Patio design software has become a valuable tool for creating and visualizing patio layouts. While traditional design methods offer flexibility and creative freedom, they often involve massive hand-drawn plans and models, which can be time-consuming and imprecise. Also, this can lead to difficulties in visualizing the outcome and potential design errors. Fortunately, patio design software presents an alternative, providing precise measurements, realistic 3D renderings, and efficient planning tools. This can help visualize your patio accurately and ensure the final result meets your expectations.
Below, you’ll find the 10 best software for patio design for both computers and mobile devices. Each software offers unique features and functionalities, so you can freely choose the one that best fits your needs.
|Related Article: Best 10 Landscape Design Software You Should Try in 2024
Key Features to Look for in Patio Design Software
To choose the best patio design software that fits your needs, there are a few features you need to pay attention to. Let’s have a look.
Design and Layout Planning
The key function of excellent patio design software is efficient design and layout planning for 2D and 3D. These outdoor patio design software usually provide rich graphic elements, such as lines, shapes, graphics, etc., and massive layout template materials, which can help you quickly generate complex patio design plans.
The real-time preview feature is crucial when designing a patio as it allows users to see the effect of the design during the process. Patio design software generally provides 2D or 3D preview methods, but the 3D preview feature is recommended as it provides a better understanding of the patio’s spatial structure and is very useful for making adjustments to the design scheme.
Material Library and Material Customization
A rich material library and the ability to customize materials are key factors in choosing the best courtyard design software. These features allow designers to explore a wider range of elements, including plants, flooring, architectural features, and water features, and to refine them to create nuanced and detailed designs.
Export and Share
When choosing patio design software, consider one that supports exporting to DWG, DXF, PDF, JPG, and other formats. This makes it easy to share design progress with team members or clients, regardless of their preferred software or technical expertise.
7 Best Patio Design Software for Computers
To help you find the best patio design software, we’ve compiled a list of seven popular options for Windows and Mac. Take a look and see which one might be a good fit for your needs.
Top 1. ZWCAD
Supported OS: Windows & Linux; Mobile version provided
If you want to improve your patio, ZWCAD is a great helper in turning your vision into reality. It not only has powerful modeling capabilities to create complex 2D plans or 3D renderings but is also equipped with a powerful 3D rendering engine to generate realistic backyard renderings in real time, helping users quickly make adjustments and avoid errors.
Not only that, this software also supports users to customize materials and textures like wood, stone, floor, furniture, etc., to achieve more realistic patio effects. Overall, ZWCAD is a powerful and user-friendly 2D and 3D patio design software. It has rich design tools, a real-time preview function, a material library, and an export function, making it capable of meeting your various patio design needs.
- Visualize complex patio designs via 2D plans and 3D modelings.
- Support real-time preview function to check out the overall effect.
- Provide libraries of materials and pre-made templates to quickly generate professional-like patio designs.
- Support custom materials, textures, and even decorative elements to create realistic spaces.
- Export patio designs to various formats like DWG, DXF, PDF, JPG, etc, making it easy for sharing and collaboration.
- Beginner-friendly patio design software at a relatively affordable price.
Top 2. Cedreo
Supported OS: Windows & Mac
When it comes to online patio design software for 2D and 3D, Cedreo is the one you need. This online tool features a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use design tools, making it accessible for users with limited design experience. Moreover, it comes with a large library of pre-made templates, materials, and textures to enable both seasoned designers and beginners to effortlessly customize the 3D patio visuals, including flooring, furniture, walls, decorations, and more.
Also, it features realistic 360-degree panoramas, letting you visualize the patio design in real time. While Cedreo offers a rich suite of features for most patio design needs, users requiring advanced functionalities may need dedicated patio design software programs.
- Create detailed 2D-floor plans and photorealistic 3D visuals for patio design.
- Offer real-time 3D virtual tours of patio spaces.
- Provide rich pre-built libraries, including furniture, fire pits, pergolas, plants, and hardscapes.
- Support various file formats like DWG and DXF for seamless collaboration with others.
- Beginner-friendly patio design software, especially for those who have no design experience.
Top 3. CAD Pro
Supported OS: Windows
CAD Pro is a professional CAD software used for 2D design. It can be used for various design projects, including architecture, engineering, manufacturing, patio design, and more. It can help you measure the area and shape of the backyard, and draw a floor plan based on this data. This can help you better plan patio spaces and determine the positions of various elements.
Moreover, this backyard patio design software comes with rich patio design elements, including flower beds, lawns, water features, brick concrete, etc., which can help you quickly create design blueprints. However, it should be noted that CAD Pro does not support a 3D real-time preview function, which can make it difficult for you to visualize the final design effect.
- Feature auto-shape function to custom patio layouts.
- Offer intelligent and smart features to improve precision for detailed CAD drawings.
- Include a vast collection of symbols for patio design projects.
- Support various CAD-compatible files like DWG and DXF for collaboration.
Top 4. Draftsight
Supported OS: Windows
Draftsight is also a great option for DIY patio design software. Although it is not specifically designed for patio design, this common 2D CAD software provides a wealth of design elements such as lines, points, tables, blocks, arcs, masks, and more, used to create various design drawings, including patio designs.
Moreover, its price is relatively low compared to other patio design software. If you are looking for cheap CAD software for patio design, then Draftsight is a great option to consider. However, it lacks 3D modeling features. If you need to generate realistic gatio renderings for real-time preview, you need to use specialized 3D gatio design software, such as ZWCAD.
- Generate patio 2D drawings in various formats like PDF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, and more.
- Offer a rich material library to create perfect 2D patio plans.
- Provide cost-effective design features for backyard patio designs.
- Equip with the cartesian coordinate system to create accurate designs without any hassle.
- Leverage APIs to customize the software that is tailored to your needs.
Top 5. Chief Architect Home Designer Software
Supported OS: Windows & Mac
Whether you want to create a simple patio layout or a complex landscaping design, Chief Architect Home Designer Software can meet your needs. It can serve as a powerful patio and deck design software to help you create complex 2D layouts and realistic 3D renderings. Unlike many design software, it also provides Sky Model features to help you add elements such as the sun, moon, and horizon to make your design more realistic.
In addition, it also supports importing local photos as the backdrop of your patio design. Overall, Chief Architect Home Designer software is a powerful patio design software that can meet a variety of needs from both professional designers and DIY enthusiasts.
- Create complex 2D floor plans and photorealistic 3D visuals.
- Generate real-time 3D visuals for previewing.
- Export 360° Spherical Views of patio design projects for sharing and collaborating.
- Provide various flexible design tools for custom materials.
- Offer a variety of pre-defined plan templates for patio or deck design projects.
Top 6. SmartDraw
Supported OS: Windows & Mac
For those who do not require 3D visual capabilities, SmartDraw is a good helper for drawing accurate 2D floor plans for your ideal patio. Its powerful features and flexible customization options can be used to create patio plans, plant configurations, landscape design drawings, etc. One of the main advantages of SmartDraw is that it can quickly and easily create professional drawings with a rich graphics library and styles.
Plus, you can directly drag and drop to add the desired elements, such as plants, buildings, water features, etc., to meet various design needs. Moreover, its price is cheap, making it a good choice for designers who have just started learning patio design layouts.
- Provide a variety of pre-made templates to let anyone create professional drawings with ease.
- Support real-time collaboration to streamline your workflow.
- Feature a large library of symbols for patios to create complex 2D floor plans.
- Export patio design drawings to PDF, JPG, PNG, and other formats for easy sharing and printing.
- Online patio design software without any installation.
Top 7. Gardena myGarden Planner
Supported OS: Windows & Mac
Gardena myGarden Planner is a powerful but very user-friendly online courtyard design software. With just a few simple clicks, you can quickly generate a pleasing patio design draft. Additionally, you can find all the elements you need by using the menu on the left, including grass, bed, paving, house, plants, furniture, and more. Moreover, you can also adjust the size, position, rotation, and copying of each element, making it easy for you to create your dream backyard.
Best of all, this online tool is free. You can easily start courtyard design without purchasing professional patio design software. While it is perfect for users with no design experience, if you are planning to delve deeper into patio design projects, it is recommended that you choose a more professional CAD software.
- Simple and easy to use with only a few clicks to create a great patio design.
- Offer rich design elements to meet various garden needs.
- Free online patio design software without any installation.
- Generate design drawings with accurate proportions that can be used as construction references.
3 Best Patio Design Software for Mobile Devices
In addition to using patio design software programs on computers, you can also find many design tools for mobile devices. Here are a few options:
Top 8. Marshalls Outdoor Reality App
Supported OS: Android and iOS
Marshalls Outdoor Reality App is a free patio design software available for Android and iOS devices. It lets you create 3D plans with accurate dimensions directly on your mobile phone or tablet. One of its biggest features is the integrated AR technology, which allows you to visualize your design draft in real-time and 360 degrees, helping to ensure a smooth patio design process.
Additionally, the app offers in-app purchases for advanced tools, providing more flexibility for intricate patio designs. If you’re planning minor backyard improvements, this software can be a suitable choice. However, for complex design layouts, other software options with more advanced capabilities might be better suited.
- Visualize the perfect paving effect of your patio or driveway in real time using your smartphone or tablet.
- Provides powerful measurement tools to provide accurate measurement data for your project areas.
- Generate indicative installation costs to help you understand the total cost of your project.
- Provide a one-stop shopping platform so that you can order goods directly on the software.
Top 9. DecorMatters Patio Design App
Supported OS: iOS
DecorMatters Patio Design App is a software designed for both indoor and outdoor patio layouts. Its user-friendly interface simplifies the design process, requiring only basic information like patio size and shape to begin. Equipped with powerful AR technology, the app offers an AR ruler for accurate backyard measurements and an AR viewer for visualizing the design at 360 degrees in real-time.
Moreover, it has an active community with 10+ million users where everyone can share designs and get feedback from others. Overall, DecorMatters Patio Design App is a good patio design app for beginners.
- Easy to use for anyone.
- Support 360-degree preview of your patio design plans in real time
- Provide a rich library of outdoor décor symbols in patio design like World Market, IKEA, Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie, and RH.
- Free patio design software for iPhone and iPad.
Top 10. VegPlotter
Supported OS: Online tool compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux browsers
Instead of downloading software on your phone, online patio design software like VegPlotter offer an alternative. While VegPlotter was created for designing and planning vegetable gardens, it can also be used for Patio. It provides multiple powerful design features to help users create personalized vegetable gardens.
With just a few steps of drag and drop, you can effortlessly create a professional patio design plan. However, VegPlotter may not be suitable for larger yards due to its focus on smaller spaces. Moreover, it currently only offers 2D views, which could limit your visualization of the final patio.
- An online tool that does not occupy mobile phone memory.
- Offer an intuitive and easy-to-understand interface, even for beginners.
- Create patio designs for free, making it ideal for beginners and users on a budget.
- Allow to customize the design to suit your needs, choosing from different shapes, sizes, layouts, and more.
A Quick Comparison of the 10 Patio Design Software
In general, the above 10 patio design software can help you quickly create a patio design plan. In this part, we will make a brief comparison between them from various aspects.
|2D & 3D
|Stable & Fast
|Free trial, $399/year, $899 for a one-time purchase
|DWG, DXF, DWT, DWF, DWFx, PDF, JPG, etc.
|Windows & Linux; Mobile version provided
|2D & 3D
|Free plan, $1190/year
|DWG, DXF, PDF, PNG, JPG, etc.
|$99.95 for a one-time purchase with a $18.99 extended purchase
|DWG, DXF, WMF, EMF, JPG, PNG, etc.
|2D & 3D
|Free trial, $249/year for 2D, $549/year for 2D & 3D
|DWG, DXF, DNG, BAK, etc.
|Chief Architect Home Designer Software
|2D & 3D
|$129 for Suite, $249 for Architectural, $595 for Pro
|DWG, DXF, JPG, PNG, PDF, etc.
|Free trial, $9.95/ month(Individual), $8.25 /month(team)
|SDR, PDF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, TIFF, etc.
|Gardena myGarden Planner
|JPEG, PNG, PDF
|Marshalls Outdoor Reality App
|Free, In-app purchase
|JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc.
|DecorMatters Patio Design App
|Free, In-app purchase
|JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, GIF, SVG, PDF
|JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc.
|Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux
FAQs About Patio Design Software
Are There Any Patio Design Software Options for Beginners?
Yes. There are many beginner-friendly patio design software in the market. ZWCAD and Cedreo mentioned in the article are both CAD software for beginners to design patios on computers. They all provide powerful but easy-to-use 2D and 3D layout features, making it easy for even beginners to create professional-level design drawings. Additionally, SmartDraw is also recommended for simple 2D layout design.
As for mobile devices, Marshall Outdoor Reality App, DecorMatters Patio Design App, and VegPlotter are all good options. However, desktop software remains the industry standard. Its extensive features and established user base make it a valuable starting point for learning patio design.
Is There a Trial Version Available for Patio Design Software?
Yes. Most patio design software on the market will provide a free trial for new users to experience all or part of its functions. For example, ZWCAD and Draftsight are mentioned in this article. They provide a 30-day free trial, during which new users can fully try their functions and features and create satisfactory patio design drafts.
Besides, if you are looking for free patio design software, you can try Cedreo, which also provides a free version with limited functions to meet basic design needs. In addition, the three patio design software options mentioned in Part 3 of the article are all free, helping you freely create patio designs on mobile devices.
Whether you are an experienced patio designer or a beginner, the best patio design software can simplify your workflow, improve work efficiency, and create more accurate design drawings. In general, the 10 patio design software mentioned above can meet your various needs.
If you have a low budget or are looking for beginner-friendly patio design software, then ZWCAD is your best choice. It not only meets the functions and features that all patio designs should have but also helps you quickly generate satisfactory design drawings. Additionally, if you need a portable tool, then mobile software like Marshalls Outdoor Reality App, DecorMatters Patio Design App, and online patio design software such as VegPlotter, are all good choices to consider. Next, let’s share the article to benefit more people!