PROS / You get helpful wizards to create kitchens, bathrooms and decks as well as an exceptionally useful roof wizard.
CONS / You must pay for phone support.
VERDICT / This home design software does require a learning curve to master its capabilities, but you can use its numerous designer tools and help wizards to create a professional-quality home interior and exterior.
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design software was formerly known as HGTV Ultimate Home Design, and it gained considerable popularity through TV shows that demonstrate home renovations and improvements. The good qualities of the earlier home design software remain in place in this latest version. However, this software did not simply get a new name – instead, it got an excellent overhaul and is now a greatly updated model that provides a generous selection of tools, features and capabilities so you can make detailed and sophisticated home designs using your own computer.
You need to put a bit of work into learning how to use this software, but your progress will be greatly assisted by such things as a tutorial that pops up when you choose a tool. You can watch a video and read written instructions to learn how to use it, and once you’ve gotten the hang of maneuvering through this home design software, it will no doubt become quick and easy to design your dream home. The high-quality tools, abundant features and ease of use all contribute to this software earning our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
Home & Floor Plan Design
This application contains nine sample floor plans that are highly detailed, but you can make all the changes you please including such things as furniture, flooring, materials and paint. These also include landscaping features. If you prefer, you can select from thousands of online plans, import them into the program and, starting from scratch, create your own design.
One useful tool is a trace floor plan capability that allows you to import a blueprint, floor plan or even an image that you think looks much like the way you want your new home to appear. Using this tool, you can trace the walls and “install” windows and doors, then delete the original image. What is left is the outline of the home design you would like. You can also trace features from different plans and merge them together until you get the plan you want.
In addition, when you want to embark on your home remodeling or construction project, you can import existing photos of your home’s exterior or interior and then revamp every detail using the various objects, textures, colors and materials in this feature-packed software. For example, you can change the paint, flooring and countertops and add windows and doors to the interior. Importing your 2D photos is a quick way to help you visualize what your interior will look like with a little renovation.
You get wizards for deck, kitchen and bathroom design, all of which make working with this sophisticated software reasonably easy considering this employs such high-level tools. An exceptionally useful feature is the roof wizard, which is equipped with a perimeter tool. You can click on your floor plan and this tool will automatically put a roof onto your home design that fits perfectly. You don’t have to cut out any overhangs or put a second roof over a garage or part of the house that is not square, which you must do with lower-ranked software.
The program’s cost estimator helps you budget for the changes you make to your home. This feature keeps track of all the materials you need for your remodel, plus it gives you a reasonably accurate figure for the total cost of the materials you will need.
Once you’ve completed your design, you can export to an architect for further refinement or to a contractor in a DXF file, which is a CAD software format. CAD (computer aided design) is used by professionals in engineering, architecture and other fields.
Interior & Room Design
This home design software is exceptional for remodeling your kitchen and bathrooms. The generous object library offers you an abundance of such things as sinks, showers, cabinets, furniture, light fixtures, benches and much more for you to experiment with as you work to customize and beautify your home. You can import a photo of an existing room and set to work fixing it just the way you want. You get a substantial selection of floor materials, different types of countertops, paint colors and fabrics, and brand name furniture and appliances.
Included in this 3D home design software are such helpful amenities as a stair generator and a cabinet designer. You can also create curved walls as well as the traditional straight variety, and you can remodel sections of your existing house or the whole thing. The bathroom and kitchen wizards aid you in designing these rooms to your specifications by walking you through the process.
Landscape & Garden Design
This software contains tools that help adapt your design to the topography and unique geographic features of your plot. If you want, you can import digital photos of your existing property and then make the changes you desire.
This software is equipped with a remarkable list of plants that far exceeds other home design software. There are over 7,500 options for trees, shrubs, flowers and more to landscape your digital property, along with a plant encyclopedia that informs you about the water and light needs for various plants and a calendar outlining times for pruning, fertilizing, spraying and more. In addition, you can view your yard and garden in different seasonal views and see what the vegetation will look like over the years as it matures.
You can also find outdoor accessories, including fountains, waterfalls and barbecues. This software comes with a deck builder wizard that makes preparing a deck easy, and you can create such things as sheds, outer buildings, gazebos and other additional structures on your property. You can also design fencing, sidewalks, outdoor lighting, sprinkler systems and other things that will enhance your property.
The video tutorials on this website are quite helpful and can guide you through numerous design processes as well as answer many questions you might have. Should you encounter any problems with this floor plan software, there is a short FAQs section on the manufacturer's website. There is an option for telephone support, but unfortunately, you must pay a fee to use it.
Even if you are a beginner at designing a home, with a bit of effort you can create a stunning house and landscape using the numerous and helpful features and tools presented by Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design. The 3D views, the ability to export a top-quality design to an architect or contractor, the well-stocked plant library and the overall flexibility of this home design software make it an exceptional choice.