on 11 March 2009
I must admit to being very impressed with this.I have spent some cosiderable time working out a basic layout and dimensions using Excel of all things, it did give me a starting point though.However, if I had started by using the Ideal Homes package I'd be much further down the line. It is very user friendly and relatively straightforward to use, drag and drop walls, furniture, windows, doors, everything - then change individual items to your spec, even down to the colour of the glazing bars in individual windows. I still have a way to go before finalising the design and will get more familiar with the package as I go along but it really is excellent, and walking around the project in 3D is great. I'm not dissapointed with anything so far, only wish I'd purchased this earlier on.
on 28 August 2009
At first I was really pleased with this, for doing basic floor layouts it is very good. Took some time measuring my own house but once that was done it was easy to play around with it. Had some trouble with ceilings and had gaps that showed the sky through them!
A 'group objects' feature would be nice so you can move things together.
My main complaint is that the appliances and furniture are based on American designs. There is no sideboard for instance, and the washing machines are top loaders so you can't put work surfaces over them.
I'd buy it for floor layouts but don't expect too much.
on 21 November 2009
I did not find this package very easy to use. However, a far more serious problem is that the software appears to be based upon building materials from the USA. For example there are exterior walls that are 15cm thick, whereas a British Cavity wall is around 27 cm. My advice is to avoid this package and try to find something that is designed for use in the UK.
on 11 September 2009
On paper, this software looks pretty good, but I have had nothing but trouble with it. I have a desktop running XP Pro and a netbook running XP Home. The installer crashed three times on the desktop before finally working and then running sluggishly and causing the dreaded 'blue screen of death' - twice.
It installed on the netbook okay. And I spent an hour using the admittedly very user-friendly interface to create a full layout of the house and start organising furniture. Upon closing the application however, the laptop just switched off and rebooted having "recovered from a serious error." Now, the file I saved cannot be opened because I "don't have administrator rights" - which is nonsense!
Another major gripe for me is the registration process. Once you install the software with the provided licence key, you then have to register online for an activation code so that the software works for more than a 30 day trial period. The required fields include a daytime telephone number. I have no other software which REQUIRES you to give the publishers your phone number, and I find this a terrible invasion of privacy.
Overall, I'm very disappointed.