Are you a visual person? Are you able to plan a new garden layout or color scheme for your home without lifting a finger? Can you take a paint chip, tape it to your wall, and instantly visualize the whole room washed in that color? If so, you’re one of the lucky few who have strong visual-spatial skills. For the rest of us, breathing new life into a home or garden can be an extremely challenging task.
To take a small sample of color and mentally apply it to an entire room is very hard for people who have little in the way of visual-spatial intelligence. A person could hold a paint chip against pieces of furniture, window treatments and flooring, but he won’t know if everything flows harmoniously until the entire room is painted. When the room is completed, if he doesn’t like it, he’s just wasted a great deal of time and money, and will need to start the color selection process all over again.
What if something simple like rearranging the furniture is all you need to do to breathe new life into the living room, for example? You might decide to sketch a rough drawing of the room to formulate a plan, or you may simply start moving things around on impulse. Unless you draw your room to scale, you really won’t know how the room will jive until after you’ve lugged everything around. If you have to move everything on your own, this can be a big hassle. If you have help, the person assisting you will quickly lose patience if you don’t have a definite plan in mind.
If you’re interested in giving your home a major facelift, you’re going to need some help deciding what you want, where you want it, and how everything will mesh together in the end. Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue.
3D home renovation software, landscape design programs, and interior design software have been created to help homeowners have a more hands-on experience designing their living spaces. Software packages range from basic, free versions up to professional packages that retail for $500 or more.
These software programs streamline all areas of home design-from color schemes to home schematics. Many programs allow you to view your plans in 3D, which makes your vision really come to life. The higher end programs can even show you where shadows will line up, which plants will be within watering range, and let you view things in daylight or nighttime mode.
These programs have been designed for the average homeowner, so most feature things like drag and drop functionality and video tutorials. You’re able to select from hundreds of floor plans, thousands of furniture pieces and choose details such as custom cabinetry and ceiling trim. Some programs will even allow you to scan images from magazines or home decor books.
In addition to landscaping and decor, a number of software programs also let you plan more intricate phases of the home renovation process like foundation planning, layout of electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems.
You can even estimate the costs of your project with higher end software packages, and print up blueprint plans to give to the contractor on the project.
By using software such as this, homeowners are able to personalize their home without relying on others to piece together their haphazard visions. Home design software bridges the gap between the homeowner and the contractor, allowing everyone to be on the same page creatively. No more costly and frustrating miscommunications; no more changing your mind half-way through the construction process. Before any nails hit the wall, you can crystallize your plans and make a design that works for you. You can also figure out ahead of time what a realistic budget should be, and make changes to your plans as necessary.
For those of us who lack in visual-spatial judgment, home design software makes planning a renovation fun.