Home design CAD


I must be one of the only mugs buying a house at the moment; this is at a time where the majority of other prospective buyers are running for the hills due to the current economic climate.To make matters more interesting I also made an offer before the property officially came on to the market so I was unfortunately unable to use some generic comment regarding the apparent ‘recession’ in order to leverage the price.Anyway, my foolhardy attitude aside, I am now faced with the task of becoming an interior designer and rather predictably felt that we had to get a computer involved somewhere along the way.

Last year I reviewed Google SketchUp for Click and thought that I’d give it another spin before decided it was possibly a little bit too complicated for the relatively simple room designs that I wanted to create.I was looking for something more along the line of the basic CAD (Computer Aided Design) applications that members of the public are allowed to use in stores such as IKEA.After a little searching I stumbled across a free of charge, open source application called ‘Sweet Home 3D’ which seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

There are several different versions of the software available, including those for Linux and Mac Operating Systems however most users will probably be interested in the 25mb Windows version which can be downloaded free of charge from http://sweethome3d.sourceforge.net.Interestingly there is also a Java version which runs directly from any Java compatible Internet browser therefore removing the need for an initial download and installation.

As the name suggests, this program is primarily aimed towards those looking to do an element of interior home design; it isn’t a fully blown CAD package.What makes it so easy to use is that you simply give it the dimensions of your room(s) so you can get the walls in the right places, then it is just a case of dropping in objects such as bathtubs, beds and kitchen units.All your furniture is separated in to different categories such as ‘kitchen’, ‘bathroom’ and ‘bedroom’ which makes selecting the correct item incredibly easy.Over fifty pieces of furniture come in the initial installation but there are literally hundreds of additional 3D models can be downloaded free of charge which range from a telephone point to a spiral staircase.

The size and colour of the items are easily adapted so whilst you may not be able to find something that closely matches the sofa on page 5 of the DFS catalogue you should get a fair approximation.When you’re happy with your 2D design you are then able to switch to a 3D view in order that you can get an idea as to how it will look in real life.

Whilst Sweet Home 3D isn’t at all comprehensive when compared to other CAD packages, this is also what makes it special.Unlike an application such as AutoCAD, it should take literally minutes to get to grips with rather than taking you three months to learn and costing you hundreds.Those looking for something advanced will probably be disappointed but those looking to quickly knock up a room design or a floor plan should find this application ideal.



About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.