floor plan

Great design in architecture and civil engineering starts with a floor plan.

What is a floor plan?

A floor plan is a technical drawing of a room, residence or commercial building, such as an office or restaurant. The drawing which can be represented in 2D or 3D, showcases the spatial relationship between rooms, spaces, and elements such as windows, doors, and furniture. Floor plans are critical for any architectural project. Architects, engineers and builders use floor plan software to create plans for their upcoming projects.

What is a floor plan used for?

A floor plan provides a preview of the architectural project. It shows how the space is divided and indicates the dimensions and measurements of the various elements such as window and doors. Those involved with the project will be able to suggest changes and move to the next stages, such as electrical, plumbing, structural, landscaping, and others.

The difference between blueprints and floor plans

Blueprints are detailed drawings referenced to build something. They can include many types of drawings and diagrams such as floor plans, elevations, and details. A floor plan shows a bird’s-eye view of the interior of structure including the location of walls, fixtures, and furniture.

Types of floor plans


A 3D floor plan is a view of an architectural space in three dimensions. By viewing a 3D floor plan one can get a better understanding of the size, layout, and proportions of a space.


Technical floor plans offer specific details and measurements showing the relationships between rooms and other spaces in an architectural or building engineering project. They’re drawn to scale and typically show only one level of a structure per drawing.


More realistic than other types of plans, humanized floor plans are best suited for presentation settings. In architecture and building engineering use cases, they show how an environment will look once the space is complete, including furniture, sinks, and other objects.

How to Create a simple floor plan in AutoCAD?


If you haven’t already, learn these commands before taking the tutorial:

  • Use Mline to create a double line using straight line segments and arcs. (In AutoCAD LT, using Dline)
  • Use rectang to create a rectangular polyline.

Draw external walls

  1. New drawing. In Start Drawing templates, click on the New button in the top toolbar and select the Tutorial i-Arch template.
  2. Mspace. In the new drawing, you start out in the paper space. Click Paper in the status bar at the bottom of the screen to switch the model space.
  3. Rectang. In the ribbon, click the Home tab. In the Draw panel, click Rectangle.  Specify the lower left and upper right points of the rectangle with your mouse to form the outside of the exterior wall.
  4. Offset. In the Modify panel, click Offset.  Specify 9″ by typing 9 and pressing Enter. Select the rectangle.
  5. Specify an inside point to create the other side of the wall. Then, hit Enter to escape the Offset command.

Draw internal walls

  1. There is no double-line tool on the ribbon, so enter MLINE and press Enter to start the command. (Mline in DWGSee CAD)
  2. Type w and press space for the Width option. Enter 4 to specify a width of 4″ for the interior walls.
  3. Right-click and select Osnap Overrides, then select Nearest.
  4. Click to specify a point on the inside rectangle of the wall on the East side.
  5. Click to specify a point inside the building.
  6. Right-click and select Osnap Overrides, then select Perpendicular.
  7. Click on the inside of the South outer wall. Press Enter to escape the dline command.

    Note: If you are following these steps in AutoCAD LT, use dline instead.

Draw a simple window

  1. Osnap. Click the small down arrow for the object snap menu in the status bar.  Click on MidpointNearest, and Perpendicular to enable these modes.
  2. Line. In the ribbon, click Line. Draw a small 9″ line through the outer wall on the East side.
  3. Copy. Select the line you just created. In the ribbon, click Copy.  For the base point, click on the selected line.
  4. Displacement. Move your mouse to specify a direction along the wall, but do not click. Type in 48 and press Enter.
    Glass pane. In the ribbon, click Line. Click to specify the Midpoint of one of the lines you created, then click to specify the Midpoint of the second line.
  5. Press Esc to stop the line command. Your simple window is complete.

Dimension the window

  1. Dimension. In the ribbon, in the Annotation pane, click Dimension. 
  2. Place the dimension. Specify both sides of the window by clicking on the outside edges with your mouse, then dragging away from the wall.
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