Before investing in a new kitchen renovation, homeowners should consider kitchen software.
Kitchen design software provides a 3D model of a proposed new kitchen so that the homeowner, architect, and contractors can review and tweak the kitchen floor plans and design before any materials are purchased or construction starts.
Kitchen design software allows the homeowner, architect, and anyone else involved in the design process to arrange and optimize the layout of kitchen elements in a three-dimensional model. Appliances, counter space, cabinetry, and workspaces can be laid out and checked for ergonomic function and aesthetic value. This will help avoid expensive surprises that become apparent only after construction is well under way.
A good software package will allow the kitchen designer to validate clearances between cabinet doors, how the placement of large white goods (refrigerator, dishwasher, trash compacter) affects and strongly contributes to the characteristic of the contemporary kitchen. The software should also allow realistic depiction of surfaces and provide a variety of light perspectives.
Many equipment vendors and kitchen suppliers can provide data models that allow a precise model of their products to be imported to a design project. This can provide crucial clearance information for integration and function, better compliance with electrical and mechanical codes, and allows a chef to evaluate the optimal location for fired equipment (ovens, stoves), counter top work spaces, islands, and supplementary refrigeration and cold storage.
At one time, kitchen design software required specialized graphics hardware and expensive workstation hardware. No more–nearly all packages will run on the IBM PC platform under Windows, the Mac, on Linux, or on some combination of all three. The software can be especially useful on site where precise measurements can be entered directly into the software.
Color evaluation is another important feature of a comprehensive kitchen design system. Kitchen equipment, wall coverings, paint colors, and trim can all be simulated and shown under various lighting conditions.
Kitchen design software provides a variety of views to suit each step of the design process. A basic blueprint allows for rough placement of appliances and work areas. A full 3D representation of the kitchen yields a surprisingly accurate visual representation of the final product under a number of lighting and environmental conditions. A complete bill of materials for the project can be generated, and some kitchen design packages will do cost optimization via material planning.
Kitchen design software prices vary. The more expensive packages generally do a better job of simulation, particularly in accurate rendition of small details. Others kitchen design software packages are targeted to specific markets, such as cabinet makers or paint companies. Some vendors provide a web-based design tools free for use on their web sites. These can be useful when evaluating a specific manufacturerâ€™s product, but these services generally fall short when trying to develop a comprehensive design for an entire kitchen.
Kitchen design software can prevent greater headaches further down the road by helping the homeowner and contractors honor the age old construction adage: measure twice, and cut once.