I’ve always been a bit of a geek when it comes to computers, I always prefer (much to my wife’s dismay) to use the computer for everything as opposed to ever writing anything down.
When I first designed self build conservatories for friends or family I outlined them on paper with my usual scrawl, but after a few months thought there must be a better way than this, another 2 minutes and I was already looking online to find any suitable conservatory design software .
Conservatory design software is available in 2 types
This specifically means software that is actually designed for conservatory design, generally this is among the most comprehensive and expensive around, ideal for companies designing conservatories as a business, packages such as Windowlink Focus starts at around £300, Windowlink Vector £500, both of these are very comprehensive applications with just about every feature you could want on your conservatory.
Home Design Software
Software that is not specifically designed for conservatories, but still fits the bill allowing you to design and get a good idea what your conservatory will look like.
This type of software is generally much cheaper and in many cases free.
Personally I like to use applications such as Blink 3D, or Google Sketchup which can be downloaded free, it is the cut down version of the full product, but it’s still pretty good and more than enough for most of us.
Other applications you can use which are free
EDrawings, Minos, FreeCAD, Design Workshop Lite, Sweet Home 3D, 3DVIA Shape.
There are many many more to choose from, but I’ve listed the ones I have looked at, one thing to bear in mind about many software packages is the difficulty level, you really want software that’s not going to take too long to become familiar with, and this seems to be the case with some of the larger packages.
Whichever software you choose to use stick with it and be prepared to take a few hours learning how it works, this will save you lots of time in the long term.
Applications such as Google’s Sketchup offers lots of training material, and is pretty easy to use when compared to many of this type of software which is the main thing that first attracted me to this software in the first place.