Carpenters have a rule of thumb: “Measure twice, cut once.” That goes for the simple act of sawing a two-by-four, or any home renovation project. Planning is important, and before you lay any physical groundwork you’ve got to have all the details plotted out.
That’s true whether you’re a handyman building a shed or a contractor working on a complete remodel. But how do you do all that planning? If you’re new to home improvement, you should know that paper blueprints don’t really cut it anymore. You need a good piece of design software, and while there are a lot of CAD tools on the market, only one is full-featured enough for professionals, yet intuitive enough for DIY designers: Live Home 3D Pro for Mac.
Software reviewers give high marks to the platform—for its eye-catching rendering abilities and streamlined interface. As you can see from the video above, it’s more than capable of making a contractor’s visual pitch for any big renovation project. There’s a dizzying array of options for interior design, including custom textures and furniture, plus you can micromanage light sources to add that special look to any completed room.
Live Home 3D is no less useful when it comes to bottom-up homebuilding. The Pro plan allows you to pile on an unlimited number of floors and switch between them with ease. Any changes you make to a 2D floor plan are instantly and intuitively reflected in the 3D view, allowing you to visualize extensions, additional windows, and other tweaks on the fly. Templates abound, but if you want to get creative it’s surprisingly easy to draw your own walls and rooftops. The tool comes with full compatibility to other design software platforms like SketchUp Pro, and you can present your finished home mockup as an HD video tour.
Try it out for yourself: PCMag readers can now get Live Home 3D Pro for Mac for $49.99—28% off the $69 MSRP.
Prices are subject to change.