Putting together a floor plan is a mixture of science and art, and there are all sorts of factors at play which will determine whether your particular design succeeds or falls short.
One of the key elements is the software you pick to assist you, as this is a competitive and diverse market with plenty of packages to consider.
To help you decide, we’ll first talk about the things you need to look for in floor plan software, then discuss the best practices for creating designs that work well every time.
Use software that lets you easily duplicate your floor plans
Any good floor plan maker needs to be flexible in terms of how it displays your designs, and being able to duplicate them in several ways is definitely useful.
For example, software that can let you work on a two-dimensional design, then easily replicate this as a 3D render which gives you a better idea of what the finished premises will look like, is obviously an advantage. Likewise, if previous floor plan designs can be duplicated in future, they can form templates so that you don’t have to start from scratch with each new project.
Better yet, if the tool can show 2D and 3D views simultaneously, you can save a lot of time when making adjustments to your design.
Pick packages that are user-friendly
You want your floor plan software to be easy to get to grips with, providing a user interface that is intuitive and doesn’t suffer from a steep learning curve.
This should not come at the expense of functionality, of course, so it is always sensible to take prospective floor plan packages for a test drive to see how they feel from a usability perspective.
Opt for services that embrace shareability and collaboration
Lastly, every modern software package has to consider the aspect of collaboration in its design; if multiple users can’t join forces to work on projects together, or share their designs with colleagues and clients, the tool will be of limited use.
Thankfully the top software solutions in the floor plan arena do deliver on the promise of in-depth collaborative capabilities.
Floor plan design tips
When creating a floor plan, there’s no point making common beginners’ mistakes, so keep the following tips in mind as you get started.
Arrange and connect rooms logically
If the rooms of a building aren’t interconnected and arranged in a way that takes into account what they will be used for, it’s a bad omen for the whole build.
From the flow of a family home and the living spaces, it contains, to the organization of a commercial building, using rigorous logic rather than pure aesthetics will serve you well in your floor plan designs.
Remember entrances and exits
Doors and windows are a must for any floor plan, and yet they can be overlooked or added too late. It’s all about ensuring there are adequate entrances and exits both for convenience’s sake and for safety.
In addition, you need to work out where natural light will be getting into each room, and how the orientation of the building will relate to where windows are positioned.
An excellent way to see if your floor plan works is to include the furniture once you have got the basics of the layout down pat.
Modern floor plan software will let you include furniture, both in 2D and 3D, which will be the icing on the cake in terms of creating a configuration that works in practice, not just in theory.
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