We found the most convincing reviews for the Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite at Amazon.com and the Circuit City website, where owners have posted reviews for this version or earlier versions. We also found a review of an earlier version of the software at PC Magazine. TopTenReviews.com has a chart comparing this program to nine similar programs.
Experts and users like the Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 (*est. $100) software. Developed by Chief Architect, a company that makes professional architectural design programs, it includes over 30 video tutorials, as well as a user manual. Many owners say that the software is easy to use and learn. There's a large database of home plans, as well as point-and-click color for walls and floors. Given the extensive designing help that comes with the software, experts say it's a good choice for casual users. On the downside, some users complain that it's hard to customize house plans, such as adjusting roof pitches, because the software comes with pre-selected settings. For those who find this software limited, reviews say that Punch! Professional Home Design Suite Platinum V12 (*est. $100) is a more flexible tool, but it has a steeper learning curve and is mostly for those who have some CAD (computer-aided design) experience.
Owners posting at Amazon.com give this version and earlier versions of the Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite high marks for its ease of use. There are some complaints, though, about the difficulty of creating a roof, as the software comes with preselected settings.
Review: Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 reviews, Contributors to Amazon.com
Troy Dreier gives an earlier version of the Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer software good marks. He likes that the software gives you a database of 1,500 finished home plans, as well as a materials painter that helps you choose colors and patterns. There are also plentiful tutorials.
Review: Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 6.0, Troy Dreier, March 2005
This website reviews home design software programs, but it's unclear who is doing the reviewing. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 finishes second in this roundup of ten programs. A helpful comparison chart lists features, tools, and other product details.
Review: Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0, Editors of TopTenReviews.com