Inexpensive Architectural Design Software

Architectural design software is renowned for being expensive for the major products that are on the market, especially the packages considered as Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. Many designers are looking for something less expensive. That may be due to limited financial resources to spend on software, or to the lack of a need for something more expensive and powerful. This article is devoted to mentioning some architectural design software packages available for less than $2500.

This will not be an in-depth analysis of the various packages to help you determine which one is right for you. You will need to research them on your own, but this will hopefully make you aware of some packages that are available. They will be listed in order of price, beginning with the least expensive.


  • The current version is V14 and is $2295.00.
  • A product of Furukawa Information Technology, Inc.
  • This is listed first because you can download a copy for Free of their re-release of CADVANCE Version 6.5. It was designed for Windows 3.1, but yet also runs on Windows 95/98, NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home, and Windows XP Pro.  (I was not able to install it on my 64-bit Windows 7 system.)


  • The standalone version is FREE.
  • A product of Dassault Systèmes.
  • While this is not an architectural package, I am listing it since you can get a copy of it for free and it allows you to work with the non-BIM versions of AutoCAD.


  • Current version is 14.
  • DataCAD LT price for new (called First) license is $295.00
  • The regular DataCAD version is priced at $1295.00 for a new (called First) license

Chief Architect Home Designer Pro

Punch! Home and Landscape Design Architectural Series

Solid Builder Building Blocks Design Software


  • Current version is 2013.
  • Pricing for new license is $1200.00 from Autodesk.
  • This software can be purchased at many outlets for less price.  I found it for $980.00 at Amazon.
  • This is not specifically an architectural design software, but is included only due to the popularity of the AutoCAD software.


  • The SoftPlan Lite version is $1285.00
  • SoftPlan Version 14 is $1885.00
  • Installment payment plan is available

2 thoughts on “Inexpensive Architectural Design Software

  1. DraftSight From Dassault Systemes
    Excellent 2D CAD system – download and try it free today from
    Full compatibility with DWG/DXF file formats R12-2012 (2013 coming soon. . .)
    Product is absolutely free for the standalone version

    Premium version features network license, full API (LISP, COM, VB, etc), PDM integration and technical support.
    Pricing: $1,250 for five floating network licenses, $250 per additional license

  2. Pingback: Software – The Cost of Doing Business | Applying Technology to Architecture

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