Deck Design Software Review
If you want to build a really great deck...
prepare your plans with deck design software
Deck Design Software has many uses, more than proving to yourself that a deck would look good at your home...
**You could use your software to make good preliminary plans to use when applying for your building permit. Your building inspector will insist on plans so set out to impress with your detailed plan drawings.
**Your contractor may find it useful for permissions and orientation.
**Make a fairly accurate Materials list to help you keep in budget.
**Impress family and friends with your use of your deck design software and let them see how your design becomes a reality.
**But probably the most important use, after going all out and using your deck design software to it's fullest extent, including all the benefits like seating, BBQ,(maybe even a hot tub!! etc.), is to use the design to sell the idea to your spouse. Unless your brave enough to try a surprise job, this is usually the first permission on your list.
With the deck design software capabilities available today, your other half can't help but be impressed by the deck design promise of the result...
Google SketchUp Review
Be one of the first to try out the new 3D modeling program, read our review and a review from Mr S, one of our visitors on the FREE Google Sketchup software.
This is unlike anything previously available - if you are looking for a quality free home improvement software or a free home planning software you need to read our Google SketchUp Review before you go on to download google SketchUp and really start to have fun designing and re-designing your home.
You do have a lot to choose from and basically your choice of deck design software depends on the following factors:-
** What are you aiming for?, Do you want just basic deck design software, or a full design package that you will also be able to use for later projects. Later do you want to add a gazebo, do some landscaping or building an addition to your home.
** How much do you want to spend? you can find design software from $20.00 upto $5,000 (reasonable deck design software from $20.00 - $300.00)
** The more expensive software with many more capabilities will take up much
more space on your computer, so how much space you have available on your system is an important factor to consider before you buy.
** How much time do you want to spend on the computer designing your deck?, some full design packages can take quite a while to find your way around before you even start on your deck. Or do you want deck design software that will give you a quick result of your decking idea, that you can print out to get you started building.
** Are you planning a multilevel deck, you may find that even the best deck design software has some difficulties as you start to build up layers.
All in all, you get what you spend with deck design software. If you want a software that will also work for other projects and even give you a blue print of your home as you continue to use the software and develop your knowledge this can not only benefit the outcome of your work but also your enjoyment of designing.
Get involved in a good design software and you could have a new hobby for life. After you have finished drawing and extending your own home, you could start on the homes of family and friends or begin to plan your own dream home maybe even start your own self build...
Continue towards the end of the page to find out which design software we have used for well over 10 years...
Lets Talk DECK DESIGN SOFTWARE...
Designing your deck should be the fun part, get the dimensions right and it can save you a ton of money on not buying more materials than you actually need.
We are always on the look out for more Home Improvement software to test and we will be adding to this list continously.
Please note: reviews are not written in any specific order, ultimately the choice
is yours, these deck design software reviews are just our opinion...
Ultimate Deck & Landscape
from Punch Software
This is a good hobbyist deck design software especially easy for those who want to make the most common type of deck: the grade level, low-profile, ground floor deck. You can make multilevel or multistory decks with it but that will take a bit more time and patience. It does also feature railing, baluster and step options.
You can actually choose your wood type, with the different textures available to give your end result a more realistic 3D look. If you get information on costings as you go along, add them in the program and the built in Estimator compiles a spreadsheet giving you a total cost to build, very handy.
Once you have finished with the deck you can use the software to start to landscape the rest of your garden adding pathways, trees and plants.
It is a hobbyist deck design software which you should be able to find for just under
$25.00. This is the at the lower end of the Punch software line, pay a bit more - get a bit more from one of Punch's other products (see below)
At that price, don't let your expectations be too high before you start, having said that - I liked it - but some users have had trouble drawing accurately enough, others have had trouble building up layers to get multi-story decks.
But if you just persevere, give yourself time, learn the software and you will be able to produce a good image of the deck, sunroom and/or landscaping that you imagined.
Punch do other different levels of design software at different prices, you can buy
one of their packages that will help you with your deck design AND help you design a new dream home or remodel your home.
Other Punch products - most of which also include deck design capabilities are:
Professinal Home Design-Platinum, Professional Home Design Suite, Master Landscape & Home Design, SUPER Home Suite, 5 in 1 Home Design, and Home Design
Complete. Their products come with a 90-day money back guarantee!!! so you can't go wrong.
Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer
from Big Hammer
Another hobbyist level deck design software which you may find a little limited if
your imagination has run above a normal - straight forward deck design. But there are over 70 sample decks to choose from which means that if you see one that you had in mind, you could have your design printed out in a very short time. Priced at just under $30.00, it is good value for money as a good quality hobbyist deck design software.
You can choose lumber type or composite material, and you can elect the deck height. You can choose bracing
methods and decide deck railing designs from eight different styles. At the end of
all your work you should have a good visual of the deck you want to build together
with a shopping list of materials you are going to need, I haven't gone so far as to
print out the list but I have read that the project specifications are so complete
that you can use it when applying for your building permit.
A big plus on the pre-designed decking templates are the hot tub and above ground pool deck designs available as well as L-shaped wrap around your house decks.
This software is easy to use and for any part you can't get to grips with, try their tech. support team who are very helpful.
What cons. you may reach it's limitations... but it usually does the job.
3D Home Architect Landscape
Design Deluxe 6
This software does have a deck feature but I found it much better applied to
landscaping. It has a really extensive plant encyclopedia and allows you to search by plant and soil properties. If the plants you like and can use for the soil type of your garden are on the list, then this is a really interesting choice for the deck and garden.
I wanted to include this in our review especially for those who want to design a free standing deck within the landscaping of their garden project.
More landscape gardening orientated than deck design.
Total 3D Landscape Deluxe 6.0
A windows drawing program which allows you to use your own imported digital photos,
this is a real plus for me as I have spent many years doing just this with Corel
software. It has a drag and drop interface and you can view your completed design
from six different angles.
I still haven't had time to try it out yet so I don't know how flexible it is or how deck orientated it is. Check out more information on this one at a later date...
If you have - please let me know what you think - write a review and I'll post it here in this page to help others looking for that perfect deck design software package! - Tell us what you think on our Contact Us & Have Your Say Page
Instant Deck Design
This is another good program, use the pre-drawn examples to help you make your deck design. You get 30 3D deck design templates which you can edit. (and they are not all rectangular, square or round, there are some good options that may suit your home). Or you can start from scratch and design your own deck design in 2D fairly to scale. The editing tools are quite good, again you get a materials list to help you pick up what you need.
Looking for software for around $20.00?, then this could be the answer for you, at that price you can't go wrong.
THE DESIGN SOFTWARE I USE
Design your deck, garden even your new home, your business cards, anything at all - you won't use this once and disgard it - you can continually use and enjoy this software forever, a sound investment.
The design software that we have used for more than 10 years now, has been Corel Draw, all of the drawings on this Web site, for example the bathroom floor plans and the Sunroom sketches and the deck building illustrations were done using Corel Draw.
It is easy to draw decking onto a photo of your home, be it grade of multi-level, if you use Corel Draw.
Most of our work with Corel Draw has involved using a photograph of the pre-construction site, which we then scanned, unwanted elements were taken out of the picture using Corel and the new construction was then drawn onto the photograph image to get a realistic look of the end result... before construction began.
It's really the most complete and user friendly design package we have come across, there are no limits to its applications... if there are no limits to your imagination. Learn to use Corel Draw and you will have complete control over all your designs for life.
How any of the above design packages work on your computer may well be influenced by your hardware and available space and how updated your system is.
Another main factor is your own patience in getting to know the software and accepting what it can do for you. I spent years and years, learning and using Corel, - learning, using and enjoying creating plans.
Our Library of Decking Articles
GET FINANCING TO BUILD YOUR DECK - Need information regarding financing your deck design project! take a look at our home improvement financing articles:
Deck Design Financing Options
INSURE YOUR DECK - find out why you should make sure your timber is insured as soon as you take delivery of it...
Insurance Cover for your Deck Design
FREE DECK DESIGN SOFTWARE
If you are looking for a great quality free deck design software, why not try Free Google SketchUp - you can create a new home design or re-create your own home and add decking, deck railings a gate and even your favourite style of deck chair.
Find out more here with our Google SketchUp Review
You will find other free deck design software on the internet put up by people who want to sell you something else like a hot tub. Hey, this is a good idea for them, but beware of the results, will you really be able to design your own deck? see
and print the deck that you had imagined?..., no probably not, not for free, why not try a pencil and paper instead, if your not really thinking real deck design software.
*** However, to help you get started with your own deck design you are welcome to take advantage of our: - FREE Deck Plans and Construction Tips
and our - FREE Plan for a Diamond Weave Deck.
When you have finished designing and building your very own deck you can frame a copy of a 'before picture' and your 'printed custom design' alongside a picture of 'the real deck', hey why not... it looks good.
Wishing you all the very best in your deck design software quests, enjoy your deck.