Creating a floor plan is not quite as easy as it seems. You’d think you’d grab a ruler, a piece of paper, and a pen and you’ll be all set. But that isn’t the case. This is where your search to find the best Floor Plan app begins.
Floor plans are actually very intricate and precise that need to be meticulously planned and measured to get the results that you are seeking. Even a trained professional can spend hours drawing out a floor plan by hand or by using an expensive, cumbersome desktop CAD program.
Luckily, almost everyone carries around an incredibly powerful computer with them, and iPhone or iPad. There are some very user-friendly and powerful floor plan applications out there that will allow you to draw your floor plan without having to be seated at a desktop.
The number of Floor Plan Apps in the App Store saw an explosive increase in 2019. The trend continued in 2020 with users still complaining about clunky interfaces and clamped feature sets.
While there are some great apps out there, they also tend to get more expensive as the needs of the software increase.
Many CAD (computer-aided design) programs have odd limitations in their features. Often these come as a surprise to new CAD drafters and floor planners. For instance, being able to create your own blocks, shapes, and symbols to store for use later in the app should be non-negotiable. Yet this is something that you can’t find in even the most well-known iPad CAD apps.
A floor plan app is an application for either iOS (Apple) or Android that allows the user to create and draw floor plans on their mobile device. Floor plan apps are not only limited to floor plans inside of a home, but can also be used to draw and plan landscaping, foundation and concrete, and interior design.
Powerful floor plan apps can have a variety of uses, especially if they are based on CAD (computer-aided design) principles. These apps can be used for the following purposes:
By far the most popular use of floor plan apps is to draw out a floor plan for a house or job site. You can use either your finger, a stylus, or an Apple Pencil to draw out your floor plan on your iPad.
Floor plan drawing apps vary in terms of their accuracy and precision though. Some applications will give you accurate measurements and scale, whereas others give no more information than drawing on a piece of paper. Since it is necessary for floorplans to be accurate and to scale, you want to make sure the app you use has these qualities.
If you are looking for accurate and measured drawings (which you should be), you should be looking for more of a mobile CAD solution than a simple drawing app.
Mobile CAD apps translate to likely more professional-looking floorplans and drawings that can be used to perform a home renovation, or presented to a customer as part of a sales estimate.
Another popular use of drawing applications is as a part of the residential sales process. Contractors and salespeople from industries such as foundation repair, waterproofing, and HVAC need an accurate floorplan in order to mark their scope of work.
An accurate drawing allows for greater communication with the customers and reduces the chance of an unhappy customer.
Presenting a customer with a professional-looking site drawing and floor plan can increase the number of sales you make as well. You’ll stand out amongst your competitors who are still providing sloppy pen-and-paper drawings with their estimates.
Many field auditors and site inspectors need to utilize some sort of drawing app while doing inspections. They need a mobile solution so that they can mark up and make comments on areas that need improvement or that are up to code.
Accuracy is incredibly important for these inspectors as they are doing tier inspections, as the safety of the building and site can depend on their work. The best iPad building design apps for inspectors allow for accurate drawings and markings on the go, as well as a library of shapes that represent the items or products that they are reporting on.
Just like inside the home, it’s just as important to draw and sketch out the exterior of a home before embarking on an important project.
From tree placement to flowerbeds, landscapers are in need of an accurate drawing tool in order to plan out their outdoor artwork.
The best drawing apps for landscapers would include freehand drawing tools, area calculators to calculate needed materials, and a large shape library to represent the various different bushes, flowers, and trees that they’ll be installing.
With all of the options in the App Store, looking for a quality floor plan app can be overwhelming. Here are some features that you should look for in a great floor plan app:
A great floor plan app should be easy to use, first and foremost. It should feel like drawing with pen and paper but better.
The user interface should be easy to understand and be filled with useful tools that will enhance your drawing and bring it to the next level.
iPads and iPhones contain amazingly powerful processors and hardware, and the drawing tool that you choose should take full advantage of this power. You want to choose an app that will perform to the best of its ability and tackle any challenge that you throw at it.
Quality drawing apps can take on any site to draw, regardless of the size, level of detail, or the number of lines and shapes.
Without precision and accuracy, you might as well have drawn your floorplan on the back of a napkin. These qualities are exactly why your turned to a digital solution. There is no excuse for a drawing application to not allow you to be more precise and accurate than you could be by manually drawing out your floorplan by hand.
Precision and accuracy ensure that any projects that you are using the floorplan for will have the best chance at success by starting with the best possible floorplan.
Not every floor plan will only require straight lines. Some projects may require curves, angled walls, or representations of doors and windows. However, not every floor plan offers these options, so it’s important to choose the most full-featured floor plan drawing app if you need to have detailed and accurate drawings.
Some applications, such as ArcSite, will let you create your own custom shapes as well as access 1000s of premade ones, to represent anything you could imagine in your floor plan drawings.
The legacy floor plan apps were developed as afterthoughts to their desktop CAD software, but ArcSite was built as a mobile-first app. This is unlike most mobile CAD drawing apps, which are built as extensions of their desktop versions.
Being initially developed for desktops causes gaps in functionality and clunkiness that doesn’t translate well to a great iPad experience. ArcSite was built to be powerful, fast, and as easy as possible on the iPad, with just about zero learning time involved.
When you draw floor plans from scratch on the iPad with ArcSite, it feels like drawing with pen and paper. The app interprets free-hand motion and converts it to precise shapes and lines, as well as records the dimensions in the background. You can create and store a library of your own shapes for the floor plans, or you can choose from ArcSite’s pre-populated library of commonly used shapes and blocks. It’s like being at the drafting table, but faster and easier.
When you edit floor plans on the iPad with ArcSite, you get a fast and smooth experience. Re-dos are simple and changes are tracked in the app as you make them. This way, you can see the edit history for any plan and remember exactly what had changed.
Collaborating on drawing plans has never been easier. ArcSite allows you to invite team members to work on the drawing with you, and you get to see who made what changes. For the team members who aren’t your drafters, you can export and share the plans with them in a variety of formats right from the app. It only takes a couple of taps on the touchscreen.
Read more about ArcSite's features here. If you’d like to try out ArcSite, you can claim your 14-day free trial at the link below!
ArcSite is an easy-to-use CAD app, created to help in-home sales professionals save time, close more deals, and stand out from their competition.Try ArcSite for Free