Anyone can download software to draw their own floor plans, but should they? The answer is yes if you want to have some fun with some of the programs available today, but a definitive no if you think it will be a good way to save money on your home or renovation.
Many online sites offer free software that lets you plan and lay out rooms. These are especially good if you’re thinking of rearranging the furniture in any of your rooms or knocking down a wall. They can show you how much space you will have — something your mind’s eye can’t be trusted to do accurately.
Some features of these tools include 2-D and 3-D views, panning and dimensioning features, and some allow you to choose flooring and colors for walls and baseboards. With some, you can only do one room at a time, instead of the whole house, and not all the drawings are to scale. Some programs will let you save, print or upload your plans to Facebook or Twitter, but others charge for this option. If you’re thinking of renovating, putting on an addition or finishing your attic or basement, these tools can be useful to show your builder what you had in mind.
That being said, they are no substitute for actual architectural drawings. You can find software for sale that is sophisticated enough to use for blueprints, but the average homeowner will likely find them too difficult to use. But just because you don’t draw the plans yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have exactly what you want.
Revise and Revise Again
It’s important to sit down with your contractor and carefully go over what you have in mind. Drafting and re-drafting is part of the process. You start with a basic, bare-bones outline of what you want, then work on refining the specifics. You might want to know where you can cut some corners and save money so you can afford marble tile in the hall or granite countertops. Maybe it’s important to you that all the materials be “green” and the environmental impact you leave be small. These are all situations good contractors know their way around.
When you hire a professional to draw your floor plans, you’re not just paying for their ability to specify the size of the windows and the thickness of the wallboard, you’re paying for their expertise. You should choose someone who has drawn many plans and has successfully seen them through to fruition. These are the people who know what works and what doesn’t. They can use their years of experience and know-how to your advantage. The old building adage, “measure twice, cut once,” can be adapted to drawing plans as well — making changes on paper is a lot cheaper than ripping out a building mistake or an idea that didn’t work and starting over.
FCI is a family owned and operated construction company serving the Ogden, Utah, and surrounding areas. They have been building homes and doing renovations for happy customers for many years and can help you with your floor plans for your renovation or your new home.