Kitchen designers say computer-assisted design (CAD) tools can help homeowners plan for a new or updated kitchens, but few actually use them. CAD software allows users to position “virtual” appliances, cabinets, islands, and so on within a kitchen project. “Computer-assisted designs can be a place to start the conversation with the customer,” asserts Tony Dello Buono, an owner of Signature Kitchens. CADs enable homeowners to form a basic floor plan, determine the position of different kitchen elements, and determine counter dimensions, among other things. Some programs are available online, such as Google’s SketchUp, HGTV’s home design software, and 3D Home Architect. The price tag of the programs range from zero to about $50. Software programs for professionals, in contrast, require ample training and cost thousands of dollars. Tools like 20-20 allow professional designers to generate a fully three-dimensional kitchen plan. Jeff Chinman of Canac Kitchens says homeowners who use CADs should start off by putting in all of the appliances. | Read More