Floor plans are the layout designs of a house drawn to scale. They illustrate the location of windows, walls, stairs, bathroom fixtures, room sizes, and furniture placement. Floor plans can also include outdoor areas.
Creating a floor plan is an essential part of interior designing, architectural plans, and construction. It allows you to visualize the way your home will look – the room dimensions, its 3D interior design aspects, etc.
Designing a floor plan helps in deciding the home interiors, including construction dimensions, material needed, and how the furniture and fittings will fit. Floor plans are used by real estate marketers, contractors, and interior decorators to give a real picture of the house design to the clients
Creating a floor plan is the first step in starting a home construction project. Floor plans can be in 2D or 3D design. But a three dimension plan is better as it gives you a scale and height perspective and is easier to understand in terms of interior designs.
Earlier, floor plans were drawn on a drafting table, and now with technology entering almost all aspects of our lives, there are many software available that do the job.
Here is a list of the best 3D floor plan and interior design software in the market:
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Virtual Architect Ultimate
- It is easy to learn, and it comes with many features and tools. It has nine pre-designed floor plans which can be customized to suit your needs.
- It allows you to create a 3D floor plan from scratch if you want. There are pre-programmed designs, but if that does not work for you, there are designing wizards that will help you create the best 3D floor plan along with the interior design from ground zero.
- Get a 3D interior design of your kitchen, bedrooms, patio, outdoors and more.
- Importantly, it comes with an in-built cost calculator. It advises on the type of material best suited for your chosen designs and calculates the amount of material you will need for your designs.
- It is ideal for small projects and is pocket-friendly.
- It has a roof wizard, allows you to import floor plans, and has the drag and drop interface. It is a basic planner.
- It allows you to create 3D floor plans.
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- This software allows you to build illustrated 3D design floor plans and you can edit the style settings.
- The software’s geometric specifications are advanced where interior designers, architects, and contractors can measure to the last decimal.
- The geometric tools are precise and leave no margin for error.
- Designers can export floor plans as a PDF (the software recommends it) as PDF formats of floor plans, including the text and measurement specifications, are of a high standard.
- The software provides detailed furniture layouts, precise placement, color, and texture.
- It is a very convenient software for interior decorators to create the best 3D floor plans.
- There are other features like comprehensive key symbols, a notes section for client information regarding design and construction specifications, and more.
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Here is a list of the best free interior design and 3D floor plans software available in the market:
- Planner 5D: Planner 5D is the most extensive free room-design tool on the market. It comes with the options of creating 3D floor plans, 3D interior designs and layouts, landscaping, and pool designs. It has a huge gallery and a drop and drags feature.
- Home Hardware Design Centre: They have an extensive interior design gallery, storage, and kitchen designs. All their designs are cloud-based, hence no downloading is required. They have a very easy interface. You can even upload 3D floor and design plans of your home and build on that.
- Ikea Home Planner Tools: The home designing software is for decorating with Ikea products. It allows you to create 3D floor plans and designs for bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, offices, and living room.
- Space Designer: It allows you to decorate the interiors of your home directly on the website. One can even plan a whole house layout on this software. Designs can be 2D or 3D. Space Designer also offers businesses the option of hosting their software on the website as a design platform opportunity for customers.
There are many more such free software that home-grown newbie interior designers and professionals can make use of like Design a Room, Autodesk Homestyler, The Home Renovator, and Sweet Home 3D.
Before you invest in software or outsource the interior designing, here are some essential aspects of the process that you should keep in mind.
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Some aspects to keep in mind while creating a 3D floor plan:
- Remember that though a floor plan is fixed, a family’s needs change with time. So the interior designing should be done in a manner that allows for renovations and changes in the future.
- The outdoors should also be incorporated in the indoor designs. Where is the house sitting, the view, the position of the sunlight vis a vis the windows? You need to do the interior designs and layout keeping in mind the air flow and sunlight.
- Be practical in creating floor plans. While making plans for the interior designs; going all modern and high-tech may not be the answer. Plan according to the location and your family interactions. Having a foyer or a mudroom incorporated in the design will work if you are in an outdoorsy space or you socialize a lot, a space to welcome guests and to keep their coats shoes, etc is good.
- Some old-fashioned concepts that do not work in modern times where people are too busy to interact with each other. Creating an open floor plan with fluid, functional spaces will allow more interactions.
- Plan according to the family members. If there are young ones in the house, too many balconies can be hazardous. Design the interiors in such a way that you can keep an eye on them when you create a play area.
- If there are elderly people in the house, then the bathroom design, stairs, bedrooms, and floors should incorporate safety standards like railings, easy steps, anti-skid floors, etc.
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The best floor plan creators or designers should prioritize your needs, personality, and family dynamics. Are you an extrovert, entertain a lot, have kids or elderly parents, or have a budget? In short, balance good design with your practical needs.
Consult experts when you are stumped by a generic floor plan. Most importantly, have consistency, uniformity in proportions, and a spatial flow for a smoother workflow.
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