News house plans software When carrying out a renovation project or the calculation for the installation of heating or renewable energies, it is necessary to have the detailed plans of the house to be studied. Unfortunately, and this is especially the case with older buildings, plans are not always available or are not as accurate or reliable as they should be. How is this problem solved? Obviously, by reworking the house plans to make them as close to reality as possible. However, drawing up the plans for a house that has already been built is a more complicated task than it seems and faces different obstacles that can delay it. Fortunately, there are many options on the market today to make plans for a house quickly. On-site measurements can be accelerated with applications and calculations, based on BIM methodology and current tools. In this post we will learn about some of the most widely used programmes for making house plans today. We will divide the tools according to whether they are software, online or mobile applications. Let’s go there. But what is an architectural plan? Architectural plans are graphic resources that help us understand a given space, whether it is the urban planning of a city, complete buildings, homes or more complex structures such as industrial warehouses, electrical installations, etc. Depending on the type of plan we are dealing with, it will show the information in a certain way and in a general or specific way depending on the plan. In the case of an architectural plan of a house, it will help us to know the dimensions, the division in rooms, the number and placement of windows and doors, etc. The plans are created using a scale that allows us to understand in a simple way the real dimensions and the distribution of the spaces. In addition, it also gives you information about the electrical and water installations or materials, if detailed. Types of tools Although the leading company in house plans software is Autodesk, there are numerous alternatives available to users. Depending on the needs or purpose of those who are going to use them, one or the other will be more recommendable. This type of tool is usually aimed at a professional user, but there is room for simpler, but equally useful applications for free or in the cloud, without having to resort to expensive plans. Generally, programmes for making plans are paid for, so the user buys a licence or a monthly/yearly plan. Some of these programmes will allow a limited use free of charge or for people who are studying. Software All the tools that we will see in this post are software, but we have decided to categorize in this way those of more classic operation focused on personal computer or laptop, like AutoCAD or Revit. We will see the characteristics and plans of use of each of these programmes to make plans: AutoCAD Architecture AutoCAD Architecture is one of the feature sets included in the AutoCAD licenses. It is aimed at architects and facilitates the preparation of plans for both renovation and new construction. Autodesk, the company behind AutoCAD, allows free downloads for teaching, both for teachers and students. For the professional public it offers monthly, annual or triennial licenses. These are some of the features of AutoCAD Architecture: Rehabilitation plans, it is possible to work with pre-existing plans and to alternate between old and rehabilitation plansDoors, walls and windows, AutoCAD Architecture has a variety of different types of walls, windows and doors, which will bring the plans closer to the final ideaDetail components, to add relevant information to the plans in spacesRendering, to represent in 3D the architectural plane Revit Revit is the programme that best embodies the BIM methodology, as it can be used at all stages of the construction process. Of course, one of them is the creation of plans. With Revit you can calculate surfaces, dimensions and element properties, as well as configure views and add extra information. The greatest advantage of the programme is that, once you have the measurements of the plans, you can carry out all the steps of the process without changing software. With Revit you can: Modify your designs quickly. Very useful if you are working on a renovationAnnotations, materials and global parametersPlanning tables for reporting and budgetingShare your project with other professionals Sweet Home 3D Sweet Home 3D is an open source drawing program, available in several languages and compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris. Its functions range from the creation of house plans, to which you can add elements such as doors and windows, both straight and curved, which you can then export to formats such as PDF. Once you create and finish your plan, you will be able to include furniture and create a 3D representation of your design, in addition to being able to render by choosing the sources of light and the geographical location. Draft it Draft it is a free program (although with improved paid versions) of the CAD type (computer aided design) with a development behind it of more than 30 years, so we are dealing with a reliable software. Its interface is simple and intuitive for those who are already used to this type of programme. Among its advantages we find: Imperial Measurements and Metric SystemSupport for DWG/DXF formats in the Pro versionTools with linear, radial, angular dimensions, etc. DreamPlan DreamPlan is a home design software that includes all the steps, from close-ups to interior design and decoration and rendering. As we have mentioned, this is a programme for making integral plans that covers up to the installation of furniture and exterior elements such as gardens, terraces or swimming pools. Features include: Colour and texture testsLibrary of furniture and elementsCreation of walls and ceilings2D, 3D views and renderingTracking mode for importing existing plans EZ Blueprint EZ Blueprint is a simple tool for creating plans quickly. Despite its simplicity, it is a very interesting alternative, as it includes options such as windows, doors, changing the orientation or adding the electrical installation and light points. It is free to download but a paid version with more tools and possibilities is also available, as the basic version is quite limited. It has: A basic library of furniture and kitchen extrasThe possibility of working from a handmade sketchInclude basic flooring to differentiate rooms such as bathrooms and terracesDimension lines and a simple interface LibreCAD LibreCAD is a free, open source software compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It is available in over 30 languages and has a supportive community behind it. To create plans you can work from your command line once the scale has been established, as well as giving you the option to create both straight and curved lines. With this tool you can create schematic plans of a house and add some extras such as electrical installation or furniture. Its interface is basic and simple, as it does not have a large number of tools. NanoCAD NanoCAD is a CAD software specialized in multi-platform design specially designed for industry and compatible with the .DWG format. However, it also has a version available for construction. This version, called NanoCAD Construction, offers the possibility of creating complicated plans that include everything from the foundations to the engineering of the house, its materials and furniture. It has an extensive library of resources for construction and engineering and is presented as a truly competent alternative to the more classic and recognised drawing programmes. Sketchup Sketchup is one of the most popular design programs for 3D architecture. Of course, among its many features it also includes the possibility of designing 2D plans. One of the most interesting features of this program is the large amount of information it contains about the projects and the ability for a change in one phase of the project to be made automatically throughout the work, which is very useful for small modifications. With Sketchup, simple plans with elevations and sections can be drawn and converted into 3D with aerial views and animations. As advantages: Free version to take the first stepsUser-friendly interface and operationLarge library of 3D resourcesPowerful rendering engine Online tools In recent years, a number of online tools for house plans have proliferated. They often have limited storage and request users’ data to allow them to use more options or save their projects. These are usually programmes with limited design options, but they can help us if we are looking for a simple representation of a space or if we have limited time to make the plan. Below, we will look at some of the options currently available: Archifacile It is a totally online tool that is very easy to use and totally focused on the creation of plans for architecture, plumbing, electricity or heating. Its simplicity is its key feature, as in just a few minutes we can have a room to scale. It also gives the option of importing an image, such as a handmade sketch, and working on it to design our home. To be able to save the work done, it is necessary to have created a user account on the platform. It also has a simple library to represent the most typical objects of a house, such as vehicles, furniture, etc. HomeStyler HomeStyler is a powerful online application for designing homes in three dimensions. It covers the whole process, from the design of the 2D plan to the rendering, achieving really good results. Its operation is simple in terms of software to make house plans, even though your library is not very large, the results of its rendering engine more than make up for any lack of your library. HomeStyler also has a mobile app available for iOS and Android Floorplanner Floorplanner is an online tool similar to HomeStyler. It has monthly payment versions with better features and rendering resolution, but the user himself can acquire credits to improve his projects without using a specific plan. As the plan improves or the user acquires credits the program offers more options that go as far as 3D tours and photorealistic renders. HomebyMe HomebyMe is an online programme for interior design whose free plan allows you to create up to three projects and three renders. It has an extensive library with over 20,000 products and professional advice for design and decoration. It is perhaps the easiest tool to use for designing house plans and, in the same way, it does not give rise to designs for installations such as heating or plumbing. Apps However, if what we are looking for is a simple representation that fits reality without having to take the metro, the mobile applications market currently offers a series of programmes to make plans that work. Some work by using the phone’s camera to take pictures of the rooms and then using a scale. At times they may be inaccurate, but the result is usually quite accurate. Others use pre-designed plans, which can be sketches, to digitalize the plan through their specific software. Planner 5D This app, available for Android, Mac and iOS, is presented as an app for non-professional users who love decoration. It has limited options but its results are quite satisfactory. The first step is to create from scratch or load an architectural plan (it can be a sketch), which the app recognizes and digitizes. From there, you can use the resource library, with more than 5000 objects and make from small rooms to large houses. Roomscan Roomscan is only available for iPhone and iPad. Its operation consists of scanning the room or house with the camera following a set of instructions. This can be done through augmented reality or by gluing the device to the wall. It also includes a laser measurement and manual drawing function and there is also the possibility of being able to scan outside spaces, gardens and courtyards. Once the plan has been produced, which, as we mentioned in the introduction, may not be particularly accurate, it can be exported to different formats such as PNG. Amikasa 3D Room Designer Originally, Amikasa 3D Room Designer was only available for iOS, but recently a Beta version has been added for Windows users. From a predefined form or from scratch, this application allows us to design a complete room, indicating its measurements, the location of doors and windows and then decorating it and rendering the design. The designs we make can be shared through our profiles on social networks. Magicplan Magicplan, available for iOS and Android, uses virtual reality technology to easily measure and create house plans using our smartphone camera. The drawing option can also be used to create the plan manually. The independent measurement by rooms can be modified later to form the set of rooms of the house. The application is capable of recognising doors and windows and uses the device’s gyroscope to calibrate orientation.