Shed design software programs can help homeowners plan and visualize their ideas. They can create designs for garden sheds, storage sheds, and home offices.
This article features a complete list of shed design software around right now. Please note there isn’t one best software but rather a collection of design software.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
List of Shed Design Software
Home Designer Software
This shed design software from Chief Architect is easy to understand for DIYers and amateur builders. While it has amazing features, the interface of the software is simpler.
The main focus of Home Designer Sofware is exterior shed design. It gives you basic specs for various materials, and you can use dimensional lumber to make your shed.
This software doesn’t include any interior features and accessories, so you won’t be able to sketch out wiring or other things such as insulation and interior cladding.
2D and 3D options make design easier, and there is an online user-generated drawing database to inspire your next shed design.
This software also offers landscape design, which isn’t available on many shed design software. Plus, you can add decks or porches to your shed.
As you build, Home Designer has an estimator tool that calculates costs for your shed’s whole structure, from the foundation to the roof. Home Designer software updates frequently, so you can ensure that the estimates are fairly accurate. Additionally, a list of materials is created as you design, so you have a complete materials list when you are done.
If you’re looking for a free design program, SketchUp is your best bet. This online design software is perfect for expert and beginner designers. Many people prefer using SketchUp to create plans for everything from homes and buildings to sheds, greenhouses, and treehouses.
While the program is free, you can subscribe to get more options. If you are making a shed, there is no need to buy a subscription. All the options you’ll need are included in the free version.
There is a learning curve when doing building sheds in SketchUp. First, there isn’t any option to use dimensional lumber. That means you’ll have to sketch the lines of the lumber yourself.
Adding exterior objects is beyond the scope of a beginner SketchUp user. Instead, this program works as a structural outline for your shed.
The SketchUp online community is active, so many designs of sheds, decks, and homes are already out there for free. You can edit these designs to your liking.
Also, you can find online Youtube tutorials for SketchUp. If you become an advanced SketchUp user, you can easily design every part of your shed.
Because this is general design software, you won’t get any cost estimates. You also won’t have options to choose a roof style or shed style because they don’t aren’t included in the program.
If you are confident in your shed design, this program is for you. Otherwise, it might be a bit complicated for the average weekend DIYer.
Shed Boss is a software program to help you design a shed online and visualize what your shed will look like.
The Shed Boss app is free, and you can find it on Google Play, App Store, or just download it from their website. A free tutorial on the Shed Boss website can help you understand how much or little this program can do.
If you want to create a shed, this software lets you choose any dimension. You can also add windows and doors, but moving or re-sizing them is clunky.
There’s limited room for varying accessories in the Shed Boss app. You can choose colors, but not materials. And so, you can’t choose roofing material and type of exterior. The only way you can change your shed’s look is by color.
Shed Boss gives cost estimates on the plus side, but you cannot view the estimates as you go – only at the end. That makes it difficult to understand the cost at each specific step.
You can also add carports to your shed designs. Extras, such as skylights, insulation, and other important features, aren’t included in the program.
Lastly, keep in mind this app only works well on a standard desktop computer, so the iOS and Playstore versions may have bugs.
Studio Shed Design Tool
This design tool helps you visualize what your desired shed might look like. This free shed design software is from a company that outsources designer sheds to local installers across the United States.
Studio shed designer is a good place to start if you want to visualize sheds of different sizes, as there are up to 11 sizes available. You also get to choose from an array of paint and finishes. Plus, you can choose accessories for walls, including windows and doors of varying wall placements and sizes.
Another clever tool this software has is a built-in cost estimator. However, the estimator only tallies cost based on its professional construction. If you took the time and energy to build a similar shed, you’d likely build it at a lesser overall cost than what Studio Shed is offering.
You shouldn’t use this software if you want a detailed blueprint for a shed. That’s because it doesn’t include framing specs or info on building a foundation for the shed. Also, there isn’t an option for interior design. But they offer a complete package for an extra couple of thousand.
If you want a shed or a fancy outbuilding in your backyard, this is a great software to use as a visualizer. But if you want to build a shed and need a plan, this is not the right software for you.
If you’re looking for easy-to-use shed design software, Chief Architect design software fits the bill. Use this software to create a shed drawing that works and looks great. This software is designed for professionals and has every little detail you’d ever want in a shed designer.
Chief Architect seems complicated at first, but the design software uses dimensional lumber. That makes it different than SketchUp and other common design programs.
The software allows you to create 2D and 3D designs to work on a wall and see the whole building simultaneously. Also, the material choice is extensive. And you can even design a pole barn with this software.
Once you’ve designed your shed, the software gives you specs for any type of foundation you want. If you want a concrete pad or piers, the software will tell you what you need and where you need to fix them.
Lastly, the program will make wiring and electrical component placement a breeze.
This shed design software is not cheap, and a subscription will cost you about 200 dollars per month. But they offer a free trial which you can use to design your shed.
Fair Dinkum Sheds Designer
Fair Dinkum’s free shed designer software is basic and easy to use on all platforms. You can use it to design and customize your shed.
The software includes tons of pre-loaded designs, or you can also create your own. If you want a pre-loaded design, you can customize it to your satisfaction. However, you won’t find any options for types of materials.
This app lets you alter roof pitches and shed dimensions and make additions, like a garage.
While the app provides a realistic view of what your shed will look like, the software’s graphics aren’t top-notch. Plus, you can’t get any cost estimates with the program. You’d need to submit the design to the manufacturer to get an estimate.
Finally, the measurements are all metric, so you’ll have to convert your measurements into metric if you’re in North America.
Overall this shed design software is very similar to Shed Boss.
Revit by Autodesk
This is a hardcore CAD (computer-assisted design) program for professionals. However, a novice designer can create a shed design using this program.
The downside to Revit is the cost – over three thousand dollars per year for a basic subscription! However, they offer a free 30-day trial. That should give you enough time to do your shed drawing. Keep in mind that the program is massive, so your device needs space to run properly.
Revit is a great program. It’s surprisingly easy to use with all its detail. Designing simple structures is fun, and there are options to use dimensional lumber.
When you use the software, you’ll find it very intuitive. The software can help design walls, windows, and ceilings. Simply change default dimensions and settings to populate your shed wall with proper spacing and dimensions. Editing requires you to change a value in the menu bar.
Any kind of shed style or foundation is available to use in Revit. If you want to add doors and windows, you can use a type of material to your chosen size. Also, you get top-down, 2D, 3D, and any other type of view you could want.
If you want detailed drawings to complete your shed construction, choose Revit shed design software. It gives you a printable and easy-to-read plan for your next shed construction.
Woodcraft – Shed Planner
Woodcraft is an inexpensive app found in both iOS and Play stores. This app is primarily for woodworking and can also design sheds and decks. It has an excellent interface for mobile users. The menus are simple, and the whole program is perfect for beginners.
One of the drawbacks of this app is that you cannot design interior or exterior surface finishes. That means no siding, interior cladding, or roofing material. Plus, there are no options to add on any features such as lean-to’s or garages.
This app sticks to the basics, meaning can select your lumber size to create a plan for your framing, but you cannot re-design a finished structure.
There are many online tutorials and guides to help you get started, and Woodcraft also has pre-loaded plans that you can select and edit as you please.
While the app will not give you an estimate, it does give you a bill of materials for your structure. Additionally, you can switch between metric and imperial.
This is a great design app for DIYers who want to create a simple plan for their shed without finishing features.
CADPro is another great choice for professionals on a budget. The software has many features but is a bit more clunky to use.
If you want to get CADPro, you have to download it from the website. Unfortunately, it is only for Windows operating systems and has no iOS or mobile capability.
On the plus side, the price is less than a hundred dollars, much less than other software of similar sizes.
CADPro features an architectural mode that lets you effortlessly snap dimensional lumber into place. Alternatively, CADPro provides pre-made designs that you can use, such as roof types and shed styles. This helps you avoid creating them yourself.
The program’s operation is simple. Input the dimensions for your shed, such as 10×14, and it will automatically create walls for you with proper stud spacing. Input windows and doors, and the framing will adjust to accordingly accommodate new features. You can also include electrical components in your designs and place other fixtures in your shed.
This design software gives what you pay for, and while it has all the features of the more expensive competitors, it still fails to complete due to a dated interface and non-intuitive design.
Rhino 3D Design
Rhino 3D Design is a fantastic program for modeling the exterior of your shed to visualize how it will look. While the software is packed with every feature possible, the learning curve is extremely high.
This is an expensive program built for IOS and Windows. However, it has a very generous 90-day free trial to help you save and share your work.
Because this program lets you design anything you could imagine, it isn’t limited to architectural purposes. It lets you create 3D models of your drawings and get an idea of what they’ll look like.
The best thing about Rhino is the ability to add texture to objects. This lets you create a very realistic rendering of your shed. You can create roofing and siding to match your desired materials. You’ll have a challenging time finding a more realistic design program anywhere online.
While the learning curve on Rhino is high, it has a particularly active online community with many forums and tutorials to seek help.
Additionally, there are many pre-loaded designs that you can use to help you build a shed.
Rhino is ideal for those familiar with CAD who want to visualize their shed without inputting every value.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of shed design software?
Using shed design software is a good idea for several reasons. First, drawing out your design will give you a better idea of what you want and create a custom shed design.
Second, having a reference drawing makes the actual construction process faster and more accurate. You won’t need to remember dimensions, and you can make cuts more quickly, which saves you time.
Lastly, shed design software that provides materials lists and estimates will save you money. How’s that? If you know the materials you’ll need, you can shop online and find deals.
Some might not want to work with a program and just start building. However, unless you are a carpenter, a shed plan on paper will make the construction process easier.
Is paid shed design software better?
Yes, paid software programs are better. While many paid programs are expensive, the quality is much better than the free online applications.
If you want to draw the best plan for your shed, then the only way you can do it is on a paid program. Even then, drawing a contractor-grade plan will only work with software like Revit or Chief Architect. There isn’t any free shed design software with a materials list.
Don’t spend so much money if you just want to visualize your shed and have a basic size and style in mind. The free online designers are all you need.
Remember, you can do more with paid shed design software. But, the paid software also offers free trials. So you can try out the software before you commit to purchasing. Free trials will help you analyze multiple options to choose a better shed design software.