Punch Home & Landscape Design Essentials boasts an easy-to-use interface and plenty of design tools to get you started designing your digital home. It is missing advanced tools, but the program creates high-quality floor plans and realistic 3D renderings of your new home.
When you first start the program, there are video tutorials you can view to familiarize yourself. This 3D home design software gets you up and running quickly with its QuickStart menu. The menu allows you to drag and drop rooms into your floor plan and arrange them any way you want. After you add the rooms you want, you can adjust their sizes, as well as add walls and wall breaks. However, you don’t have the option to add curved walls to your floor plan. You can also add a roof to your design, but if the house isn’t a true square or rectangle, you have to do extra work to ensure the roof doesn’t hang out too far over garages and other sections.
When you drag and drop rooms into your floor plan, they automatically generate in a 3D model, which you can view using the 3D preview button located in the top right corner of your screen. The software creates a high-quality display of what your home will look like in 3D. You can use this feature to ensure dimensions are correct and objects are exactly where you want them. We found that the program’s 2D floor plan was not as sophisticated as those generated by our top-rated home designer software; for example, the 2D symbols lack detail. You can export designs in 3D plan renditions, but 2D plans cannot be exported.
If creating a custom plan seems overwhelming, the software has 45 sample home templates you can use to help you get started. The templates include single- and multi-level homes in a variety of architectural styles. Once you upload a sample template, you can edit the home any way you choose or just use the design as inspiration.
This room design software's cost estimator can help you prepare for your real home renovation. It automatically generates a spreadsheet of all the materials you need and how much they cost, so it is easy to stick to a budget. This program also has landscaping and topography tools you can use to enhance your entire property. The topography tools can make hills and valleys in your yard, as well as gardens, fountains and fences. There are also tools to create sidewalks and patios.
Punch Home & Landscape Design Essentials boasts a large library of over 4,700 objects. You can furnish your home with a variety of items, including exercise equipment and home entertainment centers. The plant library has a list of over 4,000 flowers, trees and shrubs to put the final touches on your digital front yard. You can add electrical and plumbing fixtures like tubs, outlets, ceiling fans and chandeliers, but you can’t place wiring and pipes for these fixtures.
This program lacks a water tool that would allow you to add and customize things like ponds, pools and more. If you want this tool you’ll have to upgrade to Punch Home & Landscape Design Premium.
In addition to the in-application support, which includes video tutorials, tips and access to a user manual, the Punch website features a FAQs page. If you need further support, you can contact representatives via email or telephone. Reps were very prompt and helpful in their responses to our inquiries.
Punch Home & Landscape Design Essentials is a solid floor plan software for users of any skill level. It’s one of the best home design software packages for exterior plans and has a load of interior options as well. The video tutorials, QuickStart menu and user manual help beginners learn how to use the program, while there are plenty of tools to support more advanced users in renovating or designing a brand-new home. The object library and plan options are plentiful, but the software works best for houses that have a traditional, symmetrical design.