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2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2011
I've used a number of house design/drawing packages that are free on the internet but I wanted something with a few more bells and whistles and Grand Designs 3D looked the business. After two days of trialling the product it has crashed on 3 occassions and left ghost rooms on the drawing board that could not be removed. It also didn't show a room in 3D that was definitely on the plan. If I had an opportunity to try before I buy then I wouldn't touch this with a barge pole. Just in case anyone is wondering whether I'm trying to run this on a pathetic PC, I'm not. It's an 8 core processor with an excellent graphics card, 8 Meg of RAM, Windows 7 64 bit.
Don't buy this under any circumstances, I'm sure there is cheaper and better software out there and I wish I hadn't purchased this.
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on 28 November 2011
First, this is not a new version but the same version sold before in a new package.

The software is fully featured and can do almost everything you could ask of it, I haven't seen anything else on the market that can touch it for capability. However, and its a BIG however, the software is full of bugs, I have not been unable to use it for more than 1 hour without a software error or complete crash. Saving often doesn't help either as I have times where the saved version won't reload without crashing the program! The help menu has some helpful links to support, upgrade etc. guess what they don't work either

The email support is responsive but they will not admit to any problems with the software. Re-install with the virus checker turned off, it's a windows file permission blah, blah blah.

So, yes you can probably get a plan out of it but be prepared to many frustrating hours to get there. Save very 5 minutes and give it a new file-name V1, V2 etc. and you may just make it, good luck!
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on 12 June 2013
for a new build with unlimited open space this software may work.

however for entering already existing guidelines or even walls it struggles. I bought the software thinking its range of details would make designing a cottage easier and more authentic. the details it does have are tacky and very boxy.

it struggles with very modest designs, for example adding a veranda/porch is near impossible.

Overall for the price a very disappointing buy
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on 4 June 2012
I would not recommend this software to anybody. To start with is poorly translated from German with many omissions. Secondly that if you attempt to check for any patches, updates or support one is directed to a website where there is no reference to this product only to marketing commercial architecture software at several hundred pounds. The basic tutorial is complicated and the video tutorials are amateurish with plenty of "Umm's"and "Err's" and yes it also contains several bugs and falls over.
I am surprised that the TV Show allowed this product to attach their name to it.
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on 21 January 2013
This product is supposed to be quick and easy to use. PLEASE NOTE that is not the case. This product is very old fashioned, it is not easy to use if you're looking for something to create some designs or plans for a home build or renovation project, take my advise and look elsewhere. Don't be fooled by the price, it's cheap for a reason.
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on 20 May 2013
It's ok once you get the hang of it but if you've got an unusual design in mind with multiple floors at alternate levels like in a barn conversion for example it won't work or at least it won't unless you create a separate drawing for each level and even then its extremely complicated to merge them together.
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on 17 April 2012
Having used lots of different software to try to design my house extension I cam across the Grand Designs 3D offering having been a fan of the show. Installed with no problems and it runs very smoothly even on my low spec old laptop.

The toolset itself is quite intuative with each aspect of the building having it's own icon and there is loads of flexibility for customisation. the drawing process itself isn't scary either, no CAD knowledge required. You simply draw a 2D floorplan and the 3D version is drawn for you.

I found it most helpful being able to produce page layouts with all the floorplans and elevations on as these were ideal for my planning application. The documentation and pdf manuals are ok for quite a complex toolset, but the customer service are helpful with online tutorials etc. As long as you relise that there is a small learning curve, as with any new software, I think you can get to grips with it very quickly.
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on 28 November 2011
It does basically what it says. The tutorials are very amateurish, some have verbal instructions whereas some don't. The keys shown in the tutorials are not all there ie we dont have the delete key, we had to find a way round this. The quick guide again is not very helpful. The only way to learn was to keep doing it. We are trying to design a very contemporary house with a lot of overhangs, but you have to trick it to do this ie the roof had to be a different floor, with short walls to get this to happen. Also once you have completed the design on all floors, you can only see this, you cannot see individual fllors in the design mode, or at least if you can I haven't been able to find a way yet. On a plus point there is a technical help web page, and when I asked a couple of questions I did get a very quick response that helped
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on 26 June 2012
I wanted to find a piece of software that would help me and my wife to visualise an extension idea that we've had for years. We've drawn up ideas on paper before but we really wanted to see how this would look when fully built before even gettng an architect/builder involved!

I saw Grand Designs 3D Self Build software being demonstrated at one of the self build shows and I was instantly impressed at how easy and how quick it looked to draw up/generate floor plans and 3D models.

So I bought a copy!

And yes, I did find it easy-to-use and I did manage to draw up plans very quickly using the many construction tools on offer. We live in semi, so I went to work not only by drawing up our existing buiding but also next doors to get the whole picture. Once this was drawn up in place, the extension was dead quick to bolt on to the side.

The construction tools in the software are easy to work with. All elements placed in the plan can all be modified in size/style including complex parts of the building such as the roof.

Dont be frightened off by the 3D part of software! The software operates in two modes - 2D plan mode and 3D design mode. Once you have the floor plans drawn up in 2D, a 3D model of your design is generated automatically by simply clicking a button. Very impressive! In this mode, you are able to experiment with different interior/exterior finishes and furniture objects on offer to create a real feel of how your design will look when built.

My house is on a slope which I thought would be a limitation in software to reproduce in design. The contouring and landscaping tools allow you to achieve slopes, paving etc in design.

My wife and I spent a while deciding on the right design which of course meant us playing around with different ideas in the software first. Once happy, this enabled us to confidently get an architect involved to draw up final plans/elevations for planning submission. Of course, if you have experience in this field i.e. submitting planning applications, the software provides the tools to help lay up plans and elevations on to a single sheet to further modify/detail.

I would recommend Grand Designs 3D Self Build as a great tool to help anyone share their design ideas and to help plan their next building project.
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on 5 July 2011
Great! works really well, and you can make really good houses on it. I am not using it professionally, I am just mucking about with it, but still I think that even proper architects could use this in their business. There are loads of furniture items, and you can even make your own. There are loads of tools to make realistic houses, and you can even see the house in 3d mode.
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