Do you have a vision for your ideal office space but not the budget to pay someone to create the floor plans? That doesn’t mean you have to resort to rough sketches on paper. Whether moving into a new office or redesigning current space, you may be able to bring your floor plan design ideas to life using the latest free floor plan software.
Who Uses Free Software to Design Floor Plans?
The different functionality in the free versions of floor plan software can help make the design process a snap. Design software is sophisticated yet intuitive enough that even beginners can take advantage of 2D and 3D modeling systems to create a floor plan. How makes use of free floor plan software?
Homeowners. Homeowners planning renovation projects, redesigns, or simply looking to rearrange a room are turning to free floor plan software to create home designs.
Interior Designers. Interior designers can plan the layout of rooms, take out walls, add windows, shift furniture, and sample different colors. Their clients can then view the design via a virtual 3D walkthrough.
Real Estate Agents. Real estate agents use floor plan software for virtual tours to help clients visualize modifications to fixer-uppers, renovations, etc. Planner 5D is popular in the real estate market for its “photorealistic,” professional-looking, high-definition 3D designs.
Small Business Owners. Small business owners use design software for floor plans to view the space via a 3D rendering. They can also benefit from features that allow the creation of org charts, flyers, flowcharts, and other business materials.
Selecting the Best Design Tool for You
There are a multitude of online reviews of floor plan design software, but they each use different criteria and requirements to determine which product outshines the others. Free or otherwise, the best floor plan tool for you is the one that checks the most boxes on your specific list. That being said, here is a list of must-have criteria for you to use when evaluating free floor plan software:
Uploads and Downloads
Uploading an existing drawing will make your design process more manageable. When available, check whether PNG, PDF, and/or JPG formats are used. Some free products allow downloads, but they may not be to scale. Others charge to download an image, or to enhance the quality. For example, Floorplanner allows downloads in standard quality resolution, but you can also pay to upgrade to high-quality.
If you still have to pay a contractor to create a final architectural design, the time and effort you spend learning the tool and creating a plan may not be worth it.
Look for cloud-based storage for easy online sharing and storage for work across teams.
Size and Complexity
Use the right product for the right size and/or complexity of your design. Roomle, for example, “is an innovative 3D configurator” ideal for furniture designers creating product displays. SmartDraw, on the other hand, can handle complex floor plan designs but its more impressive features can only be had for a fee.
If your designs are intricate and complex, free floor plan software may not be sufficient for your needs. However, your office manager may be able to use it to reconfigure office layouts and moves. It’s necessary then, to determine the scope of your needs when deciding.
Short Learning Curve
Products that use familiar drag-and-drop features and offer online tutorials will require less start-up time. If the software takes too much time to learn, you may be better off paying someone else to do the design work.
Is the product compatible with your technology? Does it offer file-sharing options on DropBox and OneDrive? Is it available on Android, Microsoft, Linux, Mac, tablets, etc.? Don’t spend money upgrading your technology for free software unless you see significant savings down the road.
Templates and Symbol Library
Whether designing office space, fitness studios, home floor plans, or flowcharts, standard templates included in the software will save you time.
When you find a product you like, you may eventually want to upgrade to a paid plan to use the enhanced features. Understand the tiered pricing and membership levels to find one within your budget.
Get started by looking at different free floor plan software packages to see which one might suit your needs. Currently available options include:
- Autodesk Homestyler
- Planner 5D
- Sweet Home 3D
- and more
Resources to Meet Your Business Needs
Whether you choose a free floor planner software or a paid version depends on your needs. Lean on Sonary for reviews, data and comparison tools to find your best software solutions.
Are you ready to design your own home or office? Read our reviews on CAD software. We have resources for every facet of your business. Turn to our Learning Hub for additional information regarding finance, HR, marketing, and more.