Our Top Picks

ARCHICAD
ARCHICAD
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Phone & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with dRofus, Cinema 4D, and LumentRT
Archicad was designed with architects in mind. It includes professional features, such as team collaboration, virtual reality visualization, and built-in analysis tools. Built-in documentation sets take into account BIM standards and make it simple for users to create schedules and sheets, giving them more time to focus on creating beautiful designs without worrying about related paperwork.

Customers can choose from a variety of deployment options when purchasing Archicad. This includes a simple web-based version of the program, as well as installed software for Mac or Windows desktop devices. Designers and architects who are consistently on the go may also want to consider downloading the iOS or Android app so they can update their designs any time an idea hits.

Although the cost of Archicad isn’t readily available, users can take time to familiarize themselves with the software thanks to the company’s free 30-day trial.

Pros & Cons

Archicad offers plenty of options when it comes to running the program, including installed versions of the software for both Windows and Mac computers and smartphone apps. It includes documentation templates that users can easily customize to suit the needs of their business and their industry’s regulations. While support is available, hours are limited, and unfortunately, pricing for this software isn’t transparent.

Pros

  • Broad array of deployment options
  • Built-in documentation

Cons

  • Limited live support
  • Pricing not transparent

What Customers Are Saying

Customers love how Archicad makes it easy to share projects, revisions, and documents with other team members and clients. Additionally, its design modeling is highly intuitive, which is a topic mentioned by many online reviewers. One user said, “The user interface allows for a pretty intuitive and integrated creative process. It’s great for exploring and communicating ideas, and in cases where the process is not inhibited by the need to switch to different software for different stages of work, such as when moving to develop the design in detail.”

Summary

ARCHICAD
ARCHICAD
  • Starting Price
    • Contact for quote
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    Yes
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Phone & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with dRofus, Cinema 4D, and LumentRT
AutoCAD-Architecture
AutoCAD Architecture
  • Mac & Windows installed, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Ticketing support and account manager
  • Integrates with Sharepoint and QuickCalcs
AutoCAD Architecture is a powerful program that’s designed to meet the needs of architects, engineers, and construction builders. It’s available in three versions, each of which is tailored to meet different needs. With the most cost-effective version, users can access 2D CAD functionality, and the mid-range priced version incorporates 2D and 3D CAD, as well as a variety of specialized toolsets. AutoCAD Architecture’s most comprehensive version of this software includes full access to a range of professional features at enterprise pricing. While this program is available for iOS and Android devices, users can get the most functionality out of using the installed software on a Mac or Windows device.

The price of AutoCAD ranges from $210 per month to $3,652 for a three-year subscription. Users can register for a free 30-day trial prior to purchasing.

Pros & Cons

AutoCAD’s flexible pricing means that most small business owners can fit some version of this extensive software into their budget. A dedicated account manager makes it easy for users to access help with the program’s basic uses; however, support is via ticket only, which means that some users may be required to wait when assistance is needed.

Pros

  • Flexible pricing
  • Dedicated account manager

Cons

  • Technical support is limited

What Customers Are Saying

AutoCAD customers are pleased with the program’s user-friendly interface and high-quality graphics. One freelance designer provided a review of this program, saying, “AutoCad is a very good CAD software because it is user friendly and it delivers quality graphics that encourage creativity, and it has a lot of features that can be added on and manipulated, which makes it a perfect Draughting tool for Architects old and new.”

Another user was pleased with the scope of work this program can handle, saying, “It manages extremely large projects with exact measures and details. It gives availability to work in 3D Space. Cloud function helps to get an advantage to work as a team.”

Summary

AutoCAD-Architecture
AutoCAD Architecture
  • Starting Price
    • $210/month
    • $1690/year
    • $4565/3 years
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    Yes
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Ticketing support and account manager
  • Integrates with Sharepoint and QuickCalcs
Bluebeam-Revu
Bluebeam Revu
  • Mac & Windows installed and iPad deployment options
  • Phone & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Citrix Sharefile and Sharepoint
Bluebeam Revu is designed to meet the needs of professionals in a variety of industries, including engineers, contractors, architects, and property owners. It easily integrates with Citrix Sharefile and Sharepoint, allowing team members to seamlessly share revisions and completed floor plans. The program automatically stores important data as revisions are completed, and with its cohesive, single-page design, it makes it easy for architects and designers to make adjustments to their work during the design process.

While Bluebeam Revu is primarily meant for use with Mac or Windows desktop devices, an iPad version is available for those who require the flexibility to share designs with clients or in team meetings.

Bluebeam Revu is available for a starting price of $349 per user, and those who are interested in giving this software a try can access a free 30-day trial.

Pros & Cons

Bluebeam Revu is a program that keeps everyone from architects to property owners on the same page when it comes to design. The system automatically saves data throughout the process so users can easily return to unedited versions of their design. Unfortunately, users who desire mobility can only access an iPad application for this program. Additionally, the price of Bluebeam Revu is high when compared with some of the other options that are included on this list.

Pros

  • Automatically saves data throughout the design process
  • Free 30-day trial

Cons

  • More expensive than some other comparable programs
  • No iPhone or Android app

What Customers Are Saying

Customers are pleased with Bluebeam Revu’s simple interface and its ability to mark up and edit blueprints, floor plans, and other documentation. Additionally, many users have made remarks about the program’s simple document creation functionality. One customer said, “I love the feature of saving the info so that you know if it was an area, perimeter, or simply a quantity take-off performed.”

Bluebeam Revu’s intuitive interface is also a common topic among positive reviews of this program, with one user saying, “I love that it can ‘read’ my plans, and help me with my takeoffs. The search function can look for either words or symbols, and is incredibly useful when I’m looking for something specific.”

Summary

Bluebeam-Revu
Bluebeam Revu
  • Starting Price
    • starts at $349 as a one-time payment
    • per user
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    Yes
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    No
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed and iPad deployment options
  • Phone & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Citrix Sharefile and Sharepoint
BQE-CORE
BQE Core
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Phone & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, QuickBooks Online, Stripe, Xero
QE Core is a business management program that’s designed exclusively for architects and architecture firms. It allows for seamless project management, letting users upload and manage designs and other crucial documents. In addition to floor plan management, BQE Core also includes features such as human resources management, billing, and expense tracking.

While installed software isn’t available for BQE Core, this program offers a variety of accessible deployment options, including web-based, iOS, and Android applications.

Contact BQE for a quote or request a free demo..

Pros & Cons

While BQE Core’s features list is comprehensive and the program allows architects to manage every aspect of their businesses, it is limited when it comes to design. This program works best when used for document management and billing. It integrates well with a variety of other platforms that allow users to share files and accept payments for projects. While support is available, customers can only reach help during regular business hours.

Pros

  • Allows architects to manage projects and business seamlessly

Cons

  • Limited design functionality

What Customers Are Saying

BQE Core delights users with its intuitive interface and ease of implementation with other programs. Many users speak highly of the program’s support staff as well, with one saying, “Support has been very good. They methodically think through processes and help with issues, configuration settings, or bugs (which I recently filed and it will already be fixed by the weekend).”

Summary

BQE-CORE
BQE Core
  • Starting Price
    • starts at $7.95/user/month
  • 3D Modeling
    No
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    No
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    No
Features
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Phone & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, QuickBooks Online, Stripe, Xero
Floorplanner
Floorplanner
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • Email support available
  • No integrations
Floorplanner is a simple program that helps property owners and designers create elegant and accurate floor plans with 2D and 3D modeling. It includes features such as virtual walkthroughs, measurement tools, and a furniture library to allow users to easily visualize the space they’ve designed. This program is ideal for those who aren’t professionally trained in architecture or interior design and offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface.

Floorplanner is available solely as a web-based application, in which all designs are saved via cloud storage. While there isn’t an app available for iOS or Android devices, users can choose to access the program using the browser on their mobile device.

While this program is available for free, those who are frequent users may wish to consider signing up for the company’s $5-per-month subscription service, which provides access to credits each month. These credits can be used to access additional objects and furniture, as well as design features that aren’t included in the free version of the program. A free demo is available on Floorplanner’s website.

Pros & Cons

Floorplanner is easy to use and appeals to anyone who takes an interest in designing beautiful spaces. It includes realistic photo rendering and virtual walkthroughs that allow users to clearly see the functionality of their designs. Unfortunately, this program is not available for iOS or Android devices, and it does not integrate with any other platforms or software programs.

Pros

  • 2D and 3D design elements
  • Photo rendering and virtual walkthroughs

Cons

  • No mobile application
  • No integrations

What Customers Are Saying

Floorplanner users love the flexibility of this program’s designs and are pleased with the options that are available in its object library. Additionally, it allows users to share their designs on social media pages such as Twitter and Facebook, which can be useful for professional designers. One long-term user was particularly impressed with the program’s ease of use and said, “This is a very easy to use tool. From the first time I jumped in, I basically knew how to build and edit a room. Producing amazing realistic 3D renders of my rooms only takes a few minutes.”

Summary

Floorplanner
Floorplanner
  • Starting Price
    • Individuals
    • Basic: $0
    • Plus: $5/month
    • Pro: $29/month
    • Teams & Companies
    • Team: $59/month
    • Business: $59/month
    • Enterprise: $59/month
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • Email support available
  • No integrations
Ikea
Ikea Home Planner Tools
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • No support
  • No integrations
IKEA Home Planner allows users to draw and design their kitchen or office space using 2D and 3D design tools. This web-based software is simple to use, with drag-and-drop object placement and floor plan designing, as well as a comprehensive furniture library that includes most of IKEA’s top items such as sofas, dining sets, storage and lighting. IKEA Home Planner is a web-based app only, and designs can only be saved by creating a profile on the company’s website. IKEA Home Planner can be used free of charge on IKEA’s website.

Pros & Cons

IKEA Home Planner is easy to use and appeals to those with minimal design expertise. It features a comprehensive object library with all of the company’s standard items. Unfortunately, IKEA Home Planner does not offer any support or integrations, and it is limited to office and kitchen designs.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Large object library
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No software support
  • No integrations

What Customers Are Saying

IKEA Home Planner is a great tool for those on a budget and in search of a quick floor planner tool to design their space. One software reviewer points this out, saying, “It’s important to understand that the 3D kitchen planner exists as a marketing tool aimed at selling IKEA products. It’s free, after all, and does not offer the full range of capabilities found in commercial space-planning software… The planner has a clean interface, quite consistent with the IKEA philosophy. This online planning tool is very simple and easy to use.”

Summary

Ikea
Ikea Home Planner Tools
  • Starting Price
    • Freeware
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • No support
  • No integrations
Live-tour-by-istaging
LiveTour
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Online & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Insta 360
LiveTour is made for event planners and designers. It allows them to build virtual expositions from the ground up and create realistic displays and walkthroughs that their customers can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. This program features everything users need to create their event from scratch, including floor plan designs, custom object placement, 3D walkthroughs, and social media sharing. In addition to its design capabilities, this program also allows users to capture real spaces in virtual reality with only a smartphone.

Of course, while this program is marketed to those planning virtual expositions, it can easily meet the needs of interior designers, real estate agents, or any other professional who requires virtual reality 360-degree walkthroughs.

LiveTour is available at a starting cost of $5 per month.

Pros & Cons

LiveTour is a unique tool that helps planners design their virtual event from start to finish. This comprehensive planning software starts with 2D planning and includes beautiful photo-realistic rendering and virtual walkthroughs. It’s available for desktop and mobile devices. Unfortunately, support is only available during business hours.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Realistic virtual walkthroughs

Cons

  • Limited support

What Customers Are Saying

Users are pleased with the high-quality walkthroughs they’re able to create with LiveTour. Additionally, customization features are often discussed in online reviews, with many speaking to the program’s vast personalization options. One user provided a five-star review of this product, saying, “I am extremely impressed by the overall quality of the software. It’s not a cheap hack and works everytime. Simple to learn and use, I was able to create my first video in minutes. It took just a short time to learn how to insert floor plans. Adding to MLS listings could not be more simple. Hotspots, the ability to tag features with prices and information make it a great experience for the viewer.”

Summary

Live-tour-by-istaging
LiveTour
  • Starting Price
    • Pay by Usage
    • $5 for 3 LiveTour slots
    • $2.50 for each additional published LiveTour
    • Unlimited hidden LiveTour slots
    • Contact for enterprise pricing
  • 3D Modeling
    No
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Online & email support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Insta 360
Planner5D
Planner 5D
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Email support available during business hours
  • No integrations
Planner 5D is a user-friendly 2D/3D home design tool that works as well for amateur designers as it does for professional architects. The program features an easy 2D mode that lets users create complex floor plans and design layouts using a selection of objects and seamlessly switch to 3D to view their designs. All aspects of the program’s design elements, including colors, patterns, and materials, are customizable. Planner 5D is available for desktop and mobile devices, making it a great option for those who like to work or spend time creating designs while on the go.

The cost of Planner 5D depends on its intended use. Talking with their customer service team will give you an idea of your spend.

Pros & Cons

Planner 5D provides users with 2D drawing and 3D modeling, as well as custom object creation and realistic walkthroughs. Unfortunately, this software isn’t designed to integrate with any other programs and support is limited.

Pros

  • Custom object creation and realistic walkthroughs

Cons

  • Limited support

What Customers Are Saying

Above all, users are pleased with the value that Planner 5D offers. Its robust list of features is unparalleled by similarly priced software, and when it comes to realistic photo rendering and virtual walkthroughs, many customers seem to believe that Planner 5D is among the best. One customer provided a five-star rating for this program, saying, “The pricing is excellent, really quick to learn and every design is beautiful when it comes together and is offered on every major platform and on tablets. Easy to apply different textures, wallpapers and paint colors. Gorgeous renders.”

Summary

Planner5D
Planner 5D
  • Starting Price
    • Yearly Subscription: $59.99
    • Monthly Subscription: $9.99
    • Full catalog for 30 days: $6.99
    • Full catalog access for 1 year: $15.99
    • Unlimited full catalog access: $24.99
    • Premium account for one month: $6.99
    • Lifetime: $89.99
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    Yes
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Email support available during business hours
  • No integrations
Roomle
Roomle
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Online & email support available during business hours
  • Optional integration with ERP and CAD/CAM systems
Roomle offers users the opportunity to design complex floor plans with photo-realistic furniture and materials. Its interface is simple and allows users to easily drag and drop walls, windows, doors, and other objects into their 2D design. Once planning is complete, Roomle can be switched to 3D mode for a realistic view or designers can enjoy a virtual walkthrough of their space.

In 2018, Roomle won an Annual Multimedia award, and in 2017, it was nominated for a UX Design Award and won a Red Dot Design Award for the Best of the Best.

Roomle is available to professional and personal users. Personal users who wish to download the desktop application can do so for free.

Pros & Cons

Roomle’s cost is one of the things that makes it appealing to many potential users. Additionally, it features high-quality virtual walkthroughs and a large furniture and object library. Professional users can also integrate this program with ERP or CAD/CAM systems for a seamless design experience. While the cost of this software is reasonable, no free trial or demo is available, and support is limited.

Pros

  • Large furniture and object library
  • ERP and CAD/CAM integration

Cons

  • Limited support
  • No free trial or demo

What Customers Are Saying

Roomle users are happy with the program’s inspirational layout options and furniture selections. One frequent user offered a five-star review of this program and said, “I love this app! It’s exactly what I was looking for and much much more. The 3D walkthroughs are particularly awesome,” while another raved about the furniture selection, saying, “This app is very helpful. I use it whenever I’m inspired to make something new. There are so many pieces of furniture to choose from that sometimes I have to stop myself from getting any and everything that I see. I love the variety. There is always something to fit any style.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • 3D Viewer: €150/month
    • Material Configurator: €300/month
    • Product Configurator: €1200/month
    • Enterprise Integration: Contact for quote
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • Online & email support available during business hours
  • Optional integration with ERP and CAD/CAM systems
RoomSketcher
RoomSketcher
  • Mac and Windows installed, IOS, and Android deployment options
  • Online and email support during business hours
  • No integrations
RoomSketcher is a program that appeals to users of all experience levels. With a professional yet easy-to-understand interface, it lets users create interactive, fully customizable floor plans. 2D drawing capabilities and 3D modeling allow designers to easily visualize the functionality of their space and make adjustments wherever necessary. RoomSketcher is available as an iOS or Android mobile app, as well as desktop software. This allows designers to take the program with them anywhere they go and make adjustments to their design any time inspiration strikes.

This software is available to all users at an annual cost of $49. Professionals who wish to use RoomSketcher can purchase the software for $99 per year.

Pros & Cons

RoomSketcher offers a variety of deployment options, including a mobile app; however, designs aren’t automatically saved to the cloud when using the installed version of this software, and as such, mishaps can result in lost progress. The cost of this program is low when compared with many similar options. Support is limited to online and only available during business hours.

Pros

  • Cost effective
  • Mobile app available

Cons

  • Limited support

What Customers Are Saying

Customers love using RoomSketcher thanks to the nearly limitless options the program includes, as well as its realistic walkthroughs. One interior designer uses this software in her business and said, “I loved the many options it provided and the walk around views. Invaluable when showing off to potential clients. The pricing is really good for yearly use.”

Summary

RoomSketcher
RoomSketcher
  • Starting Price
    • VIP: $49.00/year + 20 credits
    • Pro: $99/year + 50 credits
    • High-Volume: Contact for quote
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Mac and Windows installed, IOS, and Android deployment options
  • Online and email support during business hours
  • No integrations
SketchUp
SketchUp
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • Live online support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Iris VR and Space Designer 3D
SketchUp is a highly intuitive program that allows users to draw designs by hand and digitize them by turning them into 3D models. Users can also choose to design in 3D mode, letting them view the flow and functionality of their design as they go. SketchUp provides designers with the tools they need to easily share and collaborate on ideas with other industry professionals.

All designs are automatically saved to the cloud and revision histories are backed up as users continue to edit and mark up their work. Real estate agents and designers who typically share their work with clients can upload their designs to Iris VR or Space Designer 3D automatically for realistic virtual walkthroughs.

The web and desktop version of SketchUp is available at an annual rate of $299 per user. There is also a free web-only version and a web-only version for $119 per year. .

Pros & Cons

With hand drawing and 3D design capabilities, SketchUp makes it easy for designers to work in whatever way suits them best. The software has a bit of a learning curve, especially in the beginning. There are no features that allow you to manage your contacts, contracts, projects, or quotes and proposals.

Pros

  • Flexible design capabilities
  • Easy software integration

Cons

  • Beginners will face a learning curve using the software
  • No contact, contract, project, or quote and proposal management options

What Customers Are Saying

Designers who use SketchUp speak highly of the program’s intuitive interface, as well as the variety of tasks this software helps them take on. One business manager who uses the program provided a five-star review, saying, “It provides smart and easy ways for 3D designing. It provides hundreds of developed and professional extensions. It helps in creating all kind projects which includes video game creation, furniture building, interior design, 3D printing and many others.”

Summary

SketchUp
SketchUp
  • Starting Price
    • Personal
    • Free (Web): $0
    • Shop (Web): $199/year
    • Pro (Desktop/Web): $299/year
    • Professional
    • Shop (Web): $119/year
    • Pro (Desktop/Web): $299/year
    • Studio (Desktop/Web): $1199/year
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    Yes
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • Live online support available during business hours
  • Integrates with Iris VR and Space Designer 3D
SKYSITE
SKYSITE
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • 24/7 live support
  • Integrates with Outlook
SKYSITE is a dedicated document management system that’s designed to help architects, engineers, and construction managers view, mark up, and manage floor plans, blueprints, and other designs. It makes submittals easy by automatically tracking revision dates, version codes, and document changes. While this program doesn’t allow users to design from scratch, it does provide an effective way to track designs and ensure builders are using up-to-date versions every time.

SKYSITE is available at a monthly rate of $19 for all users. Professional organizations and enterprises are required to pay a slightly higher rate of $39 per month. Those who prefer to can request a free trial or schedule a demo.

Pros & Cons

While SKYSITE doesn’t have design capabilities, it does help engineers, architects, and builders to ensure all designs are built according to the latest and most accurate plans. This program is a dedicated document management system that makes it easy to access previous revisions, as well as old building plans that have been archived. Unfortunately, integration options for SKYSITE are limited to Outlook.

Pros

  • Automatic revision tracking
  • 24/7 live support

Cons

  • Limited integrations
  • No 2D/3D design capabilities

What Customers Are Saying

SKYSITE users often speak to this program’s fast uploading speeds and customizable filing options. One professional user said, “The ease of uploading large files and being able to set up the filing system the same way that we have it set up in house means that all of our employees already understand how the SKYSITE filing system works. I also really like being able to keep track of who has ordered what, and who has downloaded what.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Basic: $19/user/year
    • Professional: $39/user/year
    • Enterprise: $59/user/year
  • 3D Modeling
    No
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    No
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    No
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • 24/7 live support
  • Integrates with Outlook
SmartDraw
SmartDraw
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • 24/7 live support
  • Microsoft Office, Google Apps and Jira
SmartDraw is a powerful design tool that helps architects and engineers create professional 2D floor plans that are accurate and functional. This program features open diagram API and SDK and makes it simple to collaborate with teammates and other professionals during every step of the design process. Users can import designs from other programs, including Lucidchart and Visio, or export their designs to Visio for further edits.

This program is available as installed or web-based desktop software or can be downloaded to an iOS or Android mobile device for designers who work while on the go.

You can purchase SmartDraw for a one-time fee of $297 per user or $595 for five or more users. You can also download a free trial.

Pros & Cons

SmartDraw is an effective way to create 2D floor plans that are functional and accurate. Unfortunately, this program does not include 3D modeling or walkthroughs and must be integrated with other software if users want to see their designs in a more realistic view. Support is available 24 hours a day.

Pros

  • 24/7 Support
  • Accurate planning tools

Cons

  • No 3D modeling or photo-realistic rendering

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who’ve used SmartDraw are pleased with its simple interface and design options. One user provided a positive review of the software, saying, “I like the ease of use. This product gives me just enough options to get the job done without over complicating things like CAD tends to do.”

Summary

SmartDraw
SmartDraw
  • Starting Price
    • Single User: $9.95/user/year
    • Multiple Users: $5.95/user/year, minimum 5 users
    • Enterprise: as low as $2995
  • 3D Modeling
    No
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    Yes
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    No
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS and Android deployment options
  • 24/7 live support
  • Microsoft Office, Google Apps and Jira
Streamtime
Streamtime
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • 24/7 live telephone and online support
  • Zappier, Xero, Quickbooks
Streamtime is a comprehensive project management program that helps architects easily plan projects, provide quotes, send invoices, and collaborate with other team members. Additionally, this software can be used for basic document sharing and document management between designers, document control staff, and other professionals. Users can purchase the web-based version of this software or install it to their Mac or Windows desktop.

The cost of Streamtime is $40 per month per user, with 10% off if you pay annually. . New users can also request a free 30-day trial.

Pros & Cons

Although Streamtime doesn’t include 2D or 3D design capabilities, it does offer architects and other professionals an excellent way to manage projects, budgets, and teams. Its interface is bright and user friendly, and the tools within this software simplify collaboration between team members. Support is available 24 hours a day.

Pros

  • 24/7 live support
  • Comprehensive project management

Cons

  • No 2D or 3D design features

What Customers Are Saying

Those who’ve used Streamline like the fact that it offers project management that’s specifically for designers and architects. One long-time user provided a positive review of this software, saying, “Comes from designers. It’s simple and easy to use. Can get to it anywhere with an internet connection. The user experience is just right for the industry and the tasks I have to carry out. The team regularly asks for feedback and they listen to it.”

Summary

Streamtime
Streamtime
  • Starting Price
    • $40/user/month
    • Contact for fixed price plan
  • 3D Modeling
    No
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    No
  • Object Creation
    No
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    No
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment options
  • 24/7 live telephone and online support
  • Zappier, Xero, Quickbooks
Sweet-Home-3D
Sweet Home 3D
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS deployment options
  • Community forum and email support
  • No integrations
Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that allows users to upload the measurements of their house and arrange furniture throughout their home. Once they have placed the furniture as desired, those using the program can switch to 3D mode to view a relatively realistic rendering of how their design will look in real life.

Sweet Home 3D is free to use and can be downloaded to a Mac or Windows desktop computer or used online.

Pros & Cons

While Sweet Home 3D isn’t necessarily designed for professional use, it is a convenient tool for those wanting to determine furniture placement when staging a home for sale or in their own home. Its open source license means that any user is free to download this program for personal or professional use. Unfortunately, support options for this program are limited.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Works with Windows or Mac computers

Cons

  • Not suitable for professional use
  • Limited support

What Customers Are Saying

Sweet Home 3D users love the comprehensive furniture library and object customization this program offers, as well as the overall design flexibility. One user said, “I am using Linux – Sweethome works great on Linux. I am an ex CADCAM software engineer and I am blown away how one developer has grown such a reliable sophisticated product yet kept it simple, it does exactly what I need, it’s reliable, well written and intuitive – someone has put a lot of care and attention into this.”

Summary

Sweet-Home-3D
Sweet Home 3D
  • Starting Price
    • Freeware
  • 3D Modeling
    Yes
  • 2D Drawing %%d_drawing%%
  • Object/Furniture Library
    Yes
  • Object Creation
    Yes
  • Photo Realistic Rendering
    Yes
Features
  • Mac & Windows installed, web-based, cloud, SaaS deployment options
  • Community forum and email support
  • No integrations

How We Chose the Best Floor Plan Software

Floor plan software is a necessary tool for architects, home builders, designers, and even real estate agents. When determining the best programs for this list, we took these professions into account and considered the features they need most, like visualization, object management, and photo-realistic rendering.

Visualization Features

Visualization is a crucial component of floor plan software. It allows users to gain a comprehensive understanding of their designs and ensure that the flow, feel, and practicality of floor plans is in line with their original idea. As such, we looked for software that offers features such as 2D drawing, 3D modeling, and in some cases, virtual walkthroughs.

Object Management

While seeing the layout of a floor plan in 3D or via virtual walkthrough is important, visualization of a floor plan can be even better through object management, which allows users to place furniture and other objects in the space to see how it can be used in real life. When creating this list, we looked for programs that offer users the opportunity to place common and custom objects in the spaces they design.

Photo-Realistic Rendering

Graphics are an important part of floor plan software, and that's why we selected programs for this list that include high-quality graphics, which allows users to view realistic floor plans. The best quality photo-realistic rendering allows users to feel as though they're actually in the space they've designed, helping them determine flaws, inconsistencies, and issues with flow more quickly.

What Is Floor Plan Software?

Floor plan software is widely used in the design and real estate industries. It allows users to easily design functional and beautiful living and working spaces that are to scale. Often, floor plan software programs feature tools such as 3D modeling and virtual walkthroughs that make it easier to see exactly how a designed space will look in real life and help users determine what changes they need to make to their designs.

In addition to creating an initial design, floor plan software can often be used in the remodeling and interior design process. With features such as object modeling and custom object creation, users can easily place and move items throughout the floor plan to help themselves or their clients visualize exactly how the space will look when furniture and decor are added in.

Of course, while floor plan software is often used by professionals, it can also be an ideal way for homeowners and renters to determine furniture placement within their home, visualize remodeling plans, or simply entertain themselves.

Benefits of Floor Plan Software

Small businesses, especially real estate agents, freelance architects, and designers, can benefit from using floor plan software in their businesses. In most cases, it’s a cost-effective way to help themselves or their employees design spaces more efficiently, and when working with clients, it can be one of the best ways to help them visualize changes that are being made to their home or office or how the things they already own can fit into a new space.

Many floor plan software programs incorporate software integration into their design, making it easy for users to work across multiple applications to manage their project, design floor plans, and track revisions and updates. Alternatively, an all-in-one program that allows users to manage every aspect of a project, from design to completion, is often the best choice for small architecture or design businesses.

Must-Have Features for Floor Plan Software

To work as efficiently as possible, floor plan software should include a variety of features that help users easily visualize what their designs will look like in real life. That means the ability to view an overhead floor plan in 2D, as well as 3D walkthroughs that make it easy to see how a floor plan will look and feel once it’s built. Features like object management take that a step further, giving users the ability to place furniture and other items into the design, helping them ensure that the space is adequate and flows well. In many cases, interior designers, stagers, and real estate agents will require custom object management, which allows them to select specific furniture sizes, materials, and colors to place into the spaces they’re working with.

Of course, features such as 3D walkthroughs and object placement are important visualization tools, but without high-quality graphics, they don’t truly give users the ability to accurately visualize floor plans. When shopping for the right floor plan software for a small business, it’s wise to look for one that offers realistic HD photos and video tours. Additionally, some floor plan software applications can be used to create realistic virtual reality tours, which is a useful tool for real estate agents who wish to showcase a property’s best features online.

The Cost of Floor Plan Software

Floor plan software comes at a variety of price points to meet all types of budgets. With programs such as IKEA Home Planner being available free of charge, small business owners can easily access and experiment with floor plan software. Those who are looking for options with a broader range of features and higher-quality graphics can access programs that range in price from $5 per month to several hundred dollars.

It’s important that professionals such as architects, engineers, and even interior designers consider that they may be required to purchase a professional license for the software they choose, which is often priced higher than licenses for personal use. In some cases, larger companies may even be charged more than those with just a few employees.

To avoid overspending, it’s important for those shopping for the right program to consider the features they need most before making a purchase. Architects and engineers are typically required to track all changes they’ve made to plans with strict revision codes and document management processes, so for some, a feature such as automatic change tracking can be necessary. Of course, individuals who are looking at floor plan software for their own use don’t require such features and are typically okay with something more simple.