Whether building a custom garage or upgrading an existing space, garage design software is an easily obtained tool that can save much money, time, and perhaps costly mistakes. Below are three options that are affordable and practical for any home project or garage renovation that requires proper planning beforehand.
In the good old days of pencil-and-paper many do-it-yourselfers scribbled sketches of work plans. While helpful, these were usually plans only the creator could understand. More meticulous people might use graph paper, straight edges, and better lettering to convey their garage plans.
In the world of information technology, such warhorses are no longer generally used. Architects cut their teeth these days on auto-CAD (computer assisted drawing). Many of today’s interior designers have never used anything but interior design software to create and plan their projects. Similarly, landscape architects use software to model any environment and place computer-generated plants in different configurations before the first spade of dirt is overturned.
When developing a floor plan for a garage renovation or a custom garage one also has to consider things such as cabinet placement, flooring options, and the structural design of the shell. A two-dimensional drawing may help visualize this, but a three-dimensional model is much better for giving a feel of the virtual space before banging in the first nail.
A pioneer in professional software design may come as a surprise to many. Broderbund Software, the Nordic developer that brought the iconic computer/video learning aid Carmen Sandiego to life, specialized in some of the first, and best, interior and construction design software for average consumers. Broderbund continues developing packages for almost any home project for the average user. These software packages allow one to create a room, add furniture, and rearrange as needed to make adjustments. Furthermore, this design-ware allows one to create a professional specification sheet that can be used as rough building plans. Thus, in addition to simply being a creative outlet for some (they are fun to play with) Broderbund’s products can assist in professionally planning and executing a custom garage floor plan.
Less sophisticated but as effective as Broderbund’s products is Microsoft’s Visio application. It is easily learned and uses a familiar “graph paper” format as its platform. Although mostly for creating flowcharts and work-flow schematics (and for these two functions it is one of the best on the market), Visio can also be used to lay out a room or design a structure. One simply sets up a page to any custom scale, and then clicks and drags objects from the expansive clip art library (contains furniture to scale, potted plants, tables, etc.).
Finally, a really fun way to create a simple custom garage floor plan is with The Sims™ computer games. These allow one to build houses and other structures for their avatars to live and play in. The graphic capabilities of these games (any one of them) can give a good baseline image of a finished elevation for a potential home or garage. A screen shot, copied and printed, gives a good working representation of how a completed space might look.
Planning is what is important regardless of which garage design software one uses. Using such software, before building or renovating, can save many labor hours later in mistakes or rework.