ViewBuild Home Deluxe

ViewBuild Home Deluxe is a non-technical design program. In three different versions (Home, Home Deluxe and Professional), the Australian-made program creates lifelike buildings from basic floorplans or sketches. It needs a 3D video card.

While ViewBuild can use scanned floor plans, the program doesn't depend on them, meaning you can create a building from a rough sketch or idea. The program doesn't create technical drawings of the finished building, so if you use ViewBuild for design, you'll still need to transfer the design manually. Once the sketch or floorplan is in, you then create the building from the ground up. First you lay the foundation, then the walls, roof, doors and windows.

There are various options to help you create the house. These include the standard help file, which isn't as useful as expected, and a series of tutorials that are quite good. The best help comes from a series of movies.

Using the program is easy - driven by right-clicking, the process is the same whether you are creating the walls or the roof. Despite the inclusion of unexpected skylights, my finished house matched the floorplan, and was up and running quite quickly.

When the building is finished, you can choose the colour scheme. The tiles, bricks, paints, pavers and so on are all from Australian companies. You can landscape the gardens with plants, water features and animals, paint the interior, and even decide on cornices. There are also sample appliances, carpet, curtains, people and vehicles, all to add life to the building. Best of all, you get to walk through the new building.

Visualising a home from a floorplan is hard, but with ViewBuild you can see the finished product months before completion.

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