Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Floor Planning Software

With our office planning in full-swing, I've been experimenting with a few free floor plan programs I've found online.

IKEA Home Planner:

IKEA has a 3-D kitchen planner on their website.  I had to install something on my computer to make it work, but that was a breeze.

I figured since our office cabinets will most likely all be from the kitchen cabinet department, that it would work out well.  But unless I was doing it wrong (which I very well may have been), I couldn't seem to adjust the elevation of the cabinets.  For instance, I want the "over the fridge" cabinet to be located under a desk.  But I couldn't seem to get it lower than an "over the fridge" height.

The software started out alright, and for straightforward plans, it is probably fine.  But I abandoned this software due to frustration.  Maybe I was missing an obvious button/preference?

I did like that you can choose wall colours, floor colours, etc.


This one started out alright - I was able to add room dimensions and carpet fairly quickly.  But when I realized I couldn't customize the size of the furniture, I gave up right away.  Again, might have been doing something wrong, but I don't think so!


This one has proven to be the best so far.  Lots of customization available.  You can change the wall colours and the floor colour.  You can insert a standard piece of furniture (for instance and L-shaped sofa), and then change the dimensions and the colours.  So I was able to put together our basement TV Room and future office pretty accurately.  

There were a few hiccups - I tried adding a "wall shelf", and changing the elevation to 5' (as I would like to hang one approximately 5' off the ground).  But I guess the wall shelf is defaulted to already be a few feet off the ground (how many, I'm not sure), so the shelf went skyrocketing far above the ceiling height.  I had to play around with it to get it roughly where I wanted, and you'll notice in the screenshot that it's above the cabinets... so it's still not quite right.   I also tried to add wall cabinets below the counter/desk, and one appears (on the right), but struggled to get one on the left too.  This is a similar issue to the IKEA planner, but this one was easier to manipulate and play around with.

I love the 3-D views of this one.  It can be rotated to see it from all different angles.


I also tried Google Sketchup, but it seemed so elaborate that I didn't even bother delving into it.  I hear it's immensely capable.... but for this particular project I'm looking for ease and speed.

Have you tried any of these programs?  Or a different program?  Which have you had success with?

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