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In this report

Home Design Software: Ratings of Sources

Total of 10 Sources
1. Amazon.com
As of Apr. 2008
Home Design Software reviews
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentWhen it comes to home design software, Amazon.com readers offer better and more current ratings than any other source, including professional publications. In general, the three programs reviewed most often are Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer, Punch! Professional Home Design and 3D Home Architect. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 7.0 gets the highest overall score from owners, who like its ease of use and good tutorials. The newest version, Home Designer 8.0, is so new it hasn't been reviewed yet. Punch! Professional Home Design Suite Platinum Version 12 gets only average scores from a handful of owners. Some complain that the software is too complex.
2. PCMag.com
Mar. 2, 2005
DIY Home Design
by Troy Dreier
Our AssessmentThis roundup rates six home design software programs. Unfortunately, the age of this article is a problem. Most of these software titles have been updated, and some are no longer in production in any version. Although editor Tony Dreier writes "There's no clear leader in this category," 3D Home Architect Design Suite Deluxe 6 gets the highest rating and is a PC Magazine Editors' Choice. AutoSketch 9, Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 6.0 and Punch! Professional Home Design Suite Platinum 8 are all also covered.
3. The Wall Street Journal
June 29, 2006
Unlocking Your Inner Architect
by Sara Schaefer Muñoz
Our AssessmentSara Muñoz talks about three home design programs in her article: Better Homes and Gardens, Punch! Software and Google SketchUp, though none are reviewed. A slew of new free Internet tools, such as HGTV Kitchen Design, are also mentioned. Muñoz points out the drawbacks of using software programs to design homes, because they generally have complex spatial and load-bearing requirements. She says that homeowners "dream up layouts that don't take into account support walls, plumbing or central air systems." Still, she says that many people praise the software for improving communication with an architect.
4. TopTenReviews.com
Not Dated
2008 Home Design Software Report
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentThis website claims to review home design software programs, but it's unclear who is doing the reviewing. Software is scored on aesthetic appeal, features and tools, support and documentation, and ease of use. The highest-rated program is said to be Punch! Professional Home Design Suite. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 and Instant Architect 12 from IMSI finish in second and third place, respectively. A helpful comparison chart lists features, tools and other product details. We found this review a good place to see home design software programs listed side by side, but the lack of disclosure about the review process means you should certainly corroborate these ratings elsewhere.
5. About.com
Not Dated
Top 6 Home Design Software Programs
by Jackie Craven
Our AssessmentJackie Craven is the About.com guide to architecture. She gives an all-too-brief overview of six software programs, including one that's free: DesignWorkshop Lite. The most popular programs, such as Punch! Home Design Series and Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer, are listed here. However, there are no overall ratings, and the software isn't compared. (Note that About.com and ConsumerSearch are owned by the same parent company, but are not affiliated editorially.)
6. About.com
Not Dated
Free Online Design Software
by Coral Nafie
Our AssessmentAbout.com's guide to interior decorating, Coral Nafie, suggests taking a look at five free software downloads available online. She says that no software program "is perfect for every project," so you'll want to test various options. For example, Nafie says that Design Workshop Lite is best for simple projects. No software packages are recommended or reviewed in this very brief article, though. (Note that About.com and ConsumerSearch are owned by the same parent company, but are not affiliated editorially.)
7. Ymholiad.com
Feb. 2008
3 Free Online Kitchen Design Softwares
by Paul Marek
Our AssessmentYmholiad is a Welsh term meaning questioning in order to acquire new knowledge. This new website, founded by Paul Marek, focuses his search for knowledge on kitchens. In this review, Marek looks at three free online kitchen design software programs, FloorPlanner, Plan3D and Google SketchUp, in order of their complexity and detail. He discusses each title's advantages and weaknesses and tells if more advanced versions are available for a fee. An illustration of each program is shown.
8. PCMag.com
May 30, 2007
Design Your House
by Helen Bradley
Our AssessmentHelen Bradley tries a demo version of Punch! Professional Home Design Platinum and describes five basic steps for creating a simple floor plan that can be turned into a 3D image. Each step is accompanied by an illustration that can be enlarged to show more detail. This review is not critical, but is helpful in showing how this program actually works.
9. Macworld
May 4, 2007
Home Design Studio 11.0
by Greg Miller
Our AssessmentGreg Miller tries Punch! Home Design Studio 11.0 for Mac and says the interface is good enough to get you designing right away. It took him some time to learn how to place objects precisely, and some of the tools were not easy to use at first. However, he concludes that he likes this software and finds the price reasonable. It will also help you communicate ideas to architects and interior designers.
10. eHow.com
Not Dated
How to Use Home Design and Planning Software
by Editors of EHow.com
Our AssessmentThis short article at EHow isn't very helpful. Consisting mainly of a list of comments such as "Read the software's system requirements to make sure it'll work on your computer," this article doesn't do much to help readers decide on what software to consider.
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