Best Basement Design Software Apps and Tools [Free and Paid]


What’s the best basement design software you can use to layout your new room? Whether you are working on your basement alone or with the help of a pro, designing your basement with a plan makes it easier and faster to complete your project.

The best basement design tool for homeowners and professionals alike is Cedreo. However, many other free and paid apps are available on the market. The best option for you depends on your budget and the features you desire, such as advanced features or an online community.

In this article, we’ll show you the top 12 best basement design tools and explain what makes each a fantastic contender for your next project.

12 Best Basement Design Software Apps and Tools [Free and Paid]

Let’s look at the best basement design software apps and tools on the market today. The following options include both free and paid features. We’ll explain each in more detail to assist you in selecting the best one for your needs and budget.

1. Cedreo

Basement designs software Cedreo

Cedreo is our top choice for the best basement design software because it has tons of features. This tool is excellent for professionals and DIY home remodelers alike. You can create detailed 2D or 3D designs and customize the photorealistic features of your home to visualize the project.

Cedreo’s 3D rendering feature is easy for beginners or pros who want to show off designs to clients. It’s an impressive way to render a 3D, photorealistic image of your basement in a short time. In addition, the feature offers distinct characteristics like surface shading and lighting to help you connect with your new space.

You can use Cedreo to design your new basement or every other room in your home. The software could last throughout your entire home remodel. You could even use the app for exterior designs.

Top features:

  • 2D and 3D floor plans
  • Photorealzistic 3D visualizations
  • In-app decor library with customizable decorations, furniture, and building materials
  • Save designs and reuse them as templates for later projects
  • Share your basement design with your team or clients
  • Training and phone support available

Best for:

  • Architects
  • Builders
  • Home designers
  • Interior designers
  • Remodelers
  • Homeowners

Price:

  • The pro plan begins at $79 per month.

2. Home Designer Essentials

remodel design software Home Designer Essentials is one of the best tools for designing a basement. The software is easy to use, and it comes with a wide range of features to provide flexibility in your designs. You can download Home Designer Essentials from the company website and get started using the tool in minutes.

The best part is that Home Designer is great for anyone! They have an essential version that’s ideal for homeowners, while the professional software has all the same features as its Architectural program. These tools and layouts are detailed for professional construction.

However, the downside is that there are several versions of the software. The newer variations with the most features are the most expensive. Go with the “essentials” version if you want a PC-friendly option you can use for a small project. The more in-depth versions are better if you’re redesigning other rooms or your entire home at once.

Top features:

  • 2D and 3D plans
  • Virtual 3D tours
  • Designs various rooms and exterior landscaping
  • Home assistant feature for space planning
  • How-to videos with instructions
  • Free technical support

Best for:

  • Homeowners
  • Remodelers
  • Interior designers
  • Landscapers

Price:

  • The essentials version starts at $49.99
  • The suite starts at $99
  • The professional version starts at $595

3. Sweet Home 3D

home remodelling software

Like other apps on this list, Sweet Home 3D is an interior design platform. It creates 2D floor plans and offers a drag-and-drop editor to move around elements in the room. You could even go on a virtual tour of your design in 3D when you’re done to visualize the space. It’s great for any new room in your home, from bedrooms to family rooms.

Unlike other basement design programs, Sweet Home is one of the few that allows you to draw irregular wall shapes. This feature is ideal if you have an odd crawl space or challenging staircase, making your basement design trickier than most.

However, you may not know how much the tool will cost you until you call the company. Sweet Home 3D only displays their pricing upon request.

Top features:

  • 2D and 3D renderings
  • Virtual tours in 3D
  • Ability to draw irregular wall shapes
  • A library with 3D models, furniture, and textures

Best for:

  • Builders
  • Contractors
  • Remodelers

Price:

  • Only available upon request

4. Planner 5D

Planner 5D

If you’re a homeowner that’s looking for an interior design platform, Planner 5D was made for you. Users can generate and customize floor plans in 2D, add decor and furniture, and switch to 3D for more viewing options.

The unique part about Planner 5D is that it has a Snapshot feature, which you can use to transform your design into a 3D, photorealistic design. The tools incorporate lighting and shadows to help it feel real. You can also add over 5,000 decor items or furniture from the design catalog to personalize your plans.

Top features:

  • 2D and 2D models
  • HD visualizations
  • Item editing feature
  • User-generated design library and catalog
  • Communicate with a community of amateur designers

Best for:

  • Homeowners

Price:

  • The free plan has basic features and limited access to the in-app catalog
  • The full version comes with payment options: $6.99 for 30 days, $15.99 per year, or $24.99 for the premium account

5. SmartDraw

Basement design tools SmartDraw

This web-based design app is an easy way to create highly detailed 2D floor plans on any device. Users can generate blueprints using the exact measurements and add symbols for HVAC, fixtures, furniture, or house plants.

SmartDraw is unique compared to other tools on this list because it’s less focused on interior design. Instead, the app is more for diagramming or charting your floor plan.

Although it does provide many features to make the 2D design look appealing, SmartDraw does not have 3D rendering, modeling, or any type of virtual tour features. However, you may not need these features if you’re a homeowner or contractor.

Top features:

  • Detailed 2D plans
  • Over 70 diagrams and 34,000 symbols to use
  • Intelligent formatting that adjusts your design when you edit or add elements automatically
  • Integrates with other tools, such as Google Suite, Microsoft Office, or Jira

Best for:

  • Architects
  • Contractors
  • Designers
  • Homeowners

Price:

  • The single-user plan is $119.40 per year
  • Team plans (for five or more users) start at $71.40 per user, each year

6. AutoCAD LT

AutoCAD LTAutoCAD LT is the 2D drawing software common among professionals. It’s available for Mac or Windows users. Compared to the standard AutoCAD version, the LT is more affordable and only renders designs in 2D. However, this software still meets most of the technical and drafting needs for construction companies and contractors.

Using AutoCAD LT, professionals can use the software to design 2D designs. They have a comprehensive set of design, editing, and annotation tools. The interface is also customizable.

You can use AutoCAD LT on the web or via the mobile app. Both options are fast and reliable. There’s also a free trial if you’re not sure whether the software is right for you or not.

Top features:

  • 2D drafting
  • Web or mobile app
  • Fast and reliable

Best for:

  • Professionals

Price:

  • $55 per month
  • $330 per year
  • $893 every three years

7. RoomToDo

Basement design app RoomToDo

RoomToDo is an entirely free design software for individuals or homeowners to plan and redecorate a basement. You don’t need any design experience or home-building skills to use the app. It’s easy to use.

With RoomToDo, you can create designs in 2D or 3D or switch between both modes for your viewing pleasure. Then, use the library of furniture, decor, and finishing materials to customize your space.

The company website claims that this software is available for commercial purposes as well. However, RoomToDo is best for homeowners. Professionals may need a more robust remodeling tool.

Top features:

  • 2D and 3D floor plan design support
  • Easy to save and share plans
  • View plans in different modes
  • Works with mobile phones
  • Library with hundreds of furniture, decor, and finishing materials

Best for:

  • Homeowners

Price:

  • Free

8. Roomstyler

Basement designing software Roomstyler

This web app allows you to create floor plans and 3D renderings of your design. You can even share the results with your online community and browse other community members’ creations, making it a mix of a social website and an interior design tool.

Roomstyler allows you to start designing through their in-app templates, or you can design your layout using the drag-and-drop editor. All your changes are updated in real-time. View your plans from any angle, 2D or 3D, or with furnishings.

The app even allows you to access a library of furniture, decor, and other products for your basement from brands like IKEA, John Lewis, and Design Within Reach. Use the in-app library features to customize the flooring, wall paint, and more.

Roomstyler is also super easy for beginners to learn compared to other basement design tools on this list. You can access several tutorials in the app to help you create life-like designs and learn from other community members. Use it for inspiration or get involved in the community by helping other people through sharing your basement design.

Although Roomstyler is fantastic for homeowners, the features are lightweight for professionals. Remodelers and interior designers can still use the app, but other tools may be a better fit.

Top features:

  • 2D floor plans
  • 3D renderings
  • User-led tutorials you can watch on the app
  • In-app library with decor, furniture, and real-world designs
  • Free to sign up

Best for:

  • Homeowners
  • Remodelers
  • Design professionals

Price:

  • Free to use the drag-and-drop floor plan editor
  • For the commercial features, ask the company for a quote

9. SketchUp

Basement design app
Image courtesy of SketchUp

SketchUp has a 3D CAD software that’s been an industry standard for more than two decades. The main features help designers show off the plans through interactive walkthroughs or flyovers, which are features you may not find relevant to your basement remodel. However, these unique features are great if you plan to redesign the entire house.

However, SketchUp’s features are not as ideal for housing professionals or DIY-ers. The platform requires a lot of effort to learn, preventing many users from taking advantage of the technology. Comparatively, Cedro offers superior 3D rendering. They also have photorealistic capabilities and are much easier to learn.

Top features:

  • 2D documents
  • 3D modeling
  • Reporting tools
  • Mixed reality presentation tools
  • Massive library of design objects

Best for:

  • Commercial contractors
  • Architects

Price:

  • The web-only app has limited features for $199 each year
  • The web and desktop app includes advanced features like the 3D modeler for $299 each year
  • The studio package includes the web and desktop app with all pro features plus energy-efficiency features for $1,199

10. Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio Microsoft Visio is one of the more expensive solutions on this list. However, you may find a free version through your job if you work in the industry.

This software is better for professionals anyway. The framing tools and other objects take a while to adjust to in Microsoft Vision, even if you have worked with similar software in the past. That said, the program is fantastic for professionals who need to collaborate with their team virtually.

The software allows you to visualize your basement through templates. You can customize the shapes and play with other visuals. Microsoft Visio is easy to understand, and it comes as a desktop or web app.

Unlike other tools on this list, Microsoft Visio will not render your design in 3D or offer any type of virtual tools. Instead, it’s more like a diagram.

Top features:

  • Share floor plans with your team in real-time
  • Chat using Skype
  • Flowcharting activities
  • Excellent value for the money, if you’re a pro

Best for:

  • Professionals

Price:

  • The online plan starts at $5 per user, per month
  • The professional desktop version starts at $419

11. Draft It

Draft It

Draft It is a free CAD download for Windows computers only. It’s a 2D CAD drawing tool with 3D modeling and other detailing or drafting tools. The software was created for architects, and it equips them with the drawing tools they need to develop various design components. Users can even take advantage of all four editions of the software from a single download.

You have the option to sign up for a free 15-day trial to see if the software is right for you. However, you need to sign up for the pro or architectural versions if you want to do more than create and save your floor plans. Upgraded plans have access to the more advanced features.

Top features:

  • 2D CAD modeling
  • Powerful drawing and dimension tools
  • Four editions in one download
  • Extensive library of architectural design symbols
  • Supports AutoCAD files

Best for:

  • Architects
  • Professionals

Price:

  • Draft It Free allows you to create and save floor plans as a 15-day trial
  • The pro version adds a professional appearance and provides access to a library of symbols for £99
  • The architectural version is for building planning, and it starts at £199

12. Pencil and Paper

If you have a tiny budget and a little experience, try using a pencil and paper instead of buying a basement design software tool. Pencil and paper allow you to draw your own layout in a 2D space. You can move around elements as you see fit or find a layout that works for an odd-sized area.

This option is an old-school technique. It doesn’t cost you anything if you use a pencil and paper. However, you cannot render 3D designs or take a virtual tour of the space. If the fancy features don’t matter to you, go with pencil and paper.

Top features:

  • 2D only
  • Virtually free

Best for:

  • Homeowners
  • Professionals

Price:

  • Free

What Makes the Best Basement Design Tools?

Although there are many basement design tools on the market today, some are made with contractors, architects, or interior designers in mind. The trick to finding the best basement design software for everyone is that it needs to be easy to use and meet your needs.

Below is a list of the key features to look for in basement design software.

Floorplans

Basement design apps are niche software because they need to have room-specific features. Many of the best apps you can use to design your basement also work well for other rooms and the exterior of your home. However, make sure the software has floor plans for basements to suit your needs.

When you’re comparing tools, explore the floor plan features. Some apps have simple 2D designs, where you can drag and drop elements. Others come with a complete suite of features for experienced professionals.

Look for the tools and features that match your skills and goals. Think about if you need to include decorations in the floor plan, or prefer a simplistic design. The tool you decide to use may also alter how you use basement design apps. For example, if you plan to draw the floor plans by hand, you need to find the specific measurements of your home.

2D to 3D Plans

Top-tier basement design software typically provides both 2D and 3D functionality. You can convert the 2D floor plans you create into 3D designs quickly. Whether you choose 2D or 3D depends on your needs. Remodelers and designers find 2D plans helpful, but many untrained people prefer 3D floor plans.

For the best basement design software, go with a solution with features to convert 2D designs into 3D floor plans without a CAD certification. These programs are more accessible for regular people to use because they allow you to see the big picture and better understand your project.

Photorealistic Designs

Many people prefer visuals over blueprints. A professional basement design tool often comes with features to produce photorealistic 3D designs for this reason. Photorealism allows you to connect with the floorplan emotionally.

Like 3D floor plans, rendering the basement design allows you to visualize yourself in the room. You can explore your room on a virtual tour or look over it from a birds-eye view.

Doing so could help you understand the amount of natural light the room will get or where your furniture will go. It also allows you to experiment with flooring, wall paint, and other decorative features.

Fixtures and Decorations

You may not start thinking about fixtures and other decorations until the end of your project. However, it’s a common feature in basement design software. Some tools have a comprehensive library or decorations and furniture that you can play with to design the room of your dreams. It’s also a massive asset if you’re presenting a plan to clients.

If you want to add personal details to your design, look for a tool to enhance the mockup. For example, add in homey decor or try out a new look.

For example, Cedreo has over 7,000 pieces of decorations, furniture, and other materials you can use to add life to your basement design. The company even adds new features in the library every month so that you can stay on top of the latest trends with ease.

If features like decor, furniture, and fixtures appeal to you, look for an object library. Some software packages offer libraries with free objects you can add to your design. For example, SketchUp has a massive object library with features for any room. Other software programs allow you to purchase objects as add-ons.

Price

How much the design software costs you may determine which tool you purchase. To remain within your budget, look for the options with a built-in cost estimator. With this feature, you can track the price of your entire renovation or construction project in planning mode.

How to Use a Basement Design App

If you’re learning how to plan a basement layout, using a basement design app could save you tons of time and money. The basic software programs allow you to make drawings of your layout. Some then have add-on or included features you can use to plan and decorate the room. New users should look for a tool with technical support or free tutorials.

What is the Best Free Basement Design Software?

If you need a free basement sign app, go with RoomToDo. It’s ideal for both homeowners and professionals due to the ease of use. You could switch between 2D and 3D designs or take advantage of their many decors, furniture, and building material options in the extensive library.

The only downside is that this software does not have a virtual tour option.

What’s the Best Paid Basement Design Tool?

Sweet Home 3D is an excellent 3D interior design platform for basements. It has every feature you need to visualize yourself in the space, such as their 3D virtual tours.

The only downside is that you won’t know how much this paid basement design tool will cost you until you call the company. Pricing is only available upon request.

Summary

The right basement design tool for you depends on your needs. You should consider how the factors align with your goals, role, and workflow. Make sure the features have enough value for the money. For example, Cedreo is our top pick because it has all the top features and is ideal for professionals and homeowners alike.

Did you find the best basement design software for your project? Let us know which tool you use in the comments.

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