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I'm planning to have a house built. I want to draw up some sketches on the computer, so I am looking for a program that can help me do this. It doesn't have to be a professional architecture tool; in fact that would be too complicated just yet (but maybe later on, for the detailed work...?). A simpler tool would be better.

Features should include such things as ability to draw and move walls (not just using simple boxes), calculate room/floor area, add windows and doors, and the like. That's why Inkscape or OOo Presentation won't do. On Windows, a friend would just download a cracked professional architecture tool but that is not what I want to do.


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up vote 21 down vote accepted

Sweet Home 3D

Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you place your furniture on a house 2D plan, with a 3D preview.

screenshot with walls and furniture

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Sweet, it's available in the software center. I'll take it for a spin! – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 19 '11 at 10:50
Could somebody post a screenshot of this program? – ulidtko Feb 19 '11 at 13:57
This program looks promising. It's available in the software center without downloading anything first. But I notice that it's very slow: drag an item with the mouse, then wait 1 second for the program to move the item. What's up? I took the liberty to replace the screenshot. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 19 '11 at 19:16

I love Google SketchUp. It's not made specifically for this application, and I'm sure there are others, but if you're looking for simple, this is the ticket. And who can argue with free?

I guess Wine kind of sucks, though.

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Well you're right that it isn't open-source-free but it has a price of zero, and that's still good. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 19 '11 at 8:51
but since it is not made specifically for making house plans and there is other floss software for that. – Alaukik Feb 19 '11 at 12:12
Sketchup is cool; I already know it from Windows. But it seems to me it's originally more an engineering app, because it doesn't allow me to move a wall as a whole unit. I can move one side of it, making the wall 2 meters thick, and then move the other side so that the wall thickness is again what it should be. For this reason, I preferred Sweet Home 3D, even though it's not quite as smooth and fast. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 20 '11 at 16:37
@torbengb, You can make "objects" in sketchup, then move that, but you're right -- it's not really made for this. I still love it! – tyblu Feb 20 '11 at 18:02

It's not open source, not really a program, and the free version is limited, but I've found the flash-based to be simple and a pleasure to use.

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I used floorplanner for a while, but it was too painful for me. Then I switched to which I really enjoyed. – egmont Apr 26 '15 at 10:36

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