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Recommend - Newbie-friendly Home Planning Software
Brisbane, Queensland
8999 posts

I don't quite have the cash yet but I am really interested in designing my own home. I think I have some great ideas.

I need something that is free and can create a 3D representation of a large single-story home. Five bedrooms, three ensuites, two bathrooms, a movie room and a large kitchen/dining/living area.

I have already found the perfect block of land, I hope I can buy it one day :]
08:35am 02/05/12 Permalink
08:35am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9533 posts
SmartDraw is pretty easy for a floor plan, but lol @ 3D

In the end the easiest thing to do is get a floorplan from a builder and photoshop it. Then at least you can go through their display homes and see what their s*** looks like and use your imagination for how you'd make it different.

Go to a display village, like the one at northlakes and look at a few builders homes. Metricon have nice homes but I've heard a few horror stories, Coral Homes are good value.

If you're planning to build start reading this forum for tips

last edited by thermite at 08:57:20 02/May/12
08:54am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9002 posts
thanks man
08:57am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
817 posts
but lol @ 3D

I someone who is currently getting into doing 3D design work - it probably isn't something you'll just pick up overnight as an amatuer. And I'm guessing it will be hard to find a decent package for free. Unless it comes built into a Linux ISO.
09:00am 02/05/12 Permalink
Melbourne, Victoria
6814 posts
I dunno. Maya has a pretty easy learning curve, and QERadiant wasn't too hard to use, but I could never get my head around 3DSMax and Inferno.
Edit: In the same way that Corel Photo-Paint is easy as to pick up, whereas Photoshop is a pain in the ass to learn, and I can do everything you can do in PhotoShop in Corel.

last edited by Raven at 09:06:24 02/May/12
09:04am 02/05/12 Permalink
2445 posts
The Mrs and I learnt google sketch up in a weekend for our house plans (the draftsman we hired to make the final plan for the builder charged us less because we used real measurements on them too!)

Anyways I was decent in 3d studio max from my CAD days and the mrs had never used a 2d or 3d cad program before.

Long story short is the mrs picked google sketchup up faster then I did because sketch up uses some weird ways of doing things that arnt like other 3d programs. I was trying to use what i knew from 3d studio max, maya etc and it held me back.

So i would suggest using google sketch up and take the turotials at the start then click 'more tutorials' this takes you to google and there is a few easy ones like building a chair that teach you loads.

My mrs is now a google sketch up master!

09:10am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
2205 posts
Smart straw ftw. But 3d man and for free your getting into specialist areas.

At school we had to use 3dsmax do design a toolbox with wheels I gave up on it and eventually used source sdk lol.
09:15am 02/05/12 Permalink
Sydney, New South Wales
1727 posts
I did a pretty detailed home design in Blender once, but it's not exactly a user friendly program.
09:22am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
1611 posts
Another vote for sketchup. I used it before Google bought it years back and it was awesome and easy to use then. Hopefully still the same, probably even better.
09:25am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
12905 posts
I drew up the plans for my back deck on paper with a HB pencil
09:35am 02/05/12 Permalink
2446 posts
Sketchup has been attached to the cloud now so you can right click -> import from template library -> search

then type things like 'pool table' and BOOM you have a pool table :)

or my fav 'ikea 300x600 verticle 3 shelf' BOOM

so good
09:37am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
5464 posts
Best idea (which i think is the first reply) is to get a design from an existing house and modify it.

not just because modifying is easier, but normally when you go through the process of dealing with a builder they'll have a price for a house plan, but if you work off changes to that plan then you can just work off how much more/less expensive those changes will make to the house.

It also means that for large proportions of the house they'll know exactly what they're doing and that really helps when it comes to when they build it which helps for both them doing it right the first time, and how quickly the house comes along.

Last time my parents used OwnIt homes. These were the best builders out of four block up builds they've done. So i'd have to promote them both for the build time (on schedule/ahead of schedule) and their post-build support (ie issues afterwards like the exhaust hood on the stove and a few other bits) was quite excellent. The post build inspection before the keys are handed over is huge too - they covered the house with red stickers - giving it measles with every little bump and scratch or scuff that had been picked up and they fixed all of those before they handed the keys over.

Anyway have fun.
09:44am 02/05/12 Permalink
2448 posts
Broken link i think sky...
09:51am 02/05/12 Permalink
Melbourne, Victoria
6818 posts
I drew up the plans for my back deck on paper with a HB pencil

Hardcore would be an 8H.
09:56am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9535 posts
This sketchup thing looks really good! Gonna watch some tuts.
10:01am 02/05/12 Permalink
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
986 posts
tread carefully with concepts about designing a house.
See who you know as far as architects go, or approach a technical college about getting it done on the cheap.
There are hundreds of building codes/regulations as far as housing goes.

Sure you might have some awesome ideas about overall layout, but in my opinion, filter them through someone who works in that sorta space.
10:23am 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9536 posts
I've watched five minutes of the first tutorial and I reckon I could make a 3d house in sketchup. Though I would want the floor plan and measurements worked out first.

Thankfully I've forgotten most of worldcraft/hammer, 3dsmax, milkshape, and the gay one they made us use at UQ.

Only a weekago I was searching for 3d software for some metalwork I'm doing, I have the absolute f*****g jollies now.

last edited by thermite at 10:30:41 02/May/12
10:24am 02/05/12 Permalink
2452 posts
whatcha doing with metalwork thermite?
01:05pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9538 posts
Gonna build something like this
I've already built the frame though, which is the main thing I needed to plan out properly. I'll be attaching the mower soon, and if that goes well I'll go to phase 2 which is the wheel motors and arduino.

last edited by thermite at 13:14:07 02/May/12
01:12pm 02/05/12 Permalink
2453 posts
autonomous eh? would be awsome to make a remote controlled version :-D

thats a great little project youve got there. would be nice just to fit a starter motoro to the mower as a start...
01:26pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9539 posts
It will be remote controlled! Don't think anyone's been game to do an autonomous one yet.
01:30pm 02/05/12 Permalink
2455 posts
Hrm... the lack of hopper is a shame. Should make something it can drive over to drop the grass into and then keep driving :)
02:36pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
9541 posts
I have a mulching mower
great engine, great blade system, big deck
s*** wheels, and no self-propulsion... that's how I found this.
02:51pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
4607 posts

However couldn't recommend more you 'obtaining a copy' of autocad and teaching yourself that. CAD is every industry standard so you may as well learn that s***. I can also give you some pointers as my wife has taught me heaps about it and she knows it back to front.

I even did this up for a mate of mine:
02:55pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
4608 posts
My post was probably back to front. We design everything in CAD and import it into sketchup as it is probably one of the better 3D rendering package out there and is completely free. Designing from scratch in sketchup is for people who either hate time or have way too much of it.

I understand CAD is unecessarily bloated however it is captain and eventually easy (and quick) to use.

The next step up is revit, which will fully render everything (including lighting files if you have them) and formulate a BOM you can just give to any builder and say "How much" and there is 0 question about s*** going over budget.
03:15pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
611 posts
Download The Sims 3, missus spend hours designing people and houses.
04:30pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
5830 posts
12d > AutoCAD.
Just saying.
12d probably has a steeper learning curve though...

Sketchup is great if you're building on something already designed.
05:05pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
4281 posts
visio lol
05:42pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
5471 posts
Broken link i think sky...

True that! Fixed, i had two "" in there before the actual http:// part of the link. So that was pretty pro, but googling ownit homes gets you there anyway if someone was genuinely interested.
11:00pm 02/05/12 Permalink
Brisbane, Queensland
231 posts

last edited by focal at 10:42:46 03/May/12
10:40am 03/05/12 Permalink
10:40am 03/05/12 Permalink
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