Floorplan Drawing Software

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-13-09, 10:16 AM
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,140
Likes Received: 110
Floorplan Drawing Software

I have a number of rental properties and I want to create simple floorplan drawings so I can print an information sheet about the houses. Does anyone know of a simple floorplan drawing software package?

I want a simple and relativley inexpensive package which rules out AutoCad and even SmartDraw seems overly complex and expensive. Most of what I have seen tries to include 3D and gets too complex. I just want to quicly draw basic floorplans with walls, doors, windows,cabinets and include room dimensions and then save/export the drawing in .jpg format so I can use it in my MS Publisher to create my house information sheets.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-14-09, 12:43 AM
Rock Stone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 22
Try Google SketchUp for free.

Google SketchUp

It can be used in 2 or 3D
 
  #3  
Old 03-14-09, 05:33 PM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Pilot Dane,

For your necessities, there are basically 2 types of programs--> The Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs and the Home Design programs

A CAD program works with lines, shapes, etc and the main feature is the precision. This means that you can draw (for example) a rectangle with a precision of 1/256 of an inch. however the program doesn't know if you drew a wall or a machine or a shelf. A good CAD program costs +/- 1K (Autocad is about $5K) and you will need an additional module for rendering purposes. CAD programs usually have a looong learning curve and they are more intended for professional use

The Home Design programs work with walls, doors, roofs, etc and the main feature is the fact that the program understands your drawing. So if you draw a wall with a certain height, thickness, material, etc, a Home Design program will keep this info and will use it for rendering purposes, for material estimation, etc. Here, we are talking of about $100.00 to $500.00
You will get offers for less of the amounts above, but I'd suggest to avoid the cheap software, because usually they are old and not supported versions like the Broderbund's old versions (V8 and older)

There are 3 programs you can check--> Punch, Best Home and Gardens and Turboflooplan.
Punch is a good program. Most of the Punch programs have a Power Tool called 3D workshop so you can create / import your own furniture, accessories, etc. They release a new program each year or less, and usually, you can upgrade for $19.99. Avoid the NexGen series. They have a demo versions (Try Platinum)
Better Home and Gardens. This program started as a sub-product of the Magazine, however, now is powered by Chief Architect, so is a little better than it was. However, you can't create your own furniture, etc. They don't have a demo versions
Turbo Floorplan is rather new, so I don't know how the upgrades will work. I used IMSI's Floorplan in the past and it was not a bad program. They don't have a demo versions

I hope these comments help, but let me know if you have additional questions
 
  #4  
Old 03-16-09, 09:03 AM
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,140
Likes Received: 110
Thank you for the replies. I have used AutoCad for many years and have downloaded the trial SmartDraw but both are more expensive and complex than my needs. I am looking for something really quick and basic to create a simple floorplan like you might see in a small newspaper add.

I'll take a look at the softwares you mentioned. Many years ago I tried the Punch software but I'll look into a newer version. And as I type this I am downloading Google SketchUp to give it a try.
 
  #5  
Old 03-16-09, 12:01 PM
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,140
Likes Received: 110
I have installed Google SketchUp but it is not going well. I immediatley found one problem (probably because I can not find the proper settings to change): I have not found where I can set the dimensions to "snap to" or work to a certain grid or increment. Right now it is drawing to 1/16" I would like it to only draw in even inch or 3" increments.

I took a quick look at the Punch website. The Home & Landscape Design (about $50) looks pretty close to what I want. The quick start feature seems to be what I'm looking for. Does anyone know if a plan drawn in Home & Landsape design can be saved as a .jpg ?
 
  #6  
Old 03-16-09, 01:44 PM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Punch floorplans can be

1 - Printed as PDF and from there, you can save them as jpg, bmp, etc
2 - Exported as DWG / DXF
3 - Printed as DWF

Also you can
- perform a screenshot and open the plan with any graphic software
- print your plan (scaled or not)--> scan your plan--> save as jpg, bmp, etc
 
  #7  
Old 03-17-09, 05:26 AM
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,140
Likes Received: 110
I read a number of online reviews about Punch and it sounds like many of the same complaints I had 6-8 years ago still exist. I have downloaded the IMSI Turbo FloorPlan 3D and am giving it a try now. Unfortunatley IMSI wants you to create a login just to get any information about their software, but they will allow you to download the demo without logging in? Weird.
 
  #8  
Old 03-17-09, 06:10 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,319
Likes Received: 14
Hi Pilot and pmgca, I'm following your thread as I'm interested as well. Please let us know what you do and do not choose.

Thanks,
Bud
 
  #9  
Old 03-17-09, 06:37 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Bud,

In my work, I use different programs, and also, I am beta tester of some of them, so let me know exactly what do you need and I will be glad to help you
 
  #10  
Old 03-17-09, 06:45 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 994
I've used a program called 3D Home Architect. I think the latest version is around $40.
 
  #11  
Old 03-17-09, 07:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,319
Likes Received: 14
Hi pmgca, my needs sound very similar to pilots in that I need something quick and profesional to illustrate an existing home. I do energy audits, so a drawing is not required, but it would make it easier to point out where improvements should be made and where Infrared pictures were taken. Most importantly, it would convey my information more clearly to other auditors or contractors that might follow my work. Kind of like setting a good foundation.

A 2D floor plan would be most important, but I would also like to generate some "How To" drawings of my own to illustrate problems and solutions and some of these would want to be 3D.

I have built several homes and some commercial buildings so I seem to be the one everyone in my network comes to for design help. Setting up the drafting board to do a perspective just seems so old fashioned.

I'll be watching,
Thanks,
Bud
 
  #12  
Old 03-17-09, 07:48 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi md2lgyk,

3D Home Architect--> versions 3 to 8 were manufactured by Encore. Now, they don't support these versions any more. There are some volunteers online and that's all. I saw good offers of these versions but, I'd suggest to avoid them, as they are not supported. They released a new version 9... powered by Punch, and trust me, it is exactly the same program you can buy with Punch and get a better technical assistance directly with the manufacturer
 

Last edited by pmgca; 03-17-09 at 08:04 AM.
  #13  
Old 03-17-09, 08:03 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Bud,

Interesting.
A couple of programs--> Punch AS series and Home Design Suite by BHG (V7 and up) have a feature for 3D Walk-Through recording. So you can draw the plan and record your instructions. With this feature, there is not space for misunderstandings

Example: I developed a "movie" for an event planner. She was looking for a way to show her customers her ideas and instructions for a big opening, including music

Let me know if you need additional info
 
  #14  
Old 03-18-09, 09:37 AM
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,140
Likes Received: 110
Most tennants in my town do not have a computer so I need very basic diagrams (floorplans) to show the layout of houses. Something cool like 3D modeling or a walk-through movie, heck even a webpage is a waste of effort.

I keep finding that all floorplan software packages are too complex, though the IMSI demo I downloaded does work reasonably well. I'm wondering if I need to look for a simple CAD program. Something that will allow drawing simple thick lines for walls and add notes like room sizes.
 
  #15  
Old 03-18-09, 01:46 PM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Pilot

My last answer (animations, etc) was related with Bud's post...

Later today i will post a basic floorplan with Nextgen. It is really basic
 
  #16  
Old 03-18-09, 03:08 PM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Pilot

OK, this is a basic floorplan developed with Nexgen (Punch)
I am not an enthusiast of this program, but I think it will fit your needs
The dims are optional



Hope this helps
 
  #17  
Old 03-23-09, 06:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 994
Originally Posted by pmgca View Post
Hi md2lgyk,

3D Home Architect--> versions 3 to 8 were manufactured by Encore. Now, they don't support these versions any more. There are some volunteers online and that's all. I saw good offers of these versions but, I'd suggest to avoid them, as they are not supported. They released a new version 9... powered by Punch, and trust me, it is exactly the same program you can buy with Punch and get a better technical assistance directly with the manufacturer
Thanks for the info. I bought 3D HA a couple of years ago for my wife to design the retirement log house we're currently building. I don't even know what version it is, but don't expect to need it again any time soon.
 
  #18  
Old 03-26-09, 07:14 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
I've been watching this thread, too. I have Auto Cad, but the book looks like a stimulus package bill. Too formidable. I only have it to receive drawings from engineers, so I can review them. I just bought Punch Professional Platinum. It looks to have alot of "stuff" I can use in my remodeling business. Hope I didn't get a pig in a poke.
 
  #19  
Old 03-26-09, 10:11 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Chandler,

Punch Platinum is great sw, a very good cost / benefit investiment
Take a couple of days to play with it, and take advantage of the community forum, you will learn more in the forum than in the manual
 
  #20  
Old 03-27-09, 06:18 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
Thanks, Patricia. I tried to reply to your PM, but it wouldn't go, so thanks again. I paid $18 for it, so no big investment should I get too frustrated. I'll be back.
 
  #21  
Old 03-27-09, 07:37 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Chandler,

I sent a second PM
$19? That's a very good deal!!
What version is it?
 
  #22  
Old 03-27-09, 10:08 AM
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,140
Likes Received: 110
Thank you for the sample drawing from Nexgen. Turn off the dimensions and that is the level of detail I am looking for.
 
  #23  
Old 03-27-09, 11:06 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Pilot,

You're welcome!

Nexgen's price is about $50.00 (for the simple version), but you'll find it for less, probably at OfficeMax or Best Buy
 
  #24  
Old 03-27-09, 12:33 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
Patricia, not sure of version. Ebay pix wasn't all that great. Says Professional Home Design Suite Platinum, and has 16 different programs on it. Probably just an entry suite, but at least I can get my feet wet with it. Sorry for the hijack, PD.
 
  #25  
Old 04-08-09, 03:46 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 51
Not to dig up an old thread...but..

Have you Googled "floor plans"?

One thing you could use is one of the many Icovia web based programs. All the major furniture companies have a version you can use free of charge. You can print them from the program also.
Ashley Furniture's version: roomplanner.icovia.com/ashley/

There are also free grid paper printouts your could use to hand make your floor plan.

Ikea also has a simplistic room planner:
IKEA | Download planner

Another option:
Arrange-a-Room
 
  #26  
Old 04-08-09, 05:04 PM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi crabbyman

The thread is not too old and all the sugeestions are welcome

There are, indeed, lots of floorplan programs, several of them are free. But I think that you are talking about a different concept
The free programs provided by companies like IKEA or BHG are "furniture & decoration" oriented
This means that you can set a bedroom layout but you can't set a floorplan for a permit, just to mention an example. In other words, they are the electronic version of the old "napkin and pencil" set or the grid paper printouts you mentioned
This is not bad, of course, if you are trying to decide just about the best corner for your new sofa, but certainly they don't qualify as Floorplan drawing software
 
  #27  
Old 04-09-09, 03:47 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
Update....got the software, probably an original version, but very easy to use. The manual still rivals that of AutoCad, but who reads them anyway?? I like the constant wall measurements as you change them, drag lines, etc. Patricia, thanks for steering toward that program. Yeah, the price was right, and it was sealed.
 
  #28  
Old 04-09-09, 04:52 AM
pmgca's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: CANADA
Posts: 893
Hi Chandler,

Glad to know you liked the program

As always, for tricks and questions, I'd recommend the users' forum instead of the manual The topics are a little scrambled, but you can use the search button instead
There are also a couple of users' websites to get additional tricks and tutorials
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes