How To Draw The Floor plans of Your Own House

Today’s Topics:

  • Setting up
  • Surveying
  • Adding Renovations

Drawing the floor plans of your house is not as hard as it seems. In fact, it can even be fun!

You can watch my youTube tutorial on how to accomplish this too!

Setting Up

There are a couple of ways to do this depending on what tools you have available.

  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler/Architectural scale
  • Writing utensil
  • Plain paper/Graph paper
  • (Optional) Computer software

The measuring tape will be used for measuring the distances in your house. The ruler will be used as a straight edge. I would also recommend using 3 different colors to represent walls, windows and doors. Then graph paper to use as units of measurement.

For a more advanced representation and design, you can use free student computer softwares such as Rhino, Revit, or Sketchup. (If you have questions about how to get these, ask in the comments.) this will allow you to print out the outline of your house and use an architectural scale for more precise measurements.


This will be the most time consuming part of this process and to start with as simply as possible you should use graph paper. This will allow you to use the boxes as square units helping you to get a more accurate measurement than just drawing it out.

With your measuring tape, you can begin by measuring the thickness of your wall so that you can add dimension to your floor plan. In many scenarios throughout this process, it is best to round to the nearest 1/2 foot. so if your walls are 5 in you would round up to be 6 in.

The best way to start off is by defining the perimeter. This is helpful to make corrections if you happen to make a mistake because all of your dimensions should fit inside of the perimeter that you set. Measure from one side of your house to the other end, then do it again to find the opposite sides of the your house.

An important thing to remember is that your are most likely going to be measuring from the inside of your house, so the dimensions that you get from the measuring tape will only be accurate if you draw the floor plans corresponding to which side of the wall you are measuring to and from.

Moving from the perimeter, you can then plot out where your interior walls are. Doing this is more like completing a puzzle. You will make a couple of mistakes, but nothing that cannot be solved.

Begin with walls that are connected to the perimeter. Make sure you find the distance from the corner to the base of the wall that you are measuring. Then you can measure the length of the wall. This process can be repeated for the remaining walls that you have left

One of the problems that you might encounter is when there is a wall that is not connected to the perimeter. For this you need to start with finding the location of the corner point of your wall. You have to do two measurements. Each from two sides of the perimeter that are next to each other similar to a xy-coordinate system, so it then lines up to the corner point that you’re looking for. You can then proceed to measure the length of the wall as normal.

A simple way to make stairs is to define the area with a rectangle, and then draw hashed lines – – – to represent each step.

Once you have all of the stairs in place you can then move on to the doors and windows. I would suggest using different colors so that you can better distinguish all of these different elements.

Since you already have wall thickness included, you can draw lines within the walls to represent doors and windows. Again, making sure to measure to the nearest 1/2 foot you should measure 3 distances.

  • The distance from one side to the window or door.
  • The distance of the window or door.
  • The distance from the other side of the window or door the edge of the wall.

Be careful with measuring these distances. Often times your windows are all the same size, but you are more likely to have different size doors in your house.

If you have completed all of the steps above, then congratulations, you have the floor plans of your house!

Adding Renovations

You may be asking yourself, why would I need to do this? I am not an architecture student, or an architect so why should this matter?

Well have you ever thought about how your house would look if you wanted to rearrange your furniture? Doing this can help you plan out different ideas in your house or even how new furniture could fit into your space.

This also works really well for planning out reconfigurations and full renovations within your house.

If none of these reasons pertain to you, then it could be just for fun while also learning a new skill.

Thank you for reading this weeks article. Please leave any questions comments or concerns that you have. I am more than willing to help you if you need it!

Stay tuned for next week as I will talk about the history of architecture. As always, dream big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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