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8 online design tools to get you started on your custom home

Design Tools images

If you’re thinking seriously about building a custom home and are ready to take the first big step to bring that dream to life, start by taking advantage of online home design tools like SketchUp and Floorplanner that let you “see” your ideal home without ever leaving the house. 

No matter what stage of design you’re in, there’s guaranteed to be an online tool (or several) to help you create your perfect home. To help you get started, we came up with a list of our favorites. 

We only had two requirements for the list: the online tools had to be easy to use, and they had to be free (Oh, and they had to be fun!) So, if you’re ready to be an architect or designer for the day and get the ball really rolling on your custom home, take a look at our list of online design tools below. 

SketchUp
This design software is easy to learn and extremely comprehensive, making it a great option if you want to include everything but the kitchen sink in your design. 

Available as a free version or for a monthly fee, SketchUp lets you create 3D versions of your home that you can move through. What we like about this software is how easy it is to use while also offering you the ability to see all facets of design to get a very clear idea of what your new home could look like. 

Floorplanner
This is another design tool that’s easy to learn, and you don’t have to download the software, which is another bonus. With Floorplanner you can create floor plans in 2D, add interior design elements, and then use 3D to see the finished product. 

SmartDraw
This design software offers a large array of building materials, floor plan ideas and other design choices which makes it incredibly comprehensive. Like SketchUp, SmartDraw is a great choice to create a home blueprint that gets down to the details. 

SmartDraw is easy to use while also being a top choice for professionals, thanks to its ability to allow for more complex designs. Note that SmartDraw is only free for the first seven days, but you can cancel your subscription at any time. 

Planner 5D
One of the best things about Planner 5D is that you can use it on your tablet or phone, making it a great choice if you want to tweak (or even start) designing wherever and whenever you get inspired. 

You can also design something quickly, nix it, and start over if you’re still in the brainstorming process. And since it’s immersive, you can view your creation as if you’re really walking through it. It’s also easy to share your design with others. 

Roomstyler
This software is much loved by interior decorators because it allows for fast and easy room design. Roomstyler also lets you choose from a huge library of products – all that are sold currently in stores or online – so if you like what you’ve created, you can purchase everything you need to turn the design into a reality. 

DFS Room Planner
What we love about DFS Room Planner, a British software, is that you can choose from various types of furniture to see how it will look in the room (then purchase the one you choose). 

For example, you can pick from sofas or dining room sets to “see” which works best in your space. This function is important, as furniture is the main focal point of nearly every room in your home. 

Carpetright
There’s no question that another important part of a home is its flooring. When choosing carpet, Carpetright can help. Another British design tool, Carpetright lets you choose a room like the one you’ll be fitting with carpet (complete with wall color and other important elements) then upload carpets to see which works best. 

Aren’t planning on using carpet in your new home? You can still use Carpetright to see what your floors will look like with wood, tile, laminate, and other materials. 

Clopay’s Door Imagination System
Don’t forget to about your custom home’s entry and garage doors, as both can give it significant curb appeal. Clopay’s interactive design tool allows you to fit entry and garage doors on your home so you can be confident the one you choose is a great match. You can also customize the doors with different materials, colors, and window patterns. 

When you’re ready to bring your custom home design plans to life, reach out to us at Classic Living Homes. We love creating gorgeous custom homes throughout the Cincinnati area and are ready to help make your dream home a reality, too.