Advanced Floor Plan Tutorial

If you're reading this, you should have already read how to draw a basic floor plan using SmartDraw. In that part of the tutorial, we covered adding walls, windows, and wall openings. We also learned about adding countertops, appliances, and cabinets. In this final, advanced level of the project we discuss how to add layers to your floor plan drawing.

Think of each layer as a page in a set of blueprints. You might want one for plumbing, another for electrical wiring, HVAC, et cetera. You might even want one for design where you can add furniture and room decor.

Layers build off of your primary, or default, floor plan. For this example, we'll create a layer for our electric plan.

Kitchen Floor plan templates

Add a Layer to Your Floor Plan Drawing

In the top ribbon bar, click Page and directly underneath it, open the Layers drop-down menu and in the dialog box that opens, select New Layer. Name the new layer "Electrical." You'll notice that under the name are two items labeled Properties: Visible is checked; Clickable is not. We'll get to these in a few minutes.

Notice that now, when you have the new Electrical layer open, when you click on any of the objects in the drawing, nothing happens. This is because the "clickable" function is disabled. To be able to edit all objects in any layer, enable the clickable function.

Floor plan layers

Open a Library of New Symbols

We need to add electrical symbols to our library. To do this, go to the SmartPanel and click the drop-down window, and select "More." Go to the Engineering folder, Basic Electrical subfolder, and select Electrical Wiring-1. You may also search for the types of symbols you want in the Search window. Click "OK" at the bottom of the window and this set of symbols is added to your SmartPanel library.

Floor plan kitchen symbols

Place Symbols in the Electrical Layer of the Floor Plan

We're going to add symbols in our Electrical layer, but don't want them to show in our Default Layer. To do this, click the down arrow next to Electrical on the bottom toolbar, and the uncheck "Visible." Now, as you add elements to this layer they won't appear in the Default layer. If you click the down arrow on the Default tab, you'll see that Visible is still checked. This means that any objects you add in the Default layer will be visible in the Electrical layer.

Let's start adding electric outlets. We know we need a duplex outlet under the sink to provide power for the garbage disposer and the dishwasher. Click the Duplex Receptacle Outlet symbol, stamp it or drag it onto your work area, then rotate and move it into position.

Move symbol

Simply repeat this process for the additional electrical outlets in your plan. To make the elements stand out on the page, we added color. Do this by selecting the desired items; click the Home tab, then select Fill and choose the color you want. We've also added a cable television outlet and notes for the electrician. Our finished electrical plan looks like this:

Click on the Default tab and you'll see that none of the additions we've made to the Electrical layer have been applied in the Default layer.

You're now ready to continue adding other layers. Just follow these same steps for plumbing, lighting, furnishings, and so on.

Floor plan electric outlets

Ready to Share Your Floor Plan?

Save or share your floor plan using Dropbox®, Box®, Google Drive, and OneDrive®. Export it to Microsoft Word®, Excel®, PDF, or PowerPoint® easily.

MS Office Integration
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