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3 easy-to-use home architect apps to sketch out floor plans and renovations

It seems everyone is getting in on the DIY project trend. But before you take out the ladder or charge up the nail gun, you need to make a plan. Tap or click here for 10 things in your house worth big money.

Having a plan in your head or roughly drawn on a piece of paper won’t do. To know exactly what you are embarking on and all the materials you will require, you will need some technological help.

Thankfully technology can be the expert source you’re looking for. We’ve found three fantastic home architect apps to make sure that you measure twice and only cut once.

1. Sketchup

One of the most popular 3D sketch apps for floor plans, Sketchup allows you to recreate your house, area, or object in full 3D quality. You can change the time of day when sketching so that you can see how sunlight will affect your building.

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During the creation process, the Master Window displays relevant information on the current building. It can tell you how much it will roughly cost to build, how long the building process should take, and list suppliers.

Not sure about a design? Sketchup allows you to share your creations or design ideas with others and receive valuable feedback and suggestions. If you are fortunate to have a virtual reality headset, you can view your 3D creation in VR.

Sketchup is free for the web-only version. Pricing for the Shop or Pro versions begins at $119 a year.

2. SmartDraw

SmartDraw’s Floor Plan option allows you to sketch out scaled diagrams of any room. It is a more traditional approach to jotting down your current living space and won’t allow you to create objects in 3D.

But with that said, it is one of the easiest tools to create professional floor plans. With it, you can add wiring systems, furniture placements and accessory schematics, allowing the building manager and engineer to understand what you want clearly.

It’s not the boring black and white plans either. SmartDraw gives you a choice to add a splash of color to the furniture and fit on the floor plan.

SmartDraw’s Floor Plan is free to try but comes with several limitations. A single-user license is $9.95 per month.

3. Planner 5D

If you have ever played the video game The Sims, Planner 5D will be right up your alley. The webpage, which is also available as an iOS and Android app, features drag-and-drop functions to edit, customize or add to your design.

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Easily swapping between 2D (top-down) and 3D views, you get a better perspective of the area that you are working in. And just like in The Sims, Planner 5D has over 5,000 items that you can place inside your design to replicate your own home.

The interface makes it easy to sketch out an idea, and by simply dragging walls or windows, you can change the dimensions, materials, color or accents.

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