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Free floor plan creation tools

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One of the things our planning department likes to see (or requires, depending on the size of the project) is a plan.

That doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend a ton of dough on an architect to draft your dreams, but it does mean you should be able to provide a reasonable outline of the work you’re thinking of doing.

Here are two free (not trialware) software tools that may help in designing that bedroom addition, garage, or that camp by the lake. 

In no particular order:

An image of floorplanner in use

1) Floorplanner (website: floorplanner.com): This is a web interface program that seems reasonably intuitive to use. (See image above).

2) Sweethome 3D (sweethome3d.com): This is a free-for-use program that works on Mac OS, Windows, as well as Linux. It’s been rigorously tested by one of our inspectors, who has used it to design both an unorthodox home (see below) and a simple cabin.

Sweethome 3D can handle very complex floor plans - but is remarkably simple to use. It also has a 3D visualization option.

There are also a number of pay-to-use programs out there, if you’re interested in giving them a shot.