PROS / With split screen 2D/3D views you can place your objects where you need them.
CONS / Exterior design tools are extremely limited.
VERDICT / Sweet Home 3D is a simple program that is easy to use, but the lack of sophisticated design tools makes it best suited for simple interior decorating or room additions.
Sweet Home 3D is very simple home design software with basic features. This means it’s easier to use than some of the more complex programs. It has a decent selection of objects to work with and you can create simple interior decorating plans, but you’ll be limited when it comes to designing more complex designs.
There are approximately 100 objects available in the program’s library, along with 22 plants and trees and plumbing fixtures, lights, outlets and bathtubs. These can all be used for decorations but not placed for wiring or pipes. This program lacks a roof wizard and it is best suited for simple interior decorating or room additions than creating a full house plan from scratch.
You can access an online gallery with sample plans that you can download and then upload into the program. You can also import a sample floor plan, but these plans display as a background image. This makes it impossible to trace the image to recreate the plan with modifications based on your style and preferences.
The standout feature for this software is a tool that lets you drag and drop objects into the 2D view, which you can simultaneously see in 3D in split screen. You can drop objects into your 2D design and then drag them where you want within the design. The split screen format lets you see the placement of the object in 2D and 3D views simultaneously. This feature prevented the floating phenomenon that we experienced with some other programs.
In other programs we would place an object in a 2D design, but when we switched to 3D view, it appeared to be hovering above the ground. That doesn’t happen with this program. It provides a realistic view of what objects will look like even though you can’t edit directly in 3D. Also, when you click on the object you can easily change the texture, color or material so it matches your design.
As far as exterior design tools for creating things like fences and decks, this software is extremely limited. The fence designer is limited to a single pole that you have to place individually. This contrasts with better programs that let you indicate a starting and ending point and then automatically create a straight fence. There are some custom fence design options, but not nearly as many as the best home design software we reviewed.
There is a way to design decks with this program. This involves basically designing a room without walls, but it lacks the sophistication and advanced tools that let you design a deck the way you want it.
Support options include FAQs and video tutorials on the company website. There is no phone support, but a customer support representative will respond to email questions if you can’t find answers on the FAQs page.
Sweet Home 3D is a simple program that is best suited for simple interior design projects or room additions and not complete home designs created from scratch. It has a nice tool that lets you drag and drop objects into your 2D design while seeing the 3D equivalent in split screen, which helps you avoid misplacing objects. The exterior design tools are limited – as is the overall functionality of the design tools. This is good basic home remodeling software, but it won’t go much beyond simple projects.