10 Best Deck Design Software in 2024 (Free & Paid)

Many people nowadays are inclined to incorporate decks into their home designs because decks not only provide an extension of living space outdoors, offering a versatile area for various activities, but they also enhance the overall curb appeal of a home, making it more inviting and attractive.

If you find yourself wanting to design, inspect, repair, and build your own backyard deck but are unsure about which design software to use, worry not – you’ve come to the right place. This article will introduce you to the top 10 deck design software options in 2024, covering both free and paid programs.

We’ll delve into the features and advantages of each deck design software, including functionalities in both free and paid versions, aiding you in finding the perfect fit for your needs. Through virtual simulations and planning offered by these tools, you can preview your design before actual construction, avoiding unnecessary hassles later on. Let’s embark on this journey together and get started now!

Best Deck Design Software Recommended


Read Also:



ZWCAD stands out as one of the best deck design software options, offering a seamless integration of 2D and 3D functionalities to meet all your deck design needs in one software. It strikes a balance between professionalism and user-friendliness, making it suitable for designers of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals.

Beyond providing basic CAD tools, ZWCAD goes further with advanced features such as the ability to view, access, manage, and plot multiple drawings as well as creative features such as adding notes with voice messages. These not only help you achieve precise and detailed deck drawings but also streamline your workflow like never before. ZWCAD boasts a robust material library and advanced drawing tools. Even better, it allows users to customize materials and textures for a realistic surface appearance, covering everything from flooring to walls and furniture.

With ZWCAD, you can not only draw your ideal outdoor space but also visualize the actual deck design effects through modeling and rendering. ZWCAD offers powerful 3D modeling capabilities, enabling users to create mesh and solid models directly or based on existing 2D drawings. ZWCAD further enhances the 3D experience with rendering and custom material functions. Users can integrate elements such as wood boards, tables, chairs, lighting fixtures, and various decorative elements to facilitate the creation of realistic scenes.

The customization capabilities of ZWCAD, utilizing APIs such as LISP, VBA, ZRX, and .NET, make it easy to develop or migrate third-party applications. This flexibility allows designers to tailor the software to their specific needs. Unlike many other CAD software options, ZWCAD supports a one-time payment model, eliminating the need for yearly or monthly subscription fees and potentially saving a significant amount of money in the long run.

ZWCAD with Deck Design


2. Draftsight

DraftSight, a renowned productivity tool, offers a robust 2D CAD drafting and 3D design experience, making it a versatile solution for professionals across various industries. While it does have 3D functionality, DraftSight particularly excels in the realm of 2D design, providing precise drawing and detailing capabilities.

This deck design software provides a comprehensive set of editing, design, and automation tools for essential 2D design and drafting needs. Additionally, it features a Design Resources Library with a variety of components and elements, allowing users to seamlessly embed suitable elements into their drawings when creating deck designs. So, you can utilize these tools to create floor plans, layouts, and detailed drawings for planning and designing decks.

DraftSight’s interoperability allows users to work with various file formats such as .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .tif, .tiff, and .bmp, enabling the attachment of images to their drawings. Furthermore, users can save or export their drawings into different file formats.

Upon completing the design, DraftSight offers a Batch Printing feature, allowing users to send and print a set of drawings as a batch. The Batch Print List conveniently stores all batch print jobs, which provides users with a centralized view to track and manage their print jobs.

DraftSight Main Interface


3. Chief Architect

Chief Architect stands out as the premier professional home design software, with both 2D and 3D capabilities, catering specifically to home builders, remodelers, architects, and interior designers. It has higher system requirements and offers a more in-depth design experience.

A distinctive feature of Chief Architect is its real-time 3D modeling capabilities. As users draw walls, the program simultaneously creates a 3D model. This real-time modeling extends effortlessly to deck design, allowing users to visualize and plan outdoor living spaces seamlessly.

Chief Architect offers a custom catalog with nearly unlimited color and material selections, enabling designers to customize every aspect of their outdoor space. Whether it’s choosing the right decking material or visualizing the railing design, the deck design software provides the flexibility needed for creating unique and personalized decks.

What’s more, Chief Architect offers templates already made by professionals and a vast directory of products. While templates serve as invaluable starting points, offering inspiration and efficiency for users looking to kickstart their deck projects, the comprehensive product directory is a valuable resource for deck designers, providing a wide range of options for decking materials, railings, furniture, and other outdoor elements. The extensive product library ensures that designers can explore and integrate a diverse array of products to suit their vision for the perfect deck.

Chief Architect with Deck Design


4. Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer

Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer is a user-friendly, Windows-based software designed for crafting and estimating decks. This versatile tool serves as a comprehensive solution for DIY enthusiasts and homeowners, providing a seamless platform for designing and planning outdoor living spaces.

One of the standout features of Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer is its ability to generate detailed lists of all necessary materials, down to the smallest screw. This ensures that users have a comprehensive understanding of the materials required for their deck project. Even better, Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer allows users to place a 3D image of their deck design within a picture of their home. This realistic placement provides a tangible preview of how the deck will integrate into the existing space.

With a vast selection of over 70 templates, the software provides the flexibility to choose a design that aligns with your vision. These templates serve as a starting point, offering inspiration and streamlining the design process. What’s more, Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer allows users to change certain materials such as fasteners, connectors, flashing, caps and concrete. However, the change can only be done to materials within the brand already selected

Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer Interface


5. SketchUp

SketchUp is a powerful 3D modeling software that offers a range of professional-quality features, including 2D and 3D models, textures, a layer manager, animations, and more. With a user-friendly interface, SketchUp accommodates CAD designers of various skill levels, making it an ideal choice for achieving desired results using its modeling toolkit.

While SketchUp is not professional software for deck design, its flexibility and extensive features make it a robust tool for creating impressive deck designs. The software offers unique access to Trimble’s 3D Warehouse, housing a vast collection of models like decks, furniture, and other relevant elements, streamlining your design process. Besides, SketchUp is highly customizable. You can choose materials, styles, shadows, scenes, and more as you like. It also provides an intuitive platform for visualizing designs from various angles and details, enabling users to create precise 3D models, including decks and their surrounding environments.

Three Sketchup modules are available to interested parties. The simplest and most accessible version, SketchUp Free, is a free web-based option perfect for beginners in design. If you require additional functionality, there is the paid version, SketchUp Pro. With an affordable annual subscription at $349, SketchUp Pro is an excellent choice for those looking for cheap CAD software without compromising on professional-grade features.

SketchUp with Deck Design


6. MiTek Deck Designer

MiTek Deck Designer is a professional free online deck design software tailored to assist users in creating their dream decks to life. It primarily supports wood and composite deck planning. With easy customization options, users can personalize various aspects, including levels, plank direction, size, color, and other features. The software excels in visualization, offering dramatically improved onscreen and printed output. This ensures that users can accurately assess the design and present it professionally.

A standout feature of MiTek Deck Designer is the integration with house photos. Users can import photos of the house into the software. This feature enhances visualization and ensures a cohesive overall design. MiTek Deck Designer also allows users to set and save preferences for sample decks, loads, post depths, and more, which enhances efficiency by allowing users to work with predefined settings.

MiTek Deck Designer further enhances user experience with an onscreen dimensioning feature, enabling real-time sizing of decks without the need to switch to a 2D view. This not only streamlines the design process but also contributes to an intuitive and efficient workflow.

MiTek Deck Designer Interface


7. Decks is a comprehensive online platform dedicated to all things related to deck design, construction, and inspiration. It not only serves as a valuable guide throughout the deck construction journey but also offers an interactive and user-friendly platform for design exploration, visualization, and efficient planning. Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or a DIY enthusiast looking to enhance your outdoor living space, provides a wealth of resources and information to guide you through the entire deck-building process.

This deck design software provides the freedom to explore endless design possibilities with just a click. From trying out different square footage to incorporating unique features like octagons or multi-level structures, the platform empowers you to effortlessly experiment with various design elements, tailoring your decks to specific visions. offers immersive 2D and 3D views. You can access top, side, and front views in 2D, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the design from all angles. Besides, it also allows you to explore your unique deck or patio design in vivid 3D, gaining a realistic perspective of your outdoor space.

Once your design is complete, you can easily download plans suitable for permit submissions or sharing with contractors. The added convenience of receiving a suggested material list enhances project planning, providing insights into the required materials to kickstart your deck-building endeavor.

Decks with Deck Design


8. Trex Deck Design Tool

Trex Deck Design Tool is a comprehensive, and user-friendly online application that empowers individuals to create their dream outdoor living space with ease. Developed by Trex, a leading name in high-performance, eco-friendly decking materials, this tool caters to both professionals and DIY enthusiasts, providing a seamless and interactive deck design experience.

With the latest version of Trex Deck Design Tool, you can explore a variety of deck shapes, including L-shapes and T-shapes. It enables the creation of bump-outs and cut corners, providing flexibility for unique and personalized designs. Users can also seamlessly integrate existing structures like walls and housing into their deck plans. What’s more, this free deck design software offers users meticulous control over dimensions and sizing. Users can measure different sections of their projects independently, allowing for accurate cost estimates and material needs for main decks, alternate levels, bump-outs, and cut corners.

The Trex Deck Design Tool empowers users to handpick every element of their new deck, including materials and colors from the extensive Trex decking portfolio. This feature ensures that users can thoroughly explore and compare options before finalizing their design. Once users are satisfied with their design, the software automatically generates a comprehensive materials list and a cost estimate. This streamlines the planning process, providing users with accurate expectations for their project.

Trex Deck Design Tool Interface


9. TimberTech 3D Deck Designer

TimberTech 3D Deck Designer stands out as an online 3D CAD software, offering a creative platform for designing your ideal outdoor living space. While it shares the common limitation of some design apps in terms of building material selection, this Deck Designer excels in providing an intuitive and visually immersive experience.

The deck design software simplifies the design process by offering multiple starting points. You can explore a gallery of inspirational deck designs to start with a picture, view real deck plans to start with templates or unleash your creativity by building a deck design from scratch in 3D. One of its notable features is the extensive library of TimberTech materials, encompassing diverse decking options, railing styles, and color choices. You can seamlessly visualize and compare different materials to find the perfect combination for your deck.

An exceptional aspect of TimberTech 3D Deck Designer is its flexibility in custom deck shapes. Beyond the constraints of traditional squares or rectangles, you can experiment with various shapes, and adjust the width of the stair design, fostering the creation of truly personalized and distinctive outdoor spaces. What sets this tool apart is the accessibility of your bill of materials at any stage. The software ensures transparency by providing a detailed list of materials required for your envisioned deck.

TimberTech 3D Deck Designer Interface


10. Fiberon Discovery Deck Designer

Fiberon Discovery Deck Designer stands as one of the best online deck design software, catering to trade professionals and homeowners seeking an immersive and interactive planning experience. This 3D design tool seamlessly integrates the entire Fiberon product range, including decking, railing, and cladding options, allowing users to digitally craft and visualize their dream outdoor living spaces.

Operating on desktop and laptop browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, Fiberon Discovery Deck Designer ensures optimal performance and accessibility. Its versatility shines through as users can either start from scratch or choose from an assortment of pre-built deck templates, providing a flexible foundation for creative exploration.

The software’s interface is not only user-friendly but also incredibly comprehensive. Users have the freedom to move and customize deck elements effortlessly, adding walls, and stairs, and selecting decking and railing styles with precision. The tool’s standout feature, the “Time of Day” setting, adds a layer of realism by allowing users to adjust lighting conditions, providing a nuanced preview of the deck in different sunlight scenarios.

Once the deck design is complete, Fiberon Discovery Deck Designer produces a dynamic 3D rendering, offering a realistic visualization of the envisioned outdoor space. Simultaneously, a detailed bill of materials is generated, offering a practical reference for the necessary components during the construction phase.

Fiberon Discovery Deck Designer Interface


Comparison of the 10 Best Deck Design Software

Type Price Online/Software Platforms Customizable Materials Performance Stability
ZWCAD 2D+3D $899/lifetime


Desktop software Windows, Linux Yes High; Efficient Most stable
DraftSight 2D+3D Professional: $249/year

Premium: $549/year

Desktop software Windows, macOS No Moderate Stable
Chief Architect 2D+3D Paid monthly: $199/mo.

Paid annually: $166.25/mo.

Desktop Software Windows, macOS Yes High Stable
Do-It-Yourself Deck Designer 2D+3D Free Desktop software Windows Limited Moderate Stable
SketchUp 3D SketchUp Go: $119/year

SketchUp Pro: $349/year

Online & Desktop Software Web Browser, Windows, macOS Yes High Stable
MiTek Deck Designer 3D Free Software Windows Limited Moderate Stable
Decks 2D+3D Free Online Web Browser Limited Moderate  Relatively unstable
Trex Deck Design Tool 3D Free Online Web Browser Limited Moderate  Relatively unstable
TimberTech 3D Deck Designer 3D Free Online Web Browser Limited Moderate Relatively unstable
Fiberon Discovery Deck Designer 3D Free Online Web Browser Limited Moderate Relatively unstable

Above are the 10 deck design software we introduced, each with its own pros and cons. Desktop software options often require subscription payments, but they offer more powerful features and support highly customizable options. On the other hand, online tools are convenient and free, but they may lack stability for complex tasks and mostly focus on singular functionalities (either 2D or 3D).

In summary, ZWCAD is the most recommended. Compared to other desktop software, its price is more cost-effective in the long run. As a professional CAD tool, it rivals industry giants not only in functionality but also takes the lead in efficiency, allowing you to accomplish design tasks efficiently and with high quality.


FAQs About Deck Design Software

Can I Export Designs to Printable File Formats with Deck Design Software?

Yes. Most online deck design tools typically offer the option to export designs to PDF, which is a widely accepted document format suitable for printing and sharing. In contrast, professional CAD software provides a more diverse range of output formats including common CAD file formats such as PDF, DWG, DXF, and PNG.


Can I Customize Material Inventory on Deck Design Software?

The ability to customize material inventory in deck design software depends on the specific tool you are using. In general, most online deck design tools provide a predefined set of materials in their libraries and may not support user customization. However, dedicated software applications such as ZWCAD and SketchUp often offer more advanced features, allowing users to customize and add their own materials to the inventory. Always check the specific features and documentation of the software you are using to determine its material customization options.



In conclusion, whether you are a professional or a homeowner looking to embark on deck design, the aforementioned ten software options can provide assistance. They cater to different tasks, with some excelling in 2D drawing while others shine in 3D modeling. If you seek the best all-around choice, our recommendation is ZWCAD, which offers both robust 2D drawing and 3D modeling capabilities. Not only does it boast comprehensive features, but it is also user-friendly, and operates at a swift and stable pace, making your deck design process remarkably effortless. As it has a free trial, just give it a try!