This evening I’ve been using Floorplanner.com to see whether it’s feasible or not to move my study from what used to be the garage to what is currently the fourth bedroom (affectionately known as ‘the bunk room’).
Jane and I have been thinking ahead to when the boys are a little older and wanting to sleep in the bunk beds; we’d also like to do something a little more creative with the former garage, turning it into another ground floor public room (TV room? play room?).
Plenty of room for
I’ve managed to squeeze in:
- 1 x planners desk and chair
- 1 x small bookcase for my printers and scanner
- 1 x Ikea Poäng chair
- 1 x four-drawer filing cabinet
- 6 x book cases
No room for
But I’m still puzzling what to do with:
- 1 x cupboard full of filing boxes, Big Boy’s Box of Interesting Things™, etc.
- 1 x PC and CRT monitor
- 1 x Prie-dieu (prayer desk)
- 1 x bookcase of guitar music
- 4 x guitar amplifiers
- 8 x guitars
What’s holding me up from moving up immediately is working out how we move the broadband connection upstairs (without the use of WiFi or a PowerLine adapter). I suspect we may to have to get an electrician in to add a telephone extension in the new study and perhaps more electrical sockets.
Floorplanner has been really simple to use. It uses an Adobe Flash interface (so you can’t plan your rooms on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad), is pretty intuitive.
I followed the short tutorial to get an idea of the basics, loaded it up on my laptop in the room I wanted to plan and got measuring.
Price: Free for personal use (limited to 1 plan). There are also Plus (€19 per year; up to 5 plans) and Pro (from €19 per month; multiple plans and tours) accounts available.
Strengths: It’s really simple to get started: draw rooms, add doors and windows, tweak dimensions, preview it in 3D. There is quite a large library of objects, furniture, etc. You’re not locked to one PC as plans are available from any online PC.
Weaknesses: Some of the furniture looks quite generic and unremarkable, although dimensions and general colours can be tweaked. There are no filing cabinets in the office category of objects! I couldn’t find an obvious way to put things on the wall (shelves or pictures). The 3D view can be a little tricky at times: you can’t always see exactly the view you want to see.
Conclusion: It’s a great tool for quickly checking to see if your proposed floor plan is going to work (even if you have to improvise some of the furniture).
It’s really much quicker to learn and cheaper to and use than the likes of TURBOFloorplan 3D from IMSIDesign.
This evening (Friday 16 April) I also discovered Autodesk Homestyler which is another Flash-based floorplanner. I don’t mean ‘discovered’ in the same way as say Ferdinand Magellan discovered how to cross the Pacific without the use of a marine-style lollipop man.
In some ways it was nicer and shinier. In other ways it wasn’t quite so customizable.