Which basement design software should you use to layout your new basement? Whether you plan to finish your own basement or hire a pro, a well designed plan will make it a much easier and cheaper project.
I'm just spit ballin' here… but let's suppose that you have a good idea of what you want in your basement. You have a rough idea of the cost. Now you're ready to start sketching out what your dream basement will look like.
- Will the pool table really fit in that room?
- Can you squeeze in a full shower in that bathroom?
- How far back do you need that projection screen to be in your theater room?
- Will that crappy old queen bed your mother-in-law gave you really fit in your new basement guest bedroom so she can sleep there next time she comes to visit for two weeks!?
What you need is some way to diagram or design your basement before you starting finishing it.
If only you knew someone who has done a few basement designs in his life… Dang it!
Who… Who could you get advice from… ?
I thought you'd never ask:
Here are 3 options for basement design software:
3D Home Design Software -
Home Designer Essentials 2017 is the best software I've come across for designing basements. It's easy to use and has enough features and flexibility to give you what you need.
There are several different variations of this software, some of which are more expensive. Make sure you get the "Essentials" version. If you think you'll use it for other areas of your house - then go for the bigger version - you'll also get essential included.
If you want to buy it from Amazon you can get the boxed version or download it straight from the site and get started today.
At $250 Microsoft Visio is expensive but some of us nerd type guys get it for free through our jobs. If this is you then you may want to consider using it to design your basement.
I used Visio for my basement. Even as an avid Visio user it took some time to adjust to using the different framing, doors and window objects.
Once I got the hang of it though, I really, really liked it. Just like with Home Designer Essentials - You can plan down to the inch and it has several icons for common basement furniture like pool table, ping pong, couch, etc.
Pencil and Paper
Say whaaaaat??? Are you kidding me? No. I'm not kidding.
Paper and pencil are a great option. If you're a patient person and don't mind doing a good bit of erasing you can layout your basement design using this caveman technique.
Many a fancy and elaborate building was designed and drafted using paper and pencil.
What I Don't Recommend
Google Sketch-up - Look, honestly I wish I could recommend this cause I think it's like the coolest thing ever. The problem is I've never been able to learn it! I'm good at learning new things, trust me, and I just haven't figured this one out yet.
If you're familiar with Sketch-up already - go for it! (here's a simple sketch-up basement on YouTube) But if you're thinking, "oh, I'll just download Google Sketch-up for free and rock on with my bad self" well.... good luck but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Avoid Paralysis by Analysis
Whatever you do, don't get too hung up on the designing part. I didn't do a serious design until I was well into framing. Start here first, then design. Sounds backwards, I know, but it's good advice.
If you want something a little more basic but fun try "Interior Design" for your iPad.
I walked into a basement once and this guy literally had drawn his in crayon. His framing was flawless. Each person is different. Most people like some sort of plan at some point, but go with what works for you.
Have you used any other software / techniques for designing your basement? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.
Cheers - Jason
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