Better Homes & Gardens: Planning Your Home
Better Homes & Gardens: Planning Your Home is a CD-ROM aimed at those still in the early stages of researching custom-built homes. The disc offers a veritable smorgasbord of home plans, “virtual walk-throughs,” and design tools, along with a smattering of advice about home financing and working with builders. Despite some questionable taste in some of the models offered (i.e., the tacky “Stone Briar” model), this disc can be quite useful to a prospective buyer. The financial sheets offer plug-in calculations of your ability to secure a home loan (we eagerly plugged in our writer’s salary and discovered we were pre-qualified to purchase a cardboard box in a bad neighborhood), and the tips provided regarding the financing and building process are useful. But the real strength of the program lies in the inclusion of more than 500 home plans, all of which can be edited with the included CAD program. The plans, viewable (and printable) as 2D floor plans or 3D isometrics, cover a broad range of home styles and sizes. The CAD program is quite powerful, offering tons of pre-drawn symbols, scaled furniture, and tools for customizing or altering the plans. Toss in the gratuitous multimedia fun of Quicktime VR tours of more than a dozen model homes, and Planning Your Home comes up a winner.
– June 1996