I would like to design my next home, is there a program that is user friendly for a beginner?
Why do you want to use a computer program?
Consider the purchase cost of a program, but more importantly the value of your time to learn the program (which you'll do only once or maye a second time in many years).
There are no programs that can replace the knowledge and judgement of someone who's designed a home before. Sure, Sketchup's free, but it doesn't tell you if the joists are properly sized. ChiefArchitect can kick out a three-dimensional design, but it doesn't know what you want in your home. Revit's very capable and very expensive to buy and learn and way more than needed for a home. There are other programs, but none with the knowledge to really design a home -- they're just driving "dumb" machines. Hell, even some architects and contractors aren't qualified to design a safe home to your liking.
My advice -- get free Sketchup and play around, but when you get serious about securing a hme that meets your needs, is safe and in budget, hire a qualified architect or builder. Would you trust a computer program to perform brain surgery on your child?
Likely not what you wanted to learn, but consider it the "voice of experience."
Thanks for the advice, I have no allusion about designing my house as compared to a qualified architech so Sketchup would be a good beginning. As to computers operating on my chids brain no, my brain maybe but first they would have to find it.
Actually, there's probably an "opportunity" here for someone to produce a good "design your dreamhome" product.
Lots of people would like play around with a design, maybe because they really plan to build, or maybe because they're just daydreaming about it. Especially a package that would let you start with one of several stock plans and then modify it would be good. Not producing construction drawings, but a decent "conceptual rendering", and maybe some facilities built-in to help prevent major design errors, such as not allowing sufficient space for utilities.
I suspect, in this regard, SketchUp is actually too complex and detailed, with too many "knobs".
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville
That's an amen, amen and amen.
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