Some things are hard to describe in words. Images are better. CGI images might be best. When we talk about designing a home though, then most people would rather grab a pencil than start studying AutoCAD. No worries then. Somebody thought of that problem and created a design program for laymen!
Sweet Home 3D is a digital graphics application that is tailored exclusively for drawing floor plans. Don't be scared about the 3D part. The designing is done squarely in 2D, and in a fairly easy 2D I must say.
There are two main tools in Sweet Home, walls and rooms. Walls are created in chains so that you can describe rooms with as many walls as you wish. In this way designating an outline for the dwelling is done with just a few clicks.
This could be a bit misleading since you might ask what good is the Rooms tool? Well if Walls is a pencil, then Rooms is the coloring crayons. Rooms are described in a similar fashion except that they snap to walls and once created. A room that fits the walls can influence the way those walls look. Each element can be edited for color or texture and other things.
The free edition has almost two hundred items that can be fitted and arranged inside (or outside) of your wonderful creation. From windows and doors to window blinds and house plants, everything can be easily attached to your design. Each item can be re-sized and re-colored according to your vision.
Adding floors is easy. Designing the second, third or forth floor is done in the same manner. Just don't forget to paint the ceilings!
Unfortunately, although the procedures are easy enough the access to adding the first new floor and to edit elements are a bit burred in the list of options. You will need to do a bit of searching through the right click menu, while editing a wall or a couch option is not the first options in a list of dozen or so entries.
Viewing your creation is done mainly in two ways. A bird's eye view will always focus on your selections with you having the possibility of rotating around it. Alternatively you can enable the Virtual visit. In this case you will have the perspective of a regular person (you can change its height) visiting the premises.
- Simple vector graphics
- Object library
- First person 3D view
- Easy procedure to create and populate rooms
- The interface is not streamlined enough
- You cannot rotate multiple selections
Sweet Home 3D is very useful in order to visualize fairly standard house projects. It is far easier to use than most other CAD applications. Still, it has some streamlining issues that can get annoying after prolonged use. Use with caution, but have fun!