How to Build a Floor Plan

By Darrin Koltow

Updated September 22, 2017

Floor plans can be created with online applets
i house plan image by Jon Le-Bon from

Until recent times, building a floor plan was a task that only trained architects could do. Such a project usually comprised many separate, interrelated tasks, including precise measurement of all building components. But untrained people are now building their own floor plans, owing to the advent of inexpensive and easy-to-use computer programs. These programs have intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces that take little time to learn. In using these programs, have an attitude of exploration, but also take the time to learn from existing plans.

Build a Plan with Arrange a Room

Open the Arrange a Room page listed in this article's Resources section, then click an icon for any of the layouts that appear.

Click and drag one of the "+" symbols, which represent endpoints of the room's walls.

Click the "Add furniture" link at the top of the drawing area, to begin selecting objects to add to the room.

Choose a category (e.g., "Bedroom," "Kitchen," "Bathroom") of furnishings from the dropdown list. Then drag a furnishing or other object from the palette at left to the main drawing area.

Size and rotate placed objects by adjusting the controls in the red palette at the bottom of each object.

Save your plan by clicking the "Save" link at the drawing area's upper left.

Make a Plan with Home Styler

Open the Home Styler home page by clicking the link listed in Resources, then click the "Gallery" link to view a list of existing plans.

Click the button labeled "Use this design," for the plan you choose. The applet will load the plan for you to edit.

Begin adding objects to the room by clicking the palette's "Furnish and Decorate" link.

Select the links of sub categories (e.g., "Bath," "Mirrors," "Art") until the palette displays specific objects.

Drag objects from the palette onto the drawing space. Optionally, rotate a object, by clicking its yellow icon with the curved arrow.

Save your plan by clicking the disk icon in the drawing area's upper left corner.

Build a Plan with Floor Planner

Open the Floor Planner link listed in Resources, then click the "Demo" link at the page's top.

Click the link labeled "Create your own," then click the link "Start with an empty room."

Click one of the plans from the gallery of icons, then click "Start." Click "Start" on the screen that follows also, to bypass the optional step of manually changing the room's dimensions.

Click an object or furnishing from either the "Construction" or "Library" palettes at the right of the main drawing area. Then drag the object's icon onto the drawing area.

Resize and rotate placed objects by clicking and dragging their square handles (for sizing) or their curved arrow handles (for rotation).

Save your plan by clicking the disk icon at the top left of the drawing area.