Though designing your own house in real life might not be such a good idea, designing your own house virtually doesn't require years of practice or experience. A few house-design programs available online allow users to get in on the architectural action. If you would like to make an attempt at designing your own house, use one of the online systems and the system design tools to design your virtual house for free.
Go to the virtual home design site Floor Planner in your web browser (see Resources). Click the "Signup Now" link under Floor Planner Free and enter your e-mail address and a password into the window that comes up. You must have an account to use the services on Floor Planner.
Choose one of the layouts provided in Floor Planner to begin with a standard layout design. Opt for "No Layout" if you prefer to start your design from scratch. The layout or blank canvas opens on the screen.
Click on the "Draw Room" or "Draw Wall" tool on the toolbar once you are in the design canvas. Click anywhere on the canvas, hold down the mouse button and drag to draw the layout of the house or add additional walls to the layout you selected.
Use the other tools offered in the "Library" box to add other features to the house. Additions offered in Floor Planner include stairways and furniture. Click on the feature you want in the "Library" and drag it to any spot on the canvas to add it to the house.
Click the "Save Design" button to save the design to your account. Enter a name for the design in the window that pops up and click "Save."
Open the Smallblueprinter design tool in your web browser (see Resources.) Smallblueprinter doesn't require an account to use the design tool, but also doesn't offer an option to save the plan.
Click "Sample Plan" if you want to choose one of the four pre-made layouts. Press the "Blank Plan" option to start with a blank canvas.
Choose the "Add Wall" option, "Add Door" option or "Add Window" option to add one of those features to the plan. The wall, door or window you add appears in the upper right corner of the canvas. Drag it to the location where you want it on the plan.
Use the tools under "Transform" if you need to change the appearance of an added wall, door or window. Click on the item that you want to transform and click "Rotate Selected Object" to turn the item or "Resize Selected Object" to make it longer or shorter.
Go to the "Print" tab to print the finished plan. You can change the colour of the lines in the layout in the "Print" tab and choose how to print the design on the paper. Then, click "Print" to print to your computer's printer.
Go to the Original Home Plans design page (see Resources.) Choose one of the standard plans from the front page and you will be taken to the design tool.
Click on a category on the design tool, such as "General," "1st Floor" or "Garage" to view that part of the house in the design screen. The features available in the selected part of the house will display as options in the feature section at the left of the screen.
Check the box next to any optional feature that you want to add to the floor plan. That item automatically appears on the floor plan design.
Use the drop-down menus to see the options for floor plan features that have more than one design possibility. For instance, in the "Front" section, use the drop-down menu by "Front Door Style" to choose a single door, a single door with sidelights or a double door.
Click "Save." When prompted, enter the information required to register on the site and submit your registration. Original Home Plans creates an account for you and your floor plan design is saved to the account.