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Home Designer Suite 2017 Review

PROS / The program has great help and support features, including its House Builder Wizard, tutorial videos and user manual, so it is easy to create a complex floor plan.

CONS / The program does not have a designated wizard for building a kitchen.

 VERDICT / This full-featured software helps you design every part of your home and landscape in great detail, and it creates high-quality blueprints.

Home Designer Suite earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for its extensive feature set and ability to help you customize every aspect of your digital home design. This home design software has powerful features and tools that make it easy to create your digital dream home, letting you make your home design as detailed as you want. Not only can you customize the inside of your home to your exact specifications, but you can also landscape your entire lot and create the property you’ve always wanted.

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  1. The number of sample floor plans the software offers.
    Home plans (More is better)
  2. 1 Home Designer Suite
    23 Home Plans
  3. 45 Home Plans
  4. 23 Home Plans
  5. Category Average
    1538.00 Home Plans

Overall Utility

Home Designer Suite’s interface is intuitive for beginners and advanced users alike, and its user-friendly features, such as support for multiple monitors and PDF saving and printing options, make it particularly easy to use. In our testing, we found that even though the program has an extensive feature set and advanced capabilities, it is one of the easiest programs to learn how to use. One of the most daunting sights when building a home design is a blank, 2D floor plan. To help, the House Builder Wizard asks you a short series of questions about the number of rooms, minimum square footage of the house and other important details. Based on your answers, the wizard generates rooms on your floor plan for you. All you have to do is move the rooms where you want them, and with little effort, you have a custom floor plan.

This house design software has advanced features that make your designs realistic; for example, it can show mirrors, reflections, sunbeams through windows, and shadows around objects. With these features, among others, this home design software creates the most detailed digital version of your dream home of the programs in our review. Also, we found that the software produced floor plans of superior quality.

In addition to making blueprints from scratch for your home, you can import scanned floorplans or photos into the application. This is particularly helpful if you are renovating or building on to your current home, as you can import the pre-existing floor plan and work from there.

You can view your 3D model in many ways. The dollhouse view is one of the most commonly used. This is an aerial view of the model looking inside the house without the roof. The glasshouse view is a 3D blueprint of your home that's perfect for fine-tuning architectural details. You can use the camera-angle tools to view your 3D model from all sides. Controlling the 3D home design software’s camera angles takes some getting used, and there are many different camera controls to choose from, which makes navigating your 3D home harder than it needs to be.

You can create a custom walkthrough video of your 3D model when you are ready. You just set camera angles and guide the camera through your home while you record. Then you can share the walkthrough with friends, family and coworkers.

One of the home design software’s most handy tools is its cost estimator. The cost estimator in Home Design Suite can help you budget your home design. When you click on this tool, the program creates a spreadsheet with totals for supplies you need to build the home you designed.

Interior Design & Kitchen

With over 6,500 objects to choose from in the object library, you can find appliances, furniture and household items in the sizes and styles you want. Objects include, but are not limited to, couches, beds, garbage cans and entertainment centers. When you select an object for your 3D home, you can customize it to your liking with the materials paintbrush. You can also import 2D or 3D objects into the library if you can’t find what you are looking for.

When you first open this home remodeling software, you can choose between building a custom floor plan from scratch or working with a sample template. Home Design Suite has 23 sample home plans and 35 design templates you can use to become more familiar with the program’s abilities. You can finish and edit any of these premade homes plans; for example, you can use the materials paintbrush to change the color or texture of anything in the template and move preset furniture to where you want. The sample plans can also help you generate ideas for your own house.

This room design software does not have a dedicated kitchen builder wizard, but the user manual has detailed, step-by-step instructions to help you build a kitchen to your own specifications. Using the program’s large selection of appliances, cabinets and kitchen items, you can plan every detail of your kitchen. After you place your appliances, you can use the software’s Auto Place Outlet tool to add GFCI outlets in the kitchen.

Construction & Landscaping

Home Designer Suite has an abundance of tools to help you create your 3D home model. You can specify the type of staircases you want, as well as add fireplaces, fences, decks and more. These tools are useful if you are a beginner at using this type of software, and they save you the time of trying to draw and create everything without additional guidance. 

However, more advanced users can customize almost every aspect of the floorplan. This includes creating custom roofs, adjusting the house’s frame and manipulating room dimensions; you can even adjust the dimensions of the entire house. Likewise, the program allows you to place electrical and plumbing components where you see fit.

In addition to this floor plan software’s large library of interior objects, it has an extensive list of objects for outside of the home. Home Designer Suite has a large selection of exterior furniture and light fixtures. There is also an extensive plant library that features more than 1,500 plant options to use as you design your yard.

With the program’s deck designer tool, you can create intricate decks, adjusting their sizes, styles and the materials they are made of. There are multiple terrain tools to help you landscape around your house. You can add hills, water, gardens and much more.

Help & Support

Home Designer Suite is an easy application to use, but if problems or questions do arise, there are several support resources available. There are more than 30 tutorial videos and an included user manual to help guide you through this application's features and tools. You can access frequently asked questions on the company’s website or visit the user forum for answers to common problems. There are also several articles on the manufacturer's website to help you with the application.

The company offers a free trial. This trial is missing some of the features found in the paid version, but there is no time limit on how long you can access the floorplan software. If you want to speak directly to a customer support representative, email and telephone support are both available. We found that the company was quick to respond to our inquiries.

Summary

Home Designer Suite is versatile home design software that has all the tools you need to fully redesign your property. The sample templates, video tutorials and House Builder Wizard help you learn the ropes of this software quickly, and you still can fine-tune nearly everything to your exact specifications.

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