Well executed floor plans allow you to see the layout of your home in the early stages and visualise it in its full glory. It can help you make the necessary building and design decisions and save you much time, and possibly even money, in the long run.
What is a floor plan?
A floor plan is a diagram of a room or building created to scale. It is essentially a view from above so you can see at a glance, the measurements, layout, furniture, wiring and more, depending on how elaborate you wish to make the floor plans.
Floor plans allow you to create a home which is versatile in use and offers the best layout of each room possible. It ensures you give priority to the space, size, and flexibility of the home while incorporating your preferences and specific lifestyle into the project. A floor plan is a perfect way to ensure that the practical considerations of the house completely mesh with your needs.
How do I draw a floor plan?
While all software works differently, there are a few basic steps which will be common to all programs.
First, you will have to decide what it is you want to draw. Are you focusing on one room or the entire house? If you are designing a new home, then you will have to come up with designs based on the size and shape of the land on which you are building. Make sure that the total area of the model will fit on the block of your choice. If you are creating a floor plan for a building already in existence, then it is best if you can measure the walls and doors as well as any furniture to ensure its accuracy.
Generally speaking, you will begin with the walls. Make sure they are drawn to scale as much as possible. You can then add in the doors and windows and other important appliances which are location dependent. After that, you are free to add your furniture and other elements to finish off the floor plan.
If you are renovating, building or upgrading your home, then you have a myriad of virtual options when it comes to creating your own floor plans. You are no longer stuck with one choice for design software as there are plenty of offerings, both free and those that come with a fee. And what’s more, many of the programs and apps require no prior knowledge of design or architecture.
Software for Floor Plans
Have a browse through some of these titles and see which ones work best for you.
DreamPlan: DreamPlan is quite a bit cheaper than other paid for programs on the market, yet it offers plenty for the novice designer to sink their teeth into. It allows you to design in 3D and then automatically converts your plan into 2D complete with dimensions. With the ability to transform rooms with ease, you can also custom set your colours, texture and decorations.
Home Designer Suite: This software is around the $100 mark and offers design and building tools for any home project. It is also compatible with SketchUp, includes professional level CAD features and is suitable for all home designer enthusiasts. Simple to use, this is a popular program for many design and decorating enthusiasts.
Sweet Home 3D: Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design program that actually lets you view both 2D and 3D plans at the same time. It is an open source program that allows you to draw the full plan of your house or redecorate as you see fit.
Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design: While there is a one-off payment for the software, Virtual Architect Ultimate Home Design is suitable for home and interior design, remodelling and landscape. It also comes with thousands of graphics to help bring your ideas to life.
If you were interested in going one step further and creating 3D models of your home, then that too is possible. 3D software will give you plenty of room to play around when it comes to even the smallest design aspects such as paint colour and preferred furniture styles. In addition to the software listed above, also take the time to check out Planner 5D, Autodesk Homestyler and Roomstyler 3D Home Planner as a starting point. Failing that, The Home Renovator, Home By Me and SmartDraw also offer a range of great 3D features to try out. In truth, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a suitable floor plan program.
Apps for Floor Plans
In addition to software, there are also design apps available.
Home Design 3D: Home Design 3D offers three versions for use on both Android and Apple devices. You have the choice of purchasing the free version, the classic version or the Gold Edition. The app allows you to draw your rooms in either 2D or 3D while offering you the ability to make adjustments for wall height and thickness for absolute accuracy.
Magic Plan: Magic Plan is available for both Android and Apple devices and can create user-friendly floor plans in no time at all. While it may not be as detailed as free or paid-for design software, it is still a good option if you are limited for time.
Floor Plan Creator: Floor Plan Creator is available for Android devices and gives you the opportunity to create floor plans in 3D. This handy little app also allows you to have your floor plan with you when you go furniture shopping to confirm whether your potential purchase will fit into the allocated space.