Top Exterior Design Software in 2023: Free, Paid, Online and More
Serving as an indispensable tool for architects and graphic designers, exterior house design software plays an important role in creating informative and attractive exteriors with 3D rendering services. There are a lot of software on the market now, with varying quality and prices. It may be troublesome to choose the right one. No worries! We’ve listed top of the best exterior design software in 2023. Please refer to the details as follows.
#1. 3ds Max
Price: 30-day free trial, or $1,700 per year
When it comes to exterior visualization software, we should first talk about 3ds Max. Since the powerful features far outweigh its low price, it has a very good price-performance ratio. That is one of the reasons why it has so many users. A complete set of tools and functions allow you to make a layout and design any exterior construction that you want. Because of the excellent use of image-based lighting, it can quickly provide photo-realistic effects for exterior renderings of buildings. It features low configuration requirements for PC-based systems and a user-friendly interface, so it’s easy to get started as long as you have a clear idea of how to operate it. Moreover, another outstanding feature is that installing some plugins provides functions that are not available in 3D Studio Max and enhances the original functionalities. Undoubtedly, it is probably one of the best exterior rendering software for professionals. Read more about other architectural rendering software and platforms.
Price: €629 per year
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
As mentioned above, some plugins that can be installed in 3ds Max. V-Ray is the vital one. As a powerful exterior visualizer, it becomes one of the most popular rendering engines in the industry, which is suitable for both professionals and beginners. It has a library of realistic materials and always keeps updating, while you can also create your own textures and materials. You can apply different textures and control their reflection and refraction. The most important thing is that thanks to its constant refinement, it’s easier to get accurate physical lighting, adjust parameters and achieve quick renderings.
#3. Lumion 3D
Price: €1499+ per license
Lumion is a real-time 3D visualization tool developed especially for architects and designers. It serves to design house exteriors and build projects in a real-world context with comprehensive tools and effects. It boasts a large and rich content library of buildings, cars, people, animals, streets, surfaces, rocks, and more, which helps to create a realistic and satisfying building and scene. Besides, it also deserves praise for the fact that the rendering and scene creation takes just a few minutes, saving your money and efforts.
Price: €20 per month
OS: Windows, macOS
Revit is a great home design software for both interior and exterior. Not only does it work at the design and development level, but it also contains construction project information. You are free to sketch, quickly create 3D shapes, and interact with shapes. You can use the built-in tools for conceptual clarification of complex shapes to prepare models for construction. As for the visualization of home design, it can capture design ideas in a photo-level true state and produce high-quality renderings in a short time. By the way, it also works well in mutually exporting models with 3ds Max.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
SketchUp is a popular and free 3D exterior design software. Its main advantage is that it is easy to use and everyone can get started quickly. Thus, the official website likens it to the “pencil” of the electronic design. The software comes with a component library of a large number of doors, windows, columns, furniture, and other items, as well as a material library of building texture. You are able to make full use of those professional extensions to customize your project. It can be used with 3ds Max, Revit and other software to quickly import and export files in different formats to achieve the perfect combination of program conception, effect drawings, and construction drawings. By the way, you can attain more advanced functions in the paid PRO version if you prefer.
OS: Windows, macOS
Working as a free online 3D home design platform, Cedreo is used by professional home builders, remodelers, and designers to create 2D floor plans as well as 3D exterior and interior renderings. The platform is completely cloud-based, so you can meet with clients and edit designs and proposals instantly. Thanks to its fast operation speed, it can quickly offer an informative and visually impressive display.
#7. Provia Visualizer
When you open this exterior design software Provia Visualizer, you will find it so simple to get started even if you are a beginner, because its interface is very intuitive and straightforward. Before starting DIY, it allows you to select a sample house image or upload your house image that follows some required guidelines. On the left side of the software page, there are various customization options of items for you to alter doors, windows, roofing, sidings, trim paints, shutters, and even vents. You can save different designs and compare them to find a better one. Don’t you want to try it right away?
#8. Dream Designer
As a free house siding renderer, Dream Designer is also a good choice for beginners and amateurs. Same as the last software, you can choose the house style on the website or upload an image of your own home. But what’s different is that Dream Designer doesn’t limit the size of photos to be uploaded. Therefore, you can easily upload pictures and start designing. You are free to show off your personal style by using materials designed by Royal Building Products. When finishing a design, you are encouraged to share it with your family and friends by posting it on social media or sending it via email.
#9. Menards Design-It-Center
OS: Windows, macOS
Menards Design-It-Center is an excellent visualizer software for exterior and interior design, which is suitable for professionals and amateurs. After choosing a sample house or uploading a picture, you will open a design page where a product list is on the left side while the image is on the right side. Move your mouse over a part of the house, and a single click will bring up a number of options for you to try. You can customize the materials and colors of the whole house exterior in this house siding colors simulator.
#10. Virtual Architect
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design with Landscaping and Decks delivers a huge library of 3D graphics, powerful tools, and design inspiration. This free home exterior design and landscaping software for Windows is here to support you to transform a house. It works both in 2D and 3D models and doesn’t require any complex or difficult operation. There is a wizard on the interface, which helps in creating a design in a quick and easy manner. If you’re a total beginner, don’t worry! Technical support and training videos will give a helping hand.
#11. Lumion LiveSync
Lumion LiveSync is a great free plugin that works well in collaboration between Lumion and some architecture software, including SketchUp, Revit, ArchiCAD, and Vectorworks. By building a real-time visualization between them, you will see the lifelike changes and photo-realistic displays of your home exterior design. The exterior home design app enables live point-of-view synchronization, which makes your work easier, faster, and more enjoyable.
#12. Planner 5D
OS: Windows, macOS
You may have noticed the app Planner 5D in our recommended list of interior designers. However, it also does a good job in virtual home exterior design. There are hundreds of textures and colors waiting for you to use for free. And the parameters of any element are adjustable. You are free to create a dream home design by editing not only its exterior but also the landscape around it. In addition, another advantage of this siding visualizer app is that it is available on mobile devices and covers Windows and macOS with full synchronization between them.
Are you looking forward to the house exterior design coming out of your fingertips? Whether you’re an architect, interior designer, or real estate developer, as long as you’re interested in a home design app to remodel and redecorate, choose a visualization software listed above and give it a try! Just enjoy your design tour! Or you can contact us for professional architectural visualization services. AIMIR is dedicated to delivering high-quality 3D rendering from 2006.