best floor plan software

A Guide To Choosing The Best Floor Plan Software

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Floor planning technology is constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of the interior design sector. At present, much architectural design software has become a staple tool for creating concept images for planning home designs. Architects, construction builders, interior designers, and home improvement enthusiasts use it to craft and present ideas to beautify indoor and outdoor spaces.  

With so many great options to choose from, the burden of choice can become enormous if you don’t know what criteria you need to look for in such software. Each software program comes with its features, purposes, and limitations. It is why you’ll need to know the key components of floor planning software by asking yourself questions to work out which one could be perfect for your needs.   

Whether you’re an architect or room stager working professionally or an individual looking to design your home’s interior, there’s software made for any purpose.   

With that said, here’s a guide to assist you in deciding which floor plan software is best for you. 

What Is Floor Plan Software?    

To choose the best floor plan software for yourself, you need to know what it is. In simple words, floor plan software is a computer program designed for users to sketch and illustrate a space to plan how rooms will be arranged and decorated. 

Many floors plan software programs allow for image creation in 2D and 3D and synthesizing to produce images that are a photo-realistic depiction of your design known as rendering. As the names suggest, the 3D imaging processor creates a room with three-dimensional motion graphics. 2D, on the other hand, could generate more hand-drawn and animated style images that include blueprints and construction details.   

These tools are crucial when decorating and planning a house according to the owner's or a prospected buyer's lifestyle. You can expect to find tools that let you add in light fixtures, furnishings, wall art, paint and décor, flooring materials, and finishes. The end-product concepts will be a tool to market a property to real estate companies or individual buyers.

1. Consider Your Budget

The cost of floor plan software comes in at varying prices and subscription plans, which you will need to assess each one. Each program offers different features which determine the price range. Specific software that allows you to perform more complicated tasks will cost more than those with basic floor planning features. Their prices also reflect the situational usage of the software because some are made for businesses while others are more fitting for singular or individual use. A practical tip here is to draw up a list of pros and cons for each program and inspect how to capitalize each one. Find an application that can accomplish the task that you need to do. Which one will give you more bang for your buck?  

Some programs offer an annual payment option, while others give you a monthly subscription plan or buy the software once off. In this case, you will need to draft your budget to decide which price plan you are willing to settle. A vital tip is to weigh each floor plan software package against each other by their features, what you want from them, and what you can afford. 

It's also a good idea to calculate how much a monthly subscription will cost you and compare it to the annual plan. But you have to consider how long you will be using the software. If you will use it for a long-term project, then availing of an annual plan is a reasonable choice. But for a short-term project, a monthly subscription where you can opt-out before your next billing date for a few months project will benefit your finances better than a once per year payment.  

2. Assess Your Skill Level

This one is an essential consideration when you eventually choose the appropriate software for your projects. You need to select a program according to your skill level, or you may be purchasing a product that you would be unable to operate. Floor plan software has a variety of complex and user-friendly options for experts, beginners, and aspiring interior designers. So, there should be one that fits you and what you can do.

If you’re looking to get the more complex software with multiple functions that need more skill-advanced users to operate, then you may want to opt for taking a learning course. Many software systems come with training courses or free online tools you can use to learn how to manage. In this case, you also have to think about time as a factor because some courses may take a few days or weeks to learn.  

Subsequently, the best way to know if you can use a specific floor plan software is to sign up for free trials. Doing so will give you a chance to test the software and give you an idea of what you’re capable of doing. To make the most of the trial, be sure to use as many of the available features as possible. Additionally, do not hesitate to contact their customer support if you have questions while testing the software out. Most floor planning software companies have 24/7 online support to assist customers' concerns regarding their products. So, you should be okay.

3. Check Your Device Compatibility  

One of the first steps in choosing the best floor plan software should be to decide what hardware you’re going to use and check what that device can support. Desktops and laptops, mechanical pencils, and drawing tablets each have types of software that are compatible with their systems. So, you want to first look over the specs of the software and see what operating system is capable of running the program. 

Concerning compatibility, you also need to decide how you plan on working. It can be fully online, where your output will be stored in a cloud, or you can also choose a program that doesn’t need constant internet connectivity where you can save your work once you've finished it. It is a way to ensure that you can get the best quality imaging during the 3D rendering process. 

Furthermore, some computers might not have the necessary storage space requirement and could be slowed down by specific programs because they take up a lot of processing power. In this instance, your other option is to upgrade your computer hardware or invest in getting a more advanced device to run heavy programs like floor planning software.

Additionally, there’s also software that may not be optimal in producing the standard you’re looking for if you don’t operate it live, for instance. This type of software is often connected to an external server online and run by the SaaS provider and needs to be continuously linked with it. In this case, if your device can’t withstand a long duration of internet connectivity, then it’s better to think about choosing software that allows you to work offline.  

4. Be Specific On What You Plan To Do 

Your goals and purpose for your projects are crucial when choosing the most suitable floor plan. Some are better for interior decorators and home stagers, and other software is ideal for engineers and graphic designers who work with 3D rendering, blueprints, and mapping out whole property projects that include roofing, gardens, and fireplace placements.   

If you’re aiming for more DIY floor planning, choosing a simplified program that allows you to customize, place, and move furniture will work for you. Software with only the basic features you need to arrange your room will also allow you to focus on displaying your creative ideas without getting lost and distracted in the technology trying to figure out how it works.  

Another aspect to think about is your organization and if you’re going to require collaborative tools. If you’re working with a team or partners such as chief architects or room planners, you’ll need to ensure that the software you choose has sharing functions where your participants can access your design ideas. This type of software most often has online features where you can work on a project with someone else in a live and real-time setting.


Selecting the correct floor plan software for yourself or your company can be approached in several steps. You can acquaint yourself with what products are out there in the market. Ensure you know what floor plan technology is and what it consists of before moving forward. It will aid you in making a more informed choice, so you know what you're up for in the end.   

Next, you can go over a set of questions to help you weigh each of the programs against each other. Look at the pros and cons of each one by examining your budget, usage needs, skill level, and device capabilities.   

One of the best methods to do this is to test out the floor plan software that comes with trials and training manuals so you can play around with the features. Regardless of whether it's your first time buying floor planning software or not, all of these elements considered together should put you on the right path to choosing the best floor plan software for you. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.