Although DreamPlan hasn't been around as long as Punch design software or Home Designer, it has made a name for itself in the home design industry because it is a solid program. It is extremely easy to use and has helpful design tools that make it a good choice for novices.
Many programs require you to edit in 2D view and then convert the design to 3D, but this program lets you draw walls and add objects in the 3D view. Also, this is the only program we reviewed with grid lines in the 3D view, which make it easy to tell if the wall or room you're adding is the right size and fits with your space.
One of the program's limitations is it doesn't let you grab your plan and drag it to the best viewing position on the screen. Instead, you have to expand the image using the zoom tool in the bottom corner of the screen. This takes getting used to, though it isn’t difficult. The bigger problem is the program has only one sample house plan. However, you can import floor plans and trace your own.
This home remodel software has tools to help you make your own plans, including a roof wizard. Once you decide where you want to draw the roof, the tool automatically connects the corners based on the endpoints you provide. This tool is much easier to use than those in other programs, which typically create the roof for you and have you make edits. With DreamPlan, once you have the roof in place, you can click on it and change the pitch or add things like crossed gables or eaves. The only reason the roof tool didn't receive a perfect score is you have to draw a separate section of roof when the house isn’t symmetrical.
DreamPlan's object and plant libraries also fall short – we counted just 65 objects and six plants. The electrical and plumbing fixtures are limited to track lighting and antique, footed bathtubs. Further, the program doesn’t allow you to import objects from third-party sites. Fortunately, DreamPlan has expansion packages you can download for free.
NCH, the program's developer, has FAQs and video tutorials on its site to answer questions. Customer support is available via phone, but you have to pay extra for this service. You can also reach the company via email to get answers to your questions or concerns.
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