11 Best Shed Design Software Options

If you’re looking for a place to store work tools in an organized manner, a shed can be extremely handy.

But, many are confused about whether to buy premade versions or to design their own units. Undoubtedly, the former choice saves the hassle of making one’s own shed, but coming up with an individual design can make the shed unique.

That said, it is quite hard to design a shed if one isn’t a professional. The process can quickly turn overwhelming, and many are left confused. If you’re about to embark on this journey, don’t worry, we have got you covered.

We have provided a list of the best shed design software to help homeowners shed light on their choice. Some are free, while others require payment. But, they provide seamless guidance through the shed designing process with attention to minute details.

Without further ado, let us walk you through the list.

Best Shed Design Software

Shed design software 2

  1. Home Designer

Chief Architect offers Home Designer to amateur builders and DIYers. It is more accessible and combines the best aspects of Chief Architect while maintaining a simple interface. Since Home Designer tries to consider the professional aspects of designing, there is the potential to make the shed look expertly constructed by utilizing the software’s features.

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Why Did We Like It?

Much like Chief Architect, Home Designer allows designers to use dimensional lumber while conceptualizing the shed. Apart from providing foundation specs for various materials, Home Designer also makes design easier, thanks to the 2D as well as 3D renderings.

If you’re confused about your next garden shed and shed design in general, Home Designer also maintains an extensive, online database of drawings for reference. The best part, however, has to be the landscape design, which makes it stand out from other programs on the list.

Since the price estimation is an essential part of designing, Home Designer calculates cost as the design progresses. It also creates a list of materials needed for the process.

The software itself has a trial period, but even the paid version is much more reasonable when compared to how much Chief Architect costs. Moreover, there is a money-back guarantee within 30 days, which attracts designers who aren’t sure if this is the right pick.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Despite the many advantages of Home Designer, the software only focuses on the exteriors. Several users have complained that interior accessories and features aren’t available, so designers cannot plan out wiring, interior cladding, or insulation. This, in turn, leads to problems in conceptualizing the shed completely using the Home Designer, not really a complete shed design software.

  • Landscaping is available
  • Affordable pricing
  • Built-in cost estimator
  • Pre-existing plans ready for contract
  • No option for interior design
  • Unmappable wiring
  1. Shed Boss

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The Australian shed maker, Shed Boss, has an online offering for DIY shed designers. One can come up with a basic design online, and the Shed Boss app helps you visualize what it might look like. The simple app is easy to use, thanks to accessible interface, tools, and features.

Why Did We Like It?

The best part about the Shed Boss app is that it is free and easily available on app stores or the website. The free tutorial of the website is an eye-opener about the capabilities and limitations of the app.

No matter how big or small the shed might be, the software allows designers to choose their required dimensions. Since users also have the option of adding or changing colors to the design, one can set their own aesthetic of the shed in the planning stages itself.

Not only does the Shed Boss app offer overall cost estimates, but it also allows additions of garden sheds, carports and lean-tos to the overall design. The basic premise of the app ensures that users enter the specs and lets the app create the shed design based on the same.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The Shed Boss app has quite a few areas to work on. Users cannot see the structure being framed, and there is not much room for different accessories. There is no option to choose the roofing material or materials for exteriors. Resizing windows and doors is also a clunky process, a shed design software that may do the trick but cannot tick all the boxes.

  • Free and easy to use
  • Great visualizing
  • Flexible shed sizes
  • Features are limited
  • Dimension features can’t have precise measurements since decimals aren’t recognized
  1. SketchUp

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SketchUp is a modeling software that has various applications, including architecture, interior design, mechanical and civil engineering, and even video game or film design. Users can build things from scratch while being as careful as possible. There is a free and paid variant, with professional architects opting for the latter.

Why Did We Like It?

SketchUp users can begin working with 3D, which delivers realistic renditions. Since one can build and design structures from scratch, SketchUp provides a lot of room for creativity. Several customizations become possible, as designers can add relevant details.

The community on SketchUp is quite active also and has different designs uploaded. Thus, users have the option to choose from these options and make necessary modifications if they don’t want to create the shed from the ground up. Moreover, there are numerous online tutorials to familiarize newcomers with SketchUp, so they can push the limits of their creativity.

Although the app initially needs designers to draw the lines for the lumber size, the option to copy objects is always available after the process has been completed once.

What Could’ve Been Better?

SketchUp could be improved in some areas, and the most glaring is the absence of a cost estimate. Since it just acts as a design program, users don’t know how much their projects will cost. You can’t choose a roof or shed style either since they don’t exist in the SketchUp program but SketchUp can surely work as a full fledged free shed design software if you work with the cost estimate in mind from the very beginning. 

  • Accurate and detailed program
  • Can add complex details for design
  • A well-stocked library of aesthetic designs and free 3D models
  • Lumber sizes aren’t preloaded
  • Difficult to use for newcomers
  1. Fair Dinkum Designer

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Fair Dinkum Shed Design software is much like the Shed Boss app and comes from an Australian company that distributes steel buildings. It is free and easy to use, which draws users wishing to design their garden sheds, garages, barns, or carports. Users can ask for a quote after completing the design.

Why Did We Like It?

The app allows users to choose various shed styles and modify the design accordingly. Roof pitches, as well as shed dimensions, may be altered, while required additions can be made to the shed as well. The accessories like skylights, roof styles, and types of doors give designers various chances to creatively come up with a shed they like.

For those who don’t want to go to the trouble of designing a shed from scratch, there are numerous preloaded designs, which can be chosen and then edited until one is satisfied.

Apart from the numerous designing leeway’s, the app is free and easy for newcomers, making it ideal for amateur DIY shed designers. Thus, the Fair Dinkum Designer app is best suited to provide a realistic view of what the shed might look like.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The overall graphics of the app could surely use some improvements, while the lack of a cost estimate is a definite drawback. Users have to submit a completed design to get a quote. Moreover, the app is an offering from an Australian company, which is why measurements follow the metric system, making it inconvenient for Americans.

  • Free and easy to use
  • Good visualizations
  • Various options for accessories
  • No cost estimations
  • Measurements in the metric system only
  • Can’t zoom to see the design better
  1. Studio Shed Design App

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Studio Shed has already made a name for itself as a company which contracts designer sheds to local installers nationwide. Now, their tool is deliberately simplistic, but if used in the right manner, the end product can look thoroughly professional. It is a great way to visualize the shed style one wants to build or install.

Why Did We Like It?

Before getting a shed, one is often confused about what kind of structure they want. The app allows users to visualize it easily. This is especially true if you want to focus on the size of the shed. There are 11 preset sizes to make a choice from, and the app also offers a plethora of paint options.

Thus, users can opt for the paints or finishes they like, based on the aesthetics of their design. The app also allows one to select accessories for all the four walls, which includes doors and windows of different sizes, as well as any other necessary placements, one can create a really custom shed.

The built-in cost estimator is an added perk, as it tallies the price depending on the construction.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The Studio Shed Design app has several areas of improvement, including adding an option for interior design, which the basic package currently lacks but let’s be honest, most can imagine what our garden shed will look like and how it will be organized. There are also no framing specifications or information regarding how one must build the foundation of the shed they’ve designed. It is merely a visualization tool and doesn’t provide a detailed blueprint.

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Great for external visualizations
  • Limited materials and sizes
  • Can’t plan the framing
  1. Chief Architect

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If you’re familiar with Shed Designer, you will have heard of Chief Architect, which is a shed designing software aimed at professionals. It helps users create designs that are functional and aesthetically pleasing. The software also aims at including all details a shed designer might require, which can be easily implemented after navigation.

Why Did We Like It?

Chief Architect stands out from others since the program is built to take in dimensional lumber. Framing a shed is easy, and users can get to work soon after. Since people have the choice of working in both 2D and 3D, one can work on a wall and then choose to see how the entire shed looks.

The material choice is impressive, and users can adequately deal with roofing, siding, and what materials are needed in framing as well. After the shed has been designed, the app provides specs for the kinds of foundations needed. Whether one wants a concrete pad, skids, or piers, the app informs them where it has to be put.

Finally, the professional app allows the placement of electrical components to create an effective wiring plan for the custom shed.

What Could’ve Been Better?

There’s not much to improve on, since the Chief Architect app is for professionals. But, the app might appear complex to newcomers who would benefit from tutorials and a more watered-down interface. Moreover, the features come at quite a high price, which can be offset by a longer trial period.

  • Designs professional shed plans
  • Great visualization for all designs
  • Extensive choice in materials
  • Costly
  • Tough to use for newcomers
  1. Revit

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Although Autodesk’s offering, Revit, is aimed at professionals who know their way around computer-assisted design programs, novices flock to using it as well. The software is popular among those who choose to design sheds with immense detail. While it might be tough to navigate at first, Revit’s features make it worth the time.

Why Did We Like It?

Despite several details, Revit is quite easy to use. Designing is rather seamless since the program has settings allowing the use of dimensional lumber. Moreover, the intuitive program knows what to do once a user adds overall dimensions.

The shed wall is adequately populated as Revit creates windows and ceilings too. Users have the choice of opting for the kind of roof style, shed design, or foundation that they want. Once the shed design is created, edits can be made by simply changing the dimensions. As a final step, Revit provides all the detailed drawings, which include all dimensions needed in constructing the shed.

On top of that, the professional app comes with a trial period, which is adequate to design a top-notch shed.

What Could’ve Been Better?

As a professional app aimed at creating expert designs, Revit leaves little to be desired. But the software’s price is high and deters several potential users. Having a longer trial period might improve accessibility. Moreover, newcomers who find it hard to navigate could drastically benefit from tutorials familiarizing them with the software’s functionalities but there is a very steep learning curve.

  • Great for visualization
  • Can create a list of built-in materials
  • Plans are ready for contractors
  • Costly
  • Not easy to use for newcomers
  1. CADPro

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The software is yet another offering aimed at professionals, but easy enough to be used by amateurs as well. It is packed with features, which help create the best designs once one knows their way around CADPro. Ultimately, it provides value for money thanks to the competitive pricing of the software.

Why Did We Like It?

The best part about CADPro is its architectural mode, which allows one to place dimensional lumber easily. The software also allows alternate dimensions to be put in if needed. If one doesn’t want to make their own design, CADPro also has the option to provide designs that can be used with the shed. This extends to roof and shed styles.

Not only is the program simple to operate, but it also allows one to do a variety of things. For example, the framing automatically adjusts to include a door or window. Moreover, fixtures, electrical layouts, and receptacles can also be added as required.

Finally, the pricing of CADPro makes it an obvious choice for those who wish to use a professional program that packs numerous exciting features.

What Could’ve Been Better?

CADPro is limited in several ways, chief of which is its sole availability on Windows. Moreover, the design is quite dated, with numerous menus making the program hard to navigate. Beginners might find it tough to complete tasks, and the limited online tutorials don’t offer much assistance either. The program also has a non-intuitive design, which can be greatly improved.

  • Numerous professional options
  • Cheaper
  • Accurate plans for framing
  • Dated and clunky design
  • Limited online assistance
  1. Woodcraft

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While Woodcraft is primarily meant for woodworking, the app comes in handy for smaller structures like decks or sheds too. It is mainly aimed at mobile users, and the simple interface has been designed keeping beginners in mind. Since the app sticks with the basics, it eschews numerous features for ease of use and accessibility.

Why Did We Like It?

Upon using Woodcraft, it becomes evident that the app is squarely focused on basic functions. Thus, one can create or select the lumber size before they begin coming up with the framing. There are preloaded structures, as well, that can be edited to suit the designer’s individual needs. The presence of online guides and tutorials is an added perk for newcomers.

The precise lumber measurements are certainly laudable since they make the design accurate. Woodcraft also provides a bill for the materials used in the structure, which helps one understand the possible cost of the project. One can design extras to add to the shed, though there are no pre-existing options available on the app. It is the perfect choice for those who want a basic plan for a shed.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Striving to focus on the basics also has its drawbacks, and Woodcraft could be vastly improved in a couple of ways. Firstly, the current app doesn’t have the option to design exterior and interior finishes for surfaces. Thus, siding, interior cladding, or roofing is not possible. Similarly, the app does not have provisions for designing a finished structure.

  • Great ability for manipulating materials
  • Inexpensive
  • Great mobile capabilities
  • Can’t choose materials for finishing
  • No options for visualization
  1. Rhino 3D Design

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The program is a fine choice for those who want to model the exteriors of structures and visualize how it might look. Rhino 3D Design comes stacked with features. Thus, on the one hand, users have access to options that can make the design professional. But, if one doesn’t learn to navigate the app, project completion becomes hard.

Why Did We Like It?

The program has the capability to allow users to design anything they might imagine and is used for professional architectural purposes. Thus, there’s no need to draft lumber dimensions to scale here, before framing.

One can use 3D models of drawings to get an idea of what their design might be like, and users can easily create structures like walls, openings, and roofs. Rhino stands out even more since one can add color and texture to the designs, allowing for incredibly realistic renderings.

DIY designers can also make siding and roofing to match the required materials. Ultimately, if the designing process seems to be too complex, there are numerous preset options which can be used to help users build sheds. Thus, this app is best for those who want to visualize the shed without putting in every value.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Due to the professional nature of the program, there is little scope for betterment. But, Rhino could work on the pricing, which is rather steep for DIY designers. At the same time, it is best suited for those who have experience with CAD and some knowledge about construction. Thus, the program should aim at improving accessibility.

  • Best at visualization
  • Can design any shed needed
  • Complete customization of external materials
  • Expensive
  • Tough to use for non-professionals
  1. Udesignit 3D Garage Shed

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It is similar to most of the basic garage shed designing apps. The Udesignit offers a lot of assistance to beginners thanks to the Help menu. The pointers help in rendering a satisfactory shed that one wishes to build. The basic features make the app preferred among several DIY designers.

Why Did We Like It?

The two things that immediately become evident is that Udesignit is easy to use. The app’s interface and numerous tips help in making the experience seamless. One can simply choose the unit they want and set the dimensions for the exterior before choosing to create a 3D rendering.

The directions can be customized as needed, to suit the user’s design for a particular shed. Since the designers can select the roofing and siding options, they have the added benefit of customizing the shed even further.

Finally, the Udesignit 3D Garage Shed app provides an estimated price for the materials used, which helps formulate an idea about how much the actual construction of the shed would cost. Users flock to it since the app provides the core features coupled with easy user experience.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The basic nature of the app leaves scope for improvements. Upon using Udesignit, it becomes clear that controls don’t work all the time properly. Sometimes it is tricky to undo some action taken while making the design. There have also been complaints from many who’ve found trouble even selecting the color for the shed, due to faulty controls. Thus the app should immediately work on it to retain users.

  • Provides an estimate of material costs
  • Easy usage
  • 3D rendering available
  • Limited design options and features
  • External dimensions can’t be set

Shed design software 3

Shed Software FAQs

Why use a shed design software?

Ultimately, one has got to ask themselves why to use these shed design software. A virtual rendering firstly gives users an idea of what they want to create in a custom shed. With a drawing or plan in hand, the construction itself becomes quicker and easier, be it carport, garden shed, storage shed, whatever you need, it is easier to build or order with a proper plan.

Furthermore, having a plan beforehand helps one know the materials that’ll be needed in construction. In turn, those who want to build sheds might buy these materials beforehand, or snag deals, reducing the cost of building the shed.

Are shed softwares hard for people who are not tech-savvy?

No, not all shed softwares are difficult for non-tech-savvy people. Admittedly, some of the professional options might be out of bounds, but there are programs and apps for beginners designing sheds. These have helpful tips and easy interfaces, which create a positive user experience.

What is the advantage of a 3D design?

While one can work on a 2D format while designing part of the shed, the 3D design helps provide a complete picture. It puts together all the work on the individual aspects and delivers a rendering of the garden shed or storage shed, which shows the user how it will look in real life. The softwares with better visualizations, especially, have the edge here.

Are shed design softwares expensive?

Yes, shed design softwares can be expensive, especially the professional ones. Some subscriptions run to thousands of dollars. But the pricey ones have trial periods which are long enough to design a shed.

Alternatively, users can opt for the basic software, many of which are absolutely free. Those who wish to walk the line can try semi-professional options, where the pricing is low, but the program still offers the same features one would get in professional software.

Shed design software 4

Final Words

We have provided you with a list of some of the finest softwares, they are not all purposefully designed for sheds but they can make great shed design software. While some might want to jump into the construction process, using these programs to create a rendering of the shed will only make building it easier, with proper planning, you will have your own shed with less headaches.

Understandably, you might be confused about which app best suits your needs. Keep in mind that the more professional apps definitely have numerous features but are much harder to use.

Meanwhile, the basic apps are easier, and users can access them for free. Depending on your comfort level, you can make a choice, but we assure you that the best programs listed here provide seamless experiences.

That said, you can always reach out to us and let us know how your garden shed shed or storage shed designing experience has been. Till next time, keep designing!

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