Free Deck Design Software – Is it Worth It? My Experience

free deck design software

Thinking about adding a deck to your outdoor space? Wondering if free deck design software is worth it? I’ll share what I found.

Many say making a deck by hand or with a simple sketch is fine. But, I had doubts. Trying deck design software changed my mind with amazing results.

Guess what? Using deck design software can speed things up by up to 75%. That’s a huge boost!

Now, you might ask, how does this software work? What are its perks? And when should you use it? I’ll answer everything in this piece.

So, let’s see if free deck design software is really as good as they say.

The Benefits of Using Deck Design Software

Deck design software offers many benefits. It makes deck planning much easier for both homeowners and contractors. You can see your dream deck before it’s even built.

Visualizing Your Dream Deck

Deck design software lets you see your future deck clearly. You can map it out completely. This way, you know how it will look and can tweak it to fit your vision.

Estimating Materials and Costs

One big plus of this software is its ability to list needed items. It can tell you the exact amount of wood and nails, for example. This helps you know exactly what you need, reducing waste and saving money.

Accurate Construction Drawings

This software also gives detailed drawings for builders. They provide specific directions to construct your deck perfectly. This ensures your deck is built just as you want it.

Flexibility and Easy Updates

You can easily change your deck design with this software. It lets you try different options or make quick updates. This gives you flexibility throughout your project.

Deck design software simplifies the planning and visualization steps. It’s useful for anyone building a deck. By using it, your deck building journey will be smoother and more efficient.

When Is Deck Design Software Necessary?

Designing a simple, ground-level deck? Basic plans might be enough. But for bigger or complex decks, deck design software is a must. It helps ensure your deck is right, tackles any setbacks with permits, and builds to your wishes.

With deck design software, you get a lot. You can draft detailed 2D and 3D models, play with looks, and set up precise plans. This means you can plan every step of your dream deck knowing it will turn out right.

Are you designing a deck for fun or work? The software helps you see the end result clearly. It makes choosing the layout, materials, and style easier. Plus, you can tweak your plans easily until they’re just what you want.

Not just that, the software can help you plan your budget. It gives you a materials list for accurate costs and smooth buying. This way, building your deck won’t spring any costly surprises on you.

And even if you need permits, deck design software has you covered. It lets you show officials detailed plans to meet regulations. This makes getting permits smoother and your project comply with the law.

So, for a big or new-to-you deck, consider using deck design software. It gives you power to make a deck you’ll love. It ensures your deck is strong, looks great, and is legal.

How Much Should You Spend on Deck Design Software?

Many homeowners might consider using free deck design software they find online. But, if you’re spending a lot to build a wood deck, think about investing in paid plans. I’ve seen that good software, around $50, has everything needed to make awesome designs.

If you plan to do more than just design decks, like landscaping or working on your home, then consider a more expensive package. This will give you extra features. It’s key to compare the cost with what you get for your needs.

In the end, buying deck design software can make your project easier. It helps with accurate plans and lists of materials. This ensures your deck is built just how you want and meets building codes. The price is worth the confidence and peace of mind it brings.

Free Landscaping Software

Recommendations for Deck Design Software

From my experience, I recommend IMSI/Design for your deck design needs. This company offers TurboFloorPlan and Instant Deck Design. They have different versions of deck layout software to fit your needs. Their software is easy to use and has a money-back guarantee. Plus, they offer free customer support for any help you need. Visit their website for more info on their products.

Choosing the right deck building software is key for a great deck. IMSI/Design’s software has many features to help. It can make your deck plans come to life, whether you do it yourself or are a contractor.

Use IMSI/Design’s online deck planner to see your deck in 3D. You can try different layouts and materials. Their tool lets you add stairs, railings, and more. You can make your deck the perfect size and shape for your space outdoors.

This deck software is great for everyone, from new designers to experts. It’s simple to use and helps you create beautiful deck plans. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a small deck or a big one, IMSI/Design’s software can help you do it right.

IMSI/Design Deck Design Software Features Price
TurboFloorPlan – 3D visualization – $49.99
Instant Deck Design – Customizable deck layouts – $29.99
DeckWorks – Accurate material estimation – $39.99

You can choose from different prices with IMSI/Design. This lets you pick what you can afford and need. Their software gives you great value with its features and help.

Don’t settle for less when designing your deck. Pick IMSI/Design’s software and make your outdoor space beautiful.

Considerations for Choosing Deck Design Software

There are many things to think about when choosing deck design software. It’s crucial to make a smart choice. This ensures you get the best tool for your project. Let’s go through some key points to consider:

Size and Complexity of Your Project

First, consider your deck project’s size and complexity. Some software is better for simple, small decks. But for large, complex designs, you need more power.

A basic deck won’t need as many features. Yet, intricate designs demand software that can keep up. Look for what matches your project best.

Your Level of Experience

Are you experienced with building or designing things? Advanced software might be for you. It offers a lot but can be tricky to use at first.

But, if you’re new to this or have little experience, choose something easier. It will help you get what you want without the stress.

Customization and Detailed Construction Drawings

Find a tool that lets you make your deck design unique. Being able to change shapes, sizes, materials, and colors is important.

Also, make sure the software makes detailed construction drawings. This helps builders understand exactly what you want. It makes everything smoother.

Additional Design Features

Think about what else you could use the software for. Some tools work for more than just decks. They can help with landscape or home design too.

So, if you have other projects waiting, look for software with extra features. It could be a smart investment.

Read Reviews and Compare Options

Before picking, read reviews and compare software. This helps you understand what users like and don’t like about each one. Reviewing feedback gives you a clearer picture.

By looking into these points, you can find software that meets your needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re experienced or just starting out. The right choice will make your deck project a hit.

Other Options for Designing Your Deck

There are tools and apps beyond deck design software to help with your project. Backyard deck design apps, for example, can be downloaded to your phone or tablet. These apps are easy to use and have great features that turn your deck dreams into plans.

These apps come with lots of templates and design choices, ideal for those starting. With a few taps, you can see a 3D model of your deck in your yard. They also let you move around and change your deck’s look with simple dragging and dropping.

For both experts and newbies, these apps have many features to pick from. You can play with different materials, finishes, and accessories to see which you like best. Some even let you use virtual reality or augmented reality to get a closer look at your design.

These apps are helpful beyond just making your deck pretty. They can figure out how much material you’ll need based on your design, so you can shop smart. They might even estimate costs, helping you stay on budget with the latest prices.

Exploring deck design with an app is both fun and handy. They work for any outdoor vision you might have, from a cozy spot to a big party area. These apps really add to your options for creating the perfect deck.

backyard deck design app

Pros and Cons of Using Deck Design Software

When designing a deck, deck design software brings many benefits. It’s good to know the highs and lows of this tool.

Pros of Using Deck Design Software

  • Visualizing the Finished Deck: This software turns your deck dreams into images. Before you build, see exactly how your deck will look. This helps perfect your design.
  • Generating a Materials List: It calculates what materials your deck needs. This list is detailed, saving you from expensive mistakes and time wasted.
  • Providing Detailed Construction Drawings: It creates detailed construction plans. These are crucial for building correctly and getting permits. They make sure your deck fits all rules.

Cons of Using Deck Design Software

  • Expense of Some Software Packages: Some software costs money for extra features. If you choose a free version, you might miss out on advanced tools. Think about what’s important for your project.
  • Learning Curve: If you’ve never used this kind of software, there’s a learning curve. But, with easy-to-use interfaces and online help, you can learn quickly.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of deck design software for your project. Think about your budget, project complexity, and your tech skills.

Now, let’s cover some key tips for making the most of deck design software.

Tips for Using Deck Design Software

When you use deck design software, remember to measure your outdoor area first. This ensures your design will fit perfectly. Then, enjoy using the software’s tools to make your deck just how you like it. Try different materials and colors to create your ideal outdoor space.

Design Tools and Features

Deck design tools offer many ways to customize your deck. You can change the deck’s shape and size, and add things like stairs or railings. Some even let you see a 3D view of your deck. These features help you bring your dream deck to life.

Material Selection

Software allows you to explore different decking materials. Try out wood, composite, or PVC to see what fits your style and budget. Also, play with colors and finishes to match your outdoor look. Choosing materials this way helps you make a smart decision for your deck.

Iterate and Refine

Feel free to tweak your design as much as you need. Experiment with layouts, sizes, and features until you’re happy. The software’s editing tools make it easy to refine your design. Designing a deck is about making small changes to get it just right. Keep refining so you can create that perfect deck.

Seek Inspiration

If you’re not sure where to start, get design ideas from magazines or websites. Look for elements that speak to you and use them in your design. Drawing from various sources helps you build a deck that shows your unique style.

Tips for Using Deck Design Software Benefits of Design Tools and Features
1. Take accurate measurements of your outdoor space 1. Customize the shape, size, and features of your deck
2. Utilize the design tools and features offered by the software 2. Visualize your deck in 3D for a realistic preview
3. Experiment with different materials, colors, and finishes 3. Find the perfect combination for your outdoor space
4. Make changes and iterate on your design until you’re satisfied 4. Easily adjust and refine your design as you go
5. Seek inspiration from magazines, websites, and social media 5. Incorporate design elements that catch your eye

Sharing Your Deck Design with Contractors

Deck design software lets you show your plans to contractors. After creating your deck design, export or print the details for them. This ensures everyone knows what you want. It can lead to fewer mistakes and saves time.

Include the deck’s size, materials, and any special requests when you show your design. This helps contractors give you a better quote. It also makes sure your vision gets built just the way you like.

Benefits of Sharing Your Deck Design

Sharing your deck plans has many advantages:

  • Accuracy: Detailed plans help contractors figure out what materials and work they need.
  • Cost Estimates: They can then give you a more precise price.
  • Efficiency: Clear designs let contractors work without confusion, making things faster and smoother.
  • Collaboration: Sharing your ideas lets you and the contractors work together on the details.

Don’t worry about changing your deck too much when you talk to contractors. It’s a chance for them to understand and meet your goals. You can make sure your dream deck comes to life this way.

Deck Design Benefits
Clear Visualization Visualize your deck design to ensure it aligns with your vision.
Accurate Measurements Share exact dimensions with contractors to avoid any errors.
Material Estimation Provide contractors with a detailed list of materials needed for accurate quotes.
Improved Communication Reduce misunderstandings and misinterpretations by sharing a clear design.
Efficient Execution Save time and effort by ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Showing your deck design is key to good communication in building projects. It helps with cost guesses and makes work smoother. Use online deck planners or virtual deck designers to make detailed plans. This makes it easier for contractors to understand and build your deck. Work with them closely to achieve your deck goals.

Finalizing Your Deck Design

After finishing your deck design with software, it’s vital to review it carefully. This step helps make sure everything’s correct before you build. Here’s what you need to focus on at this stage:

  • Check Local Building Codes and Regulations: Make certain your deck design follows all local rules. This is key to have a safe and legal deck that meets standards.
  • Consult with a Professional: If you’re unsure, it’s smart to talk to an expert. They can give you advice or help make needed changes.
  • Confidence in Your Design: Feeling sure about your design after a good check is important. It sets you up well for getting permits and starting the build.

Benefits of Finalizing Your Deck Design

Completing your deck design on software brings many perks:

  1. Ensures Compliance: Checking your design against laws avoids problems later. This step keeps your deck up to standard, saving you stress and money.
  2. Saves Time and Money: A final design prevents expensive errors in building. It lets you fix problems beforehand, making the process smoother.
  3. Enhances Outdoor Space: A complete and well-optimized deck design beautifies your outside area. It ensures your deck is not just pretty but also fits your needs.
  4. Increases Home Value: A carefully planned deck boosts your home’s worth. This makes money and time invested in the design worth it for your property’s saleability.

Not skipping the step of finalizing your deck design is very important. With the right software, you can adhere to the rules, avoid troubles, make your space better, and up your home’s value. Spend the necessary time to review every detail of your plan before you start building.


In conclusion, deck design software is great for planning your deck project. It helps you see a finished deck, plan details, and find costs. Plus, you can start for free with free deck design software.

If your deck is big or tricky, a top-notch software might be better. The best deck design tool has more features. This ensures your deck is built just how you want it, saving time and effort.

Think about what you need and can spend. This will help in choosing the best deck design tool. Whether free or paid, the right deck software leads to a great outdoor space. One that brings joy for many years.


Is deck design software worth it?

Deck design software is faster and more efficient than manual planning. It lets you see the deck’s layout and look before you start building.

What are the benefits of using deck design software?

Deck design software offers many pluses. It helps you visualize the end product, creates a list of needed materials, and gives detailed construction plans.

When is deck design software necessary?

It’s needed for big or complicated deck projects. This is especially true if you or your builder don’t have much experience.

How much should I spend on deck design software?

Deck design software prices vary. Yet, for most homeowners, a package is usually enough, offering the necessary tools.

Do you have any recommendations for deck design software?

My pick is IMSI/Design, known for TurboFloorPlan and Instant Deck Design. They have many versions that can match your project’s needs.

What should I consider when choosing deck design software?

Think about your project’s size and difficulty, along with your design experience. Also, consider if you might use it for other designs too.

Are there other options for designing my deck?

Yes, backyard deck design apps are available on mobile devices. They can be another handy option.

What are the pros and cons of using deck design software?

It’s great for previewing the deck and making a materials list. Yet, it can be pricey and take a while to learn how to use it.

Do you have any tips for using deck design software?

Take precise measurements and try out different tools. Also, experiment with materials and finishes. Always review your design carefully.

How can I share my deck design with contractors?

You can share your design’s detailed plans by exporting or printing them from the software.

How do I finalize my deck design?

Check all details carefully and make sure your design follows local building codes. If in doubt, ask a professional for help.