What program can I use to draw floor plans?

What program can I use to draw floor plans?

Everything you need to know about the quick and easy design of floor plans, plus a step-by-step design guide to arranging a level plan.

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You want to create your own level plan ? Try Lucidchart. It is a quick, easy and completely free solution.

What are the level plans ?

Level plans are scale drawings that show the relationship between the rooms, the spaces and the physical characteristics seen from above. They provide a way to visualize how people will move through space. Floor plans make it easier to check whether the space is suitable for its purpose, to resolve potential difficulties and to make the necessary modifications before proceeding to the more sophisticated planning or construction phases. On the other hand, it can be fun to experiment with different design alternatives and different traffic flows that show how people move through space.

Famous architect Jean Nouvel said: “Space, space: architects keep talking about space ! But creating a space is not automatically doing architecture. With the same space, you can make a masterpiece or cause disaster. “. This is why, whether it is a question of building a small house or ensuring that participants circulate without problem during a convention or a living room, a plan is the starting point to create and schematize a logical space based on the requirements of the end user.

Floor plans and execution plans

The stage plans illustrate the overall situation of living, working and outdoor spaces. Although they are supposed to be scale, the level plans do not contain enough information to allow manufacturers to actually build a house or other structure. A house plan, for example, is a simple diagram showing the arrangement of the rooms and offering a conceptual starting point. A manufacturer needs complete plans or execution plans including technical information that you will not find on most house plans.

Organization of space and circulation in new and existing environments

Spatial planning is important in new structures, but also in projects involving rethinking existing spaces to determine how to use them more effectively. This activity was discreetly insinuated in architectural firms for many reasons: office space in a tower with unfinished interiors, rapid pace of organizational growth thanks to technological upheavals, downsizing and reorganization. You can learn more about this in the Space Planning article, published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Traffic and traffic flow

In a space where people live, work, shop or meet, the layout of the rooms and the circulation from one space to another are decisive in the general impression and perceived utility of the environment. Good traffic and good traffic flow depend on the nature of the space being developed. For example, in a retail space, it may be preferable to direct traffic. In an art gallery, on the contrary, traffic must be less restrictive to avoid traffic jams. In addition, interiors of the same size may seem very different depending on the field of vision (theoretical line of sight of an observer). In general, the less a space has visual obstacles, the larger it seems.

With Lucidchart, easily and quickly create diagrams. Give it a free try today to start creating and working together.

Create a level plan

Traffic and Feng Shui

The idea of traffic does not simply apply to the physical movement of people through space. Feng Shui has been used for over 5,000 years, or art and science to create a harmonious environment, to organize private and public spaces. Today, Feng Shui followers around the world use scale level plans to design new structures or reorganize existing environments in line with the strict rules of this ancient practice. The most recent Disney amusement park in the world, located in Shanghai, was for example built after consultation with masters of Feng Shui. You can learn more by reading Feng Shui Principles for Building and Remodeling in this article of best practices published by the AIA

How to make a plan on the scale / floor plan

Whether you use paper, pencil and graph paper to help you draw to the ladder, or an online program to develop your floor plan, some essential steps and elements are part of creating a good scheme:

  1. List the needs. Make a list of the needs and wishes of the people who will occupy the space.

  2. Measure. Make sure you have the right measures. Take each measurement twice. Elements to note :

    1. The exterior walls or floor area of your space, doors or entrances, and windows.

    2. The length and height of the walls.

    3. The location of sockets, switches and other electrical controls.

    4. Fixed installations: all architectural characteristics, including chimneys, consoles, shelves, benches and other integrated elements.

    5. The surrounding space and the exterior or the global dimensions of these elements. Then locate each of them on your plan.

    6. Objects that will be inside space.

  3. Draw to scale. Level plans must be drawn to scale. This requires reducing the size of your drawing so that the entire space can reasonably fit on a sheet of paper or screen. One of the most common scales is: 1 cm = 1 meter. It is advisable to apply the same scale to objects such as furniture or exhibition stands which will be included in the floor plan.

  4. Think about the field of vision. Standing, sitting or installed at your workstation, what do you want to see ? Think of the windows, doors, walls and elements that you think are important in view of the desired use of space.

  5. Put into perspective. Organize your level plan with all the components in mind.

  6. Evaluate. Review the list of needs and wishes. Evaluate the layout of the space by analyzing in particular the circulation. Other factors to take into account: usable space, privacy and accessibility. Find out more here about the assessment of space design and planning in residential spaces.

  7. Share. Bet on the collaboration and useful comments of a third party on your floor plan to compare your reflection and your drawing with a second opinion.

Examples of layout: house plan and various spaces

Level plans are generally considered to be a first step in the design of a house or a professional environment, but these basic patterns are used for many other purposes, including to design gardens, reflect on the emergency exit plans, arrange parking lots and create exhibition plans.

Here are some examples of house plans and their uses:

Houses and real estate

In 2013, the area of houses had increased by more than 90 square meters compared to 1973, and according to the American Enterprise Institute, the living space per person has doubled in the past 40 years.

With the houses getting bigger, the decompartmentalized interiors and the attention paid to the field of vision have gained popularity. Google Trends shows a significant increase in the interest aroused by these subjects over the past 10 years:

House plans with very open fields of vision and whose cuisine is visible from the adjacent living spaces in large houses influence the design of houses of all sizes. This is particularly true in the design of trendy “small houses” which give the feeling of having more space and light in a surface yet reduced. Whether they rent, buy or build, consumers understand that a good house plan can make life much more enjoyable and help increase the value of a property. This is why floor plans have become important tools, online and on paper, for real estate agents and builders.


Outdoor spaces need a plan as much as indoor environments. A good plan begins with a detailed inventory and an analysis of the site, as well as a basic map with precise measurements to plan both the arrangements using inert materials (patios, aisles and sidewalks) and the plantations. You need help organizing your garden ? Discover the software in Lucidchart’s cloud for landscaping.

Work spaces

In general, the trend in professional spaces went from separate offices to boxes, then to open spaces. Although there are advantages and disadvantages to opening up spaces, this solution is very likely to last, since its implementation is less costly and makes it easier to manage staff changes. Whatever type of space organizations choose for their staff, defining a level plan to create or reorganize a space saves time and money. No company can therefore afford to neglect this step.

Public spaces

Museums, schools, public buildings and hospitals, which see both their staff and a large number of people moving around in their space, require that great attention be paid to security, entry and exit, as well as work and meeting spaces. The layout of the level plan is an important first step in creating the right type of space. Having a clear floor plan is also essential in these large spaces to guide the public with level plans, either interactive or on paper. They allow users to orient themselves.

Sales space

In terms of planning a retail space, interior design can be a decisive factor for the profits of stores of all sizes. We have been studying the flow of traffic for decades to optimize sales. Three main factors come into play: first, most people go to the right when entering a store. On the other hand, the size of the central aisle must be defined according to the sales objectives and the type of store. Finally, the quantity of light and the area required must be taken into account. If customers move too quickly, they may miss products, and if they move too slowly, they may feel irritated and leave the store. A good balance, associated with a thoughtful design and location, are the keys to an effective level plan that will generate benefits.


Choosing the right type of parking can make a big difference in the success of a sales or service environment. Access for the disabled, barriers and landscaping should not be overlooked. Even if, during design, certain specific elements must be taken into account according to the type of structure, the environment and local laws, the objective is to optimize the number of places while adapting to the dimensions current and future vehicles.

Events and exhibitions

The real costs of a poorly planned meeting can quickly climb. It is therefore preferable to anticipate and be as meticulous as possible, in particular by providing for a well-executed level plan. Marriages, business events and conventions or fairs welcome hundreds, even thousands of people. This means that they must be well thought out for space to be used effectively. It is important for participants, exhibitors and sellers that the distribution of places and stands, and traffic are well understood, and that a reflection is carried out on the dynamics of the crowd. It is also essential for caterers, public address and lighting, security teams and other professionals to familiarize themselves with the physical space in which they will work, in order to ensure the success of the event on the site. . Understanding the dynamics of the crowd is fundamental, as is planning for physical space.

Simplify the creation of floor plans with online models

You can use paper and a pencil and take the time to draw by hand, or opt for a faster, simpler and easier lane with an online program that uses models. Using software, you can create your house or space plans faster, more precisely, and enjoy discovering design possibilities while spending a lot less time.

Design your own level plans with Lucidchart

Why fight with paper and a pencil or use another program that makes designing a floor plan more complicated than it should be ? You can design clear level plans for any space or place, and customize it as desired. Discover all the possibilities offered by Lucidchart to simplify and accelerate the realization of your plans:

  • Models simplify your design tasks. Even if you are new to level plans, customizable and practical models help you get started in a few minutes.
  • Drag and drop the elements of the form library according to your needs. The objects are scale and each of them has been perfected for simplicity of optimal use. To start, just drag the shape you need from the large library and drop it off at the desired location, and save items in your custom library for later use.
  • Work collaboratively in the cloud. The integrations to Google Drive, Confluence, JIRA and Jive allow teamwork without a hitch. The collaboration options offered by Lucidchart give users the opportunity to visualize, edit, comment and discuss in real time.
  • Share and publish. Print PDF, JPEG or PNG images with the desired dimensions, or share your floor plan via social media or by e-mail to keep your employees informed.
  • Transversal capacities. Highly compatible, Lucidchart can be used on PC, Linux and OS X operating systems
  • Import / export of Visio and Gliffy level plans. Migration from your old files to a secure location is quick and easy. So you can resume your previous diagrams in the browser without any difficulty.
  • Design of floor plans where and when you want. Design plans even when you are not at your desk, thanks to the iOS application that you can use on your mobile device or tablet.

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