How to Draw House Plans on Autocad

By Darrin Koltow

Updated September 28, 2017

AutoCAD can be used to design and visualize your future house.
i home 3 image by Stacey Lynn Payne from

AutoCAD is a computer-aided design program you can use to draft plans for a home. Its large set of features is easy to get lost in, if you're new to either home design or AutoCAD. For this reason, it's a good idea to sketch out your home design on one of the several free Web applets made for this purpose. Once you've roughed out the design, re-create it in AutoCAD, using the same basic process that you used for the Web applet: Design the house from the largest to the smallest components, i.e., from the house's exterior, to room borders, and onto smaller items.

Open AutoCAD and create the outline of the house's exterior: Click the "Home" tab, then click the "Draw" panel's "Rectangle" button.

Click near the upper-left corner of the drawing window and drag toward the lower-right corner. Release the mouse to complete the rectangle.

Define the top views of walls, beginning with clicking the rectangle tool again. Click and drag inside the house outline to define walls that separate the house's rooms. If you're not sure how you want to define your rooms, draw a single rectangle that divides the house outline through its horizontal center. Ensure the rectangle's length extends the full width of the house's outline, and that its width is as small as possible.

Draw the floor plan for furnishings. Once you've defined the borders of each room, apply the rectangle tool to define the largest furnishings inside each room. For example, draw rectangles for the beds, sofas and dressers. To size these objects correctly, relate their largest dimensions to the room's largest dimension. For example, a plausible length for a bed will be somewhere between one-fourth and one-half the length of the room. Size the bed's width similarly, except base it on the bed's length, not the room. You can also get sizing ideas by using one of the Web applets listed in this Resources section.

Add rectangles for each remaining item you want in the house, working from largest to smallest. Begin visualizing your home in three dimensions: Enter "Orbit" at the command prompt at the bottom of the screen. Click and drag slightly up and left. This will move your viewpoint to one displaying the three dimensions of your house, once you make the home 3-D in the next step.

Click one of your house's walls to select it, then enter "Extrude" at the command line. This command expands 2-D surfaces into 3-D objects. Size the wall to a height you desire, then click to end the extrusion. Repeat this step for each rectangle you drew, to make the house fully 3-D.

Complete your house plan by viewing it with shading: Select the "3D Realistic" item on the "View" panel's "Visual styles" drop-down list.