (BIM) software can be used across disciplines including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering, and contracting. With it, you can efficiently and accurately capture your design intent in 3D and produce complete model-based building designs and documentation; automatically update floor plans, elevations, sections, and 3D views; and use 3D visualizations to see a building before it’s built. In addition to its compelling modeling and graphic components, collaboration across multidisciplinary teams is a key component of Revit.
✔️ Using BIM 360 Design work sharing, Revit connects teams in the cloud for higher-quality collaboration with minimum IT intervention.
✔️ Team members can share and save work, rather than switch between email, FTP sites, and multiple other platforms.
✔️ Revit is compatible with Windows only but can be run on Mac OS using Parallels.
If you want to visualize and plan your dream home with highly realistic 3D home design software you could go for Dreamplan. It lets you create a floor plan with equal ease, whether it is a home, condo or apartment.
It lets you add custom colours, textures, furnitures, accessories and other decor elements to your design. It also enables you to plan out your exterior landscaping ideas and garden spaces.
✔️ Switch between 3D, 2D Rendered, and 2D Blueprint view modes.
✔️ Use trace mode to import existing floor plans.
✔️ Export your design to JPG, PNG, OBJ, STL and more.
✔️ Easy-to-use interface for simple house planning creation and customization.
✔️ More expensive compared to other software in the market.
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Primarily geared towards professional architects and interior designers, Home Designer Suite is definitely one of the most comprehensive home design software you’re going to come across. If budget isn’t a concern, then you might want to try it. The software is fully capable of handling all types of residential and light commercial design projects. As you draw elements (e.g. walls), the software automatically creates a 3D model.
It can generate a list of materials and use powerful building tools to produce construction documents, complete with site and framing plans, section details and elevations. Its 3D rendering and visualization features let you view created models from different angles.
You can also explore 360-degree spherical views locally and in the cloud, as well as embed them in websites for interactive navigation. For cross-sections and elevations, the software can add automatic labels and populate camera callouts with layout information.
✔️ With nearly unlimited options for everything from rooms and walls to foundations and even electrical/HVAC systems, this software lets you make the most intricate home designs, with minimal effort.
✔️ It has a vast catalog of 3D objects and lets you export/export data in a wide variety of formats.
✔️ It is available for both PC and Mac.
✔️ Fit for professionals only.
✔️ Has a steep learning curve.
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TurboFloorplan Home is a professional software for experienced 2D and 3D CAD users. It includes parametric architectural objects, sections, and elevations, with increased functionality to both the architectural and mechanical areas. Available for both Mac and Windows operating systems, TurboFloorplan Home bills itself as “a powerful alternative” to AutoCAD LT, and promises a simple transition for those switching from one to the other.
– Costly, same as the other legacy software.
Read also – Best 3D Modeling Software
Most design software programs have a habit of waxing and waning with time; Smart Draw, however, has steadily improved over time. It is a tool that can create over 70 types of different flowcharts, graphs, visuals, and schematics. It is a paid software that offers a free demo.
The program can be used to design a home tailored to your needs because it offers customization templates with a wide array of objects such as cabinetry, fixtures, countertops and decor to get the look you want. There is also an import image feature if you want to bring in materials or objects of your own to use for your design. It has a clean and precise interface and is not cluttered with ads to buy home design products.
✔️ Free demo offered.
✔️ Full feature stack.
Read also – 15 Best 3D Rendering Software Alternatives
Planner 5D is an extremely user-friendly and simple-to-use home design tool, which allows you to make 3D floor plans and designs without requiring any special training or professional skills. The plus point of the product lies in a blend of the inconceivable basic interface and incredible innovations (AI, AR, VR, and so on). Planner 5D helps clients with purchasing a new home, moving, redesigning, changing the interior design, picking furniture, and beautification!
✔️ Has an ideas library with pre-made templates and ideas to get your design started.
✔️ Provides you with over 3,000 elements which you can choose from to design your 3D depictions.
✔️ Allows you to customize your floor plans, appliances such as your range hood, furniture, walls, etc.
✔️ Has a snapshot function that has realistic lighting, textures, and shadows.
✔️ Portable and lacking depth of functionalities – so suitable only for non-professionals, those more comfortable using the motions of a smartphone than a desktop screen.
✔️ You have to pay for premium features and extra options.
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Roomstyler is another efficient and easy online 3D design software. Like many other platforms, here you can start with the format/blueprint and afterwards include the individual design components in your plan.
With Roomstyler, you essentially pick the module/room you want to design with which you can finish the plan in line with your aesthetics and design ideas. Curiously, Roomstyler is one of the first software to offer cookware, utensils, china, different dishes, little kitchen appliances, and so on. So you can truly plan your kitchen to the very last detail here.
✔️ Easy to use and purchase furniture items and accessories.
✔️ Presents over 12,000 brand-name furniture and décor articles for you to choose from.
✔️ Straightforward to use and the shortcuts offered to allow you to navigate effortlessly around the application.
✔️ Allows you to make complete customizations of almost everything you can think of in your home design.
✔️ The sea of options can overwhelm you and leave you confused.
✔️ Time-taking to design on it.
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Interior designers have usually shied away from using software due to their steep learning curve and subpar user experience. Foyr Neo has been on the path to change this experience for one and all.
Here is what makes Foyr Neo the best home design software for all your interior designing needs –
✔️ It has a team of professional designers who are available 24×7 to listen and sort out your queries.
✔️It has over 60,000 pre-modeled products & design tools in a vast library or catalog that you can use in your design.
✔️It has powerful, pre-designed inspiration rooms for days you’re not feeling creative.
✔️It allows you to upload your own 3D models and textures at no extra cost!
✔️ It allows you to make your own custom shapes.
✔️ It lets you generate a breathtaking 1-click 3D walkthrough of your entire designed space.
✔️ It lets you have unlimited render previews (so you don’t need to waste your render credits if you don’t like what you see – bonus!)
✔️It is probably the only software that allows you to fire 15 HD renders within 5 minutes (in a free trial!)
With this, we wrap up our list of the 15 best free home design software for all your needs. While it is difficult to choose any one among these, you need to look at your specific use cases and then decide on the one that fits the best. For example, some offer cloud-based support, whereas others have team plans for seamless collaboration. The choice of the best home design software ultimately depends on what you want to achieve by using it.
While professionals have many meaningful options to choose from, homeowners are often left wanting because of their lack of experience in handling complicated software features. So, we have created Foyr Neo with ease of use in mind to ensure that even those who do not possess professional experience in designing can get the job done.
Grab a free 14-day trial of Foyr Neo today.
1. Which is the best software to design a house?
The best software to design a house depends on the functionalities you seek and the amount you are willing to pay. For example, Revit is one of the best paid home design software, whereas Foyr offers a functional free version that comes in handy for users looking for an inexpensive option.
2. What software do architects and housebuilders use to design houses?
Most architects and housebuilders use premium software that offers them granular control over the design and enable them to get a realistic view of what they want to create.
3. What software do most home designers use?
There is a myriad of software across price points that home designers can get access to. Foyr Neo is one of the most popular software interior design professionals use for their design needs.
4. Can I design my own house in 2D and 3D online for free?
Yes. There is a plethora of free software that enables you to design your 2D and 3D home design for free. In most cases, these come with limited functionalities, but unless you are looking for specific features, they can get the job done.
5. Which is the easiest home design software to learn?
Foyr and Homestyler have been the easiest home design software to learn and use for most professionals.
6. How much does house design software cost?
As mentioned above, the cost of a home design software ranges from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars. Software in different price brackets serves different needs, and those in the top tier are used by hardcore professionals with fine attention to detail.
Goddess Interiors LLC
Using Foyr Neo is as easy as 1, 2, 3. First, upload a floor plan or create one from scratch. Then drag and drop from over 60K 3D models to fill your rooms. Lastly, just set the shot and let the AI create stunning 4K renders for you in less than 10 minutes.Start your 14-day free trial