Beginner’s Guide to Floor Plan Creation [Free Software List Included]

Floor plans are essential while designing or building an architectural structure. One of the features that make a floor plan good is its ability to maintain a nice flow between the spaces.

The floor designs are usually created by drafters or architects. It is then used by the contractors and engineers to build the property. Its purpose is to provide a detailed representation of the property. The details usually include the dimension, fixture, and spatial relationships.

Before you start creating the floor plans, it is necessary to get a brief idea about its concept. That is why, in the article, you will learn about the floor plan, its use, and the best tips and steps to create them.

You will also get to know some of the best software that is available for free and can help with floor plan creation.

What is a Floor Plan?

A floor plan is the top-view diagram of a room or an entire building structure drawn to scale. It is mainly used for architectural design and construction by architects and engineers. Besides, it can also be used as a marketing tool by real estate agents and companies to rent or sell a property.

Importance of Floor Plan

A basic floor plan design offers the needed insights into the building details. It usually includes the room measurements, window locations, furniture, traffic patterns, and more. This means it is not just useful to the architects and property agents but also the buyers.

Buyers can effectively use the house plans to check if the proposed building structure suits their requirements. Even if it doesn’t suit, it is not a problem anymore. With modern technology, they can now customize it according to their needs.

Tips to Remember while Drawing a Floor Plan

From the above, it was quite clear what value a floor plan drawing holds for architectural design and construction. So, if you have decided to create them, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

By following these tips, you can save time and lots of trouble while drawing the floor designs.

  1. Put your measuring tape flat on the floor while measuring the room dimensions.
  2. Avoid lining furniture along the walls.
  3. Check out the projecting windowsills while laying the furniture.
  4. Do not put the computer monitors facing the windows to avoid glare.
  5. Leave enough space in front of doors or cabinets.
  6. Furniture should sit 2-3 inches away from the wall.
  7. Leave at least 30 inches of space for a residential walkway and 36 inches for a public space.

How to Draw a Basic Floor Plan?

Here are some simple steps to help beginners draw an efficient floor plan.

Step 1: Area

Identify the size and shape of the building to be drawn. If the building already exists, determine the area of the desired room or floor.

Step 2: Measurement

Accurately measure the doors, walls, and furniture elements. You can also inspect other buildings built in similar areas to estimate the floor plans.

Step 3: Walls

Add walls with the desired thickness for each room of the building.

Step 4: Features

Add different architectural features to the plan to make the plan look better. For example, you can add doors, windows, refrigerators, plants, grass, etc.

Step 5: Furniture

Add furniture or décor elements to give the house plans a homely feel. You may add beds, sofas, cabinets, and many more.

11 Best Floor Plan Software in 2021 for Free

Now that you have learned how to draw a floor plan, let us move to the next question.
Which is the best software for creating floor plans?
The answer to this question will depend on your requirements.

Do you need to create a 2D floor plan or 3D drawing? Are you looking for software that can create house plan drawings for free? Or are you ready for a little investment?

Well, all the software we are about to mention is available for free use. Paid options are also available. So, get an idea about them and choose the desired software.

Note: Beginners can use the below software for practice. These can help in creating both basic and advanced house plan designs. Yet, the software mentioned here is only suitable for residential and commercial purposes. It can't be used for industrial floor planning.

  1. RoomSketcher

    Availability: Both free and paid

    It was formerly known as RoomSketcher Home Designer. Both beginners and professionals can use this software for their house drawing needs. Apart from that, it can also aid with creating 3D walkthroughs, 360-degree panoramic photos, etc.

    Key Features:

    • Allows customizing with varied colors and textures
    • Offers accurate measurements of floor plans
    • Possesses a database of furniture and fixture
    • Supports 2D, 3D, and live 3D designs
    • Supports printing and downloading
  2. Floorplanner

    Availability: Both free and paid

    This application will help you to draw innovative and detailed 2D or 3D floor plans in minutes. The editor can run in any web browser. It also employs the best features for developing attractive architectural designs.

    Key Features:

    • Provides an image library for furniture
    • Is equipped with an auto-furnish feature
    • Allows easy importing and exporting of designs
    • Supports interactive floor plan creation
    • Offers features for photorealistic rendering, VR walkthroughs, 360-panorama
  3. SmartDraw

    Availability: Both free and paid

    It is one of the best software and can be used as an all-in-one drawing tool. It means that you can use it to create floor plans, flowcharts, or org charts. The application can be accessed from any device or web browser and can create floor plans in minutes.

    Key Features:

    • Offers drag and drop functionality
    • Supports file sharing and collaboration
    • Contains ready-to-use templates and architectural symbols
    • Can be exported to Google Docs, Google Sheets, and MS Office
    • Streamlines designing with intelligent formatting
  4. SketchUp

    Availability: Both free and paid

    The tool is user-friendly and contains robust features for architectural drafting and modeling. Even the basic version has ample tools to help with the creation of 3D designs and models. It can be employed during any stage of the design and construction process.

    Key Features:

    • Supports importing/ exporting of reference files
    • Offers a storage space of 10GB
    • Supports model viewing on hand-held devices
    • Is a robust 3D modeler
    • Supports 3D rendering
  5. Civil 3D

    Availability: Both free and paid

    The software is designed by AutoDesk and offers BIM solutions. The free version is available for 3 years while the paid one comes with a monthly or yearly subscription. Several civil engineering and construction companies use it for creating 3D home designs.

    Key Features:

    • Supports plan sheet generation
    • Features property labeling and overlap resolution tools
    • Allows integration with AutoCAD, AutoDesk, Navisworks, and Revit products
    • Possesses a traverse editor
    • Helps with survey and analysis of elevation
    • Contains dynamic offset profiles
    • Supports geospatial analysis
  6. Roomle

    Availability:

    This room planning module can help you to create interactive floor plans in both 2D and 3D. The digital configurator can also help furniture designers to showcase and market their stocks.

    Key Features:

    • Supports virtual walkthroughs
    • Allows easy embedding of designs
    • Provides easy sharing options
    • Enables to white label the design
    • Contains a 3D product database
  7. AutoCAD LT

    Availability: Both free and paid

    This software helps with the creation of detailed floor plans and technical diagrams. It runs on both Mac and Windows operating systems. It can be used to create 2D drawings and documentation for all kinds of projects.

    Key Features:

    • Simple and intuitive interface
    • Facilitates easy storage or sharing of files
    • Enables creating, editing, and viewing files on all types of devices
    • Offers powerful 2D CAD drafting and documentation tools
    • Supports importing of PDF files
    • Supports intelligent dimensioning
  8. AutoCAD Architecture

    Availability: Both free and paid

    The toolset is bundled within AutoCAD and is best suited for the architect’s work. It is one of the best software for creating 3D house floor plans. The student version is available for free use and is only active for 3 years.

    Key Features:

    • Supports importing of Revit grids
    • Offers varied styles for AEC objects
    • Supports room documentation and annotation
    • Defining walls, doors, and windows are easier
    • Offers a renovation mode
  9. PlanningWiz Floor Planner
    Availability: Both free and paid

    This floor planner tool offers the ultimate solution to design and create floor plans. The tool is easy-to-use and can also help with designing the interior and exterior spaces. However, keep in mind that the free version won’t allow you to print or download files.

    Key Features:

    • Features WYSIWYG editor
    • Offers drag and drop functionality
    • Supports image import or upload
    • Can produce both 2D and 3D drawings
    • Contains a large database of windows, doors, walls, texture, and furniture
  10. Draft it
    Availability: Both free and paid

    It is one of the powerful 2D CAD drawing software designed by cadlogic. It helps users with drafting, detailing, and 3D modeling of architectural properties. It enables the importing of AutoCAD files, symbols, and design components.

    Key Features:

    • Offers powerful drawing and editing tools
    • Helps with accurate dimension and measurement
    • Supports 2D CAD design
    • Provides access to an extensive symbol library
  11. Sweet Home 3D
    Availability: Free

    This open-source tool is usually employed for interior designing. It can help you with creating house plans and arranging the furniture elements. It can run on various operating systems, like Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris, etc.

    Key Features:

    • Is available in 27 languages
    • Can be downloaded and accessed in the browser
    • Support 2D design and 3D viewing
    • Allows importing of blueprint
    • Offers compass rose to help with plan annotation
    • Supports furniture arrangement and rearrangement

Floor Plan Examples

Here are a few examples of floor plans which you can use as a reference.

Apartment Floor Plan Layout

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Small house floor plans

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Townhome Floor Plans & Elevations

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Office Floor Plans

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Master bedroom floor plans

1 bedroom floor plans

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2 bedroom floor plans

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Drawing a floor plan is critical for the building creation process. There is no going back once the walls are built. So, take the required time to brainstorm ideas and create accurate floor plans with dimensions.

As for beginners, creating a floor design can be difficult at first. But with time, you will eventually get the idea to develop great designs. A piece of advice is to practice and keep patience.

There will also be times when you will run out of ideas or may not be happy with how the floor plan turned out. In that case, getting a second opinion from the experts can help you go a long way.