How to Draw a Floor Plan with SmartDraw
You can find floor plan templates under the New Document section of the Dashboard. Let's start with Residential Floor Plan in the Floor Plans - Residential category.
All of the tools you need to create your floor plan will be docked to the left of your drawing area in what we call the SmartPanel.
The difference between different kinds of floor plan templates will mostly be the type of symbol libraries docked with the template. A residential template will have more home furnishings while a commercial template will have more office symbols and so on.
You can also adjust the placement of individual walls. Click on a wall and you'll see two types of growth handles appear.
The handle with an up and down or right to left arrow will allow you to move your wall inward or outward vertically or horizontally.
The handle at the corners where walls meet will help you adjust your wall diagonally by letting you move the placement of the corner.
Grab any other part of the walls to move the entire room, including all of the room's contents.
You can add a new corner or alcove to a room outline using the right-click menu. Click on the spot on an existing wall where you want to add a new segment and select Add Wall Segment from the menu.
SmartDraw will automatically add two new wall segments at right angles from the spot clicked to create a new corner going outward from the existing outline unless space doesn't permit it, in which case the corner will added going inwards.
The size of the initial "kick out" or "indentation" will be determined by your scale and room in your drawing. On the standard 1:4 scale used in our floor plan templates, the indentation will be one major scale unit or 4 feet.
Once a corner is added, you can fine tune its size and indentation using the wall adjustment tools. Just click on the arrows to drag the walls inward or outward as desired.
Once you're happy with your outline, you can move onto adding openings, doors, windows, and furnishings.
You can quickly add a standard wall opening using the Add Wall Opening button on the Adjust Wall palette of the SmartPanel. Click the button and place the opening anywhere along your wall. You'll see an anchor symbol and black dot to indicate where the opening will be created. SmartDraw will also show you the distance from the corners to the wall opening for easier placement.
You can resize, rotate or move objects around as you need to.
You can easily resize any object just by typing in its dimensions or dragging on the black growth handles to make the object bigger or smaller as needed.
You can also rotate objects by clicking and holding the rotate button and then moving your mouse around in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. When you get it into the proper orientation, release the button.
If you move the room around, everything within it stays in place and moves with the room.
You don't have to pick and stick to a scale with SmartDraw. You can change the scale for your entire drawing at any time.
In the Document Setup
palette section of the SmartPanel, click on Units & Scale
. You can choose from several standard Architectural, Metric and Engineering options. You can also specify your own custom scale.
You can use layers in SmartDraw to group and separate items, so you can show and hide details as you need to.
Think of each layer as a page in a set of blueprints. You might want one for plumbing, another for electrical wiring, HVAC, et cetera. You might even want one for design where you can add furniture and room decor.
Layers build off of your primary, or default, floor plan. For this example, we'll create a layer for our electric plan.
Add a layer to your visual by choosing New Layer from the Layers menu at the bottom of your work area. Alternatively, you can also access layers from the Page tab.
Name your layer and select or deselect Visible and Clickable from the dialog box.
Selecting Visible allows that layer to be seen when you are viewing a different layer in your visual.
Selecting Clickable allows that layer to be edited (ex: moving items around) when you are viewing a different layer in your visual.
You can import any image as a background layer to enhance your design. This may be a previous plan from a contractor or perhaps an image of your site from Google maps.
To add a background image, select the Insert option on the Home tab and click on Picture.
In the dialog that pops up, browse your computer for the image or PDF you want to add and make sure you select Import as a Background Image.