My employer recently approached me with a unique request. he was interested in purchasing a new location for a sports bar. Rather than go directly to a professional architect, he came to me to at least put together a tentative floorplan for the new space.
The first task was inding a suitable program to work with. There are many far more professional applications for developing floorplans, but they come with a far more professional price tag. Eventually I settled on the free Google application, SketchUp.
Sketchup operates on a scaled to metrics platform and can be fairly easily manipulated. Objects snap to faces and edges relatively easily. Also there is a huge library of downloadable, user-submited 3d objects ready to download, drop & modify onto the floor plan.
See the progression below:
I realize that this is not as impressive as some actual professionals would do it, but imagine the time saved by an architect if the owner already has a good idea of what they are going to do with the floorplan. It would be fun and interesting to continue working with sketchup for floorplans. Perhaps my own home? We will see.