How to Design Your Own House Plans With Software

Written by darrin koltow
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How to Design Your Own House Plans With Software
Download a free program for designing your own home. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

One of the benefits of designing your own house plans is that it frees you from the worry that a hired architect will draft a plan you don't like. But if you need guidance in making your own plans, software specifically made for designing house plans can provide some of that guidance. Though house design software lets you take a virtual 3-D tour of your house, it's helpful to first sketch your own 3-D view of the completed house. Doing so will help you make more confident decisions while designing.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download and install SketchUp, then open the program.

  2. 2

    Click the "Camera" menu heading, then click the "Standard views" and "Top" items to set the viewpoint to top view. The top view is the most common one for creating floor plans.

  3. 3

    Click the main toolbar's square icon, then drag on the ground plane to define the exterior walls of your house.

  4. 4

    Drag within the exterior walls to define the other rooms in the house, including the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

  5. 5

    Drag within the kitchen area to define rectangles representing the refrigerator and related items. Be sure to space the refrigerator and sink no more than 9 feet apart. This action allows for greater efficiency and safety in preparing meals.

  6. 6

    Click the "Tools" menu, then click the "Text" item. Click and drag in a rectangle, then click again to complete the text box. Type "Refrigerator" or the name of another item to indicate what the rectangle represents.

  7. 7

    Create rectangles for the items in the other rooms by following the previous two steps.

  1. 1

    Install Homestyler and open the home page, then click "Gallery," which is near the top of the page.

  2. 2

    Read the descriptions of the existing plans until you find one that meets your housing needs. Click the upper button for this plan to begin refining the plan in the design area.

  3. 3

    Drag the exterior walls of the plan until the walls match the dimensions you need for your house.

  4. 4

    Drag items for the kitchen and other rooms from the palette at screen left onto the drawing grid.

  5. 5

    Click the "3-D" link above the design area to view your design in 3-D.

  1. 1

    Download and install Sweet Home 3-D, then open the program.

  2. 2

    Click the "Create room" icon on the main toolbar. Drag on the drawing grid to define a rectangle with the dimensions you want for your house.

  3. 3

    Click the "Kitchen" item in the upper left pane, then drag the "Fridge" and other items from the "Kitchen" tree onto the drawing grid.

  4. 4

    Create floor plans for the bedroom by clicking "Bedroom" in the upper left pane. Follow the previous step's instructions to place beds and other items in the bedroom.

  5. 5

    Create the bathroom's floor plan by clicking the "Bathroom" item in the upper left pane, and following the instructions for making the Kitchen floor plan.

  6. 6

    Click the compass icon in the lower right window to tour your design in 3-D.

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