Bayport, Minn.-based Andersen Windows has developed a new online tool that allows users to visualize how walls will look with windows and doors."Most rooms have four walls and only one floor, so attention to wall plan design is important," says Cameron Snyder, the company's brand public relations manager.

Snyder says the idea for an online design tool came as a result of consumer requests so it was designed with consumers in mind. Still, it can be used by builders and contractors to design with clients. "It's for tradespeople who do not have design services," he explains. These individuals, Snyder adds, often perform design services with pencil and paper.

The WindowCentrics Wall Planner at takes users through the process of computer-aided design. It allows users to choose a wall shape from 16 available templates and then select from six families of windows and patio doors. "As users go through the design process, the tool comes up with actual windows and doors from the 400 Series," Snyder says. Pre-designed window and door combinations or individual units can then be dropped into the virtual wall space.

In addition to the design and layout, the tool allows users to personalize their design by selecting window trim stain and color options and adding color and texture to the wall. Ghost images of everyday household items such as furniture, people, pets, and plants also can be used to demonstrate scale. A click-on link toggles between the interior and an exterior view, which can be customized in the same way. Once the design window plan is done, it can be saved as a PDF file for sharing.

For people in need of a little inspiration to get started, the Andersen Wall Planner offers a photo library that automatically generates window combinations inspired by real homes. The program also automatically adjusts the design options to account for the limits of product manufacturing and construction parameters.

"Windows and doors can do more for the appearance of your home than any other element of construction," Snyder says, adding that "the free online program eliminates much of that guesswork and allows anyone to have fun with window and wall designs, regardless of their knowledge or skills."

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Anderson, IN.