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Although less efficient than paying products, online software can be an entry point to draw plans, study interior design or make an energy balance... Follow the guide!

free DIY software for your projects

Design a free 3D project on your computer

It is able to draw plans, generate 3D views of rooms or buildings that you have imagined, even to perform thermal calculations: your computer can provide you with a unique help in the development of your construction projects, renovation or interior design.
All you need is access to the right software.
In pro version, this kind of tools is often sophisticated and expensive. Rest of the "free" versions of demonstration, often resulting from the paying software, deprived of essential functions or limited in the time. You must also pay attention to the information requested when you register on a site. Some do not hesitate to submit tedious forms to complete, and then offer you to call a premium rate telephone number, if you want to get the results of your study!

Online architecture software: free without risk

Another example, in the case of online software, opening an account is obviously essential to register a project and find it during a future visit. If an email address and password are sufficient in some cases, sometimes you are asked for your full details: in most cases, this data will be used for canvassing by mail or telephone.
But it also happens that for a very small sum, or even for free, it is possible to find on the Internet programs or tools of help, to download on his computer or to use on line.
These are the products that caught our attention...

Design software for work: plans at choice of furniture

  • First of all there are websites that allow you toevaluate the cost of work or make a precise layout to determine the number of gypsum boards, floorboards or tiles required, depending on the areas to be built or covered.
  • Also available, help tools to improve energy consumption of your house: thermal balance, optimization solutions, simulation of the performance of a photovoltaic solar installation or hot water production.
  • In addition to these specialized tools, there are drawing software for drawing construction or renovation plans, with all the advantages of IT: the changes are easy, we can quickly study several solutions, modify measurements in a few clicks, display the surface of the parts, etc. of the furniture and decorative objects libraries sometimes even allow to study the interior layout (in plan and in perspective), to dress floors, walls and ceilings of different materials or colors to choose the decoration... (do not forget that the screen of a computer never offers an exact rendering of the colors and that the 3D view proposed by these softwares generally remains rather basic).

Tools for everyone

That said, there is no need to be a computer "crack" to take advantage of these software or online services: they are within the reach of all.
A little adaptation time may however be necessary to become familiar with the most complete software.
They usually offer a neat interface and good support for use, in the form of explanations or instructions automatically displayed on the screen. Moreover, these programs do not impose any particular requirements with regard to hardware, they work perfectly on all computers, even a little old.
Useful, free and easy to use: there is definitely no reason to deprive yourself!

Software for a first encrypted approach

It is understood that an energy diagnosis can only be established by a specialist, equipped to carry out all the necessary measurements.
Similarly, an estimate of work can not be final until a craftsman or a company has not seen firsthand the nature and extent of the work to be done. The online tools presented here allow you to save time, to study quickly several solutions, to envisage in peace and figures in support the different options which are offered to you. However, this is only a first approach, which must be checked and confronted with the opinions of professionals.

Software to download vs. download online software

Software to download vs. download online software

Software and tools available for free on the Internet come in two forms: some are to download and install on the computer; others are exploitable directly online, in the Internet browser.
The second solution seems simpler, but it implies some constraints to use. You must register on the website and log in each time to find his saved projects.
The software may also show some slowness due to the connection.
Be aware, however, that these online applications are primarily designed to work with Internet Explorer (the standard Windows browser). If you use another browser (Firefox, for example), incompatibility issues may prevent the software from working properly.

How to print 3D software plans

If there are no special features to layout and print results online, you can try using the print command on your Internet browser.

But that does not always work. Ultimate Remedy: The screenshot function of your computer.

  • On a Mac, use the "Capture" accessory in the "Utilities" menu.
  • With a Windows PC, press the "Print Screen" key at the top right of the keyboard, then launch image editing software (or open a blank page in your word processor) and choose "Paste" in the "Edit" menu. It remains only to print the screenshot thus obtained.

Cooks, kings free 3D architecture software

Cooks, kings free 3D architecture software

Many brands, including cooks, offer on their website software to study the layout of furniture.

Energy savings with simulation software

Energy savings with simulation software

To test on
Energy balance, consumption simulation: it is enough to indicate the characteristics of your housing and the computer takes care of the calculations.

DIY software: realism and efficiency

DIY software: realism and efficiency

The most successful software produces photorealistic images that give a good overview of the final result.

My House System D: a software to take with you

My House System D: a software to take with you

The software installed on your computer can only be used on it, as well as the plans or projects saved on your hard disk. With software that can be used online, you gain mobility: you can access these elements from any computer connected to the Internet.

However, there is another solution, very practical: an application installed on a digital tablet, take away wherever you want.
Available on the App-Store, the application for iPad "My House System D", developed by Anuman in collaboration with System D (8.99 €), offers similar functions of drawing and layout studies to the software presented in the table opposite. With a bonus, a series of thematic files written by the editors of System D, which will help you to realize your ideas.

Test bench of DIY software and design of works:


Our comparative study was conducted on sixteen software packages. Eight software packages have been selected to draw, design and build and eight online tools to calculate, evaluate and size.

Some criteria were particularly taken into account:

Precision drawing

When planning a renovation or construction project, you need precise and versatile drawing tools, with fine control of angles and alignments. The ability to insert dimensions manually at will is significant, as well as the choice of scale printing.

Object Library

You arrange the pieces by drawing in a library of objects (furniture, lighting, sanitary, decorative elements, plants, etc.).
The richest software offers an extensive catalog, and the ability to customize elements by adjusting their dimensions and choosing their color.

Finesse of the analysis

The accuracy of an energy balance or the relevance of a quote depends on the number of parameters taken into account. For very fine analysis, explanations and assistance with the choice of parameters are valuable if you are not a specialist in the field in question.

Printing results

Designed primarily for quick on-screen viewing, not all online tools offer the impression of results. A function however very practical, especially if no backup is planned. It makes it easy to compare calculations or simulations made with different parameters.

TEST: 8 programs to draw, design, develop

The eight software of our selection:



usesOperating mode
kozikaza.complanningDevelopment studyOnline
spacedesigner3d.complanningDevelopment studyOnline
socooc.comCookedKitchen arrangementTo download and dining room layoutOnline
floorplanner.commapsDrawing plans, building design, study amenitiesOnline
fr.homestyler.commapsDrawing plans, building design, study amenitiesOnline drawing, building design, development studyTo download
and online
archifacile.frmapsPlan drawingTo download

Comparative table in pdf: eight programs to draw, design, develop

TEST: 8 online tools to calculate, evaluate, size

The eight tools and sites of our selection:



usesOperating mode
and thermal simulation
Estimation energy class, energy balance, energy saving consultingOnline
and simulation
Estimate energy class, energy balance, energy saving consultingOnline
tecsol.frThermal calculationsDimensioning solar water heater or photovoltaic panelsOnline
Estimate energy class, energy balanceOnline
gdfsuez-dolcevita.frThermal simulator

Estimate energy class, sizing solar water heater or photovoltaic panels, energy balance, financing aids

Quote immediate work onlineOnline
Quote immediate work onlineOnline suppliesMiscellaneous calculations, including
Out of service on 31/03/2015

Comparative table in pdf: eight online tools to calculate, evaluate, size

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