Floor plan drawing 101: Basic techniques to sketch easier

Drawing floor plan 101: Basic principles

Floor plan drawing is essential when it comes to planning a new house design or architectural project. In floor plan rendering services, accuracy is of significant importance. Hence, photographers should master their drawing skills. This blog provides a comprehensive guideline to drawing a floor plan with a simple explanation. Let’s scroll down to figure out the most basic steps.

Notes before drawing:

Let’s go over some important notes. First of all, you will need the essential tools such as a laser measure or measuring tape, graph paper, a pencil with rubber,  and a clipboard.  Also, you might want to ​​have a few different colors on hand, to mark different areas. Next, there are a few things to keep in mind before making the first sketches. 

The floor plan drawing should be drawn at a scale of 1:100. It’s crucial that the photographers sketch the property’s scale correctly. Using grid paper with 5 mm increments will be much more convenient since it will help you measure better. That means two blocks would be for 10mm and correspond to 1 meter in real life. For imperial measurements, you can use inch-by-foot graph paper. To guarantee that your house plan is made to the right scale, follow the grid on the paper according to your dimensions. The north direction should be clearly noted. This is critical since it will aid in the organization of properties at numerous levels.

1. Sketch a draft footprint

It’s essential for photographers to have the overall layout of the property in a real estate floor plan drawing. Thus, always start outside at the front of the property. A useful hint here is to try putting the paper in the corresponding direction to the property shape. Draw from a corner of the paper to make sure that you have enough space to work through the rest of the drawings. To ensure effective measurements, walk the length of the outer wall and count your steps, as this is a good starting point for a rough sketch to scale. Besides, it’s easier to fill in rooms when you have already got the drawings of the house’s exterior walls.

First step of floor plan drawing: Sketch a draft footprint
First step of floor plan drawing: Sketch a draft footprint

When drawing lines, try to face the same direction as the house while keeping your paper facing the same direction. That enables an easier way to remove rooms in proper locations. Plus, it is especially relevant for the later process when photographers are walking upstairs through a corner stairway. Apply the same steps for all walls and doors, and then the final outcome is that you have a rough footprint of the structure.

2. Measure the property

It’s time to get out your tape measurer for the actual walls in the house. First, make sure to consistently use appropriate measurement units on the sketch. Based on photographers’ demands and preferences, a graph paper, an architect’s ruler, or a laser can be used for this step. As a rule of thumb, start with measuring the wall by running your tape measure from one corner to the other down the baseboard. ​​To achieve a full wall-to-wall dimension, run the tape along the top of the baseboard. If this isn’t possible, run it along the floor and modify the width to fit the baseboards. 

Then come the next features on the wall, like the doors or windows. When sketching the doors, an important note to bear in mind is that door types like bi-fold or sliding doors have differentiated widths. Pay attention to the door direction as well. Record it on the floor plan drawing in feet and inches, and continuously repeat the process for other rooms.

3. Draw the structure of the house

After measuring, drawing the structure of the house would be the next step. You should first walk around the house to determine the house’s direction, the front door, the back door, and the overall structure. The floors in the house should be aligned according to the staircase structure. In America, it’s common for the entry to be placed in the downward or left direction of the floor plan drawing. After knowing the scale, you will fix the shape and size of the house. If the measurement is incorrect, the interior could be pointed out of the property. 

Floor plan drawing first step: Drawing the Structure of the house
Floor plan drawing first step: Drawing the Structure of the house

Now, you can use a lead pencil and have an eraser nearby to repair any errors without harming the paper. Round-off your measurements to nearest 5cm/inch. This means that 3424mm becomes 345cm and 2478mm becomes 250cm on the drawing. 

Next, measure the second wall while focusing on your first measurement and don’t read the second measurement. Now, you can go ahead and  write down the first measurement and draw the first wall. Please note that checking your laser, writing down the second measurement, and draw that wall are very important as well. Close the room by drawing the other two walls. 

4.  Draw fixed installations and other details

The next step is to draw the permanent structures of the property. They are the details that couldn’t be moved or affect the house layout, like the fireplace, stairs, or cabinets. Make sure to measure the surrounding area of those in-built furniture pieces as well as their position within the room. In each room, draw a line or two to show its location and clearly define the position of those fixed installations. For the heading upstairs, note on the drawings their positions with an accurate width measurement. A good tip here is to measure and locate the switches, outlets, or other details in the room as well.

5. Label the property

The last step in drawing the floor plan is labeling. Understanding floor plan symbols is also important part. After the whole house has been carefully sketched out, you need to label the windows, doors, wardrobes, and room names. Name each floor, room, and number some specific things, like bedrooms, to make sure things are clearly identifiable. This helps the floor plan rendering services to know exactly what room it is to create an advanced floor plan later. You should write all measurements and room names in the same orientation. This makes it easier for the drafter to re-draw the floor plan without having to rotate the sketch. Before you leave the room, check that you have two measurements of all doors, windows, and fixtures. Look first at the room and then at your drawing.

If your client requires it, labeling furniture would be the last step in the process. Finally, after everything is sketched out, you can go ahead and send your floor plan for conversion. Do you find the information helpful? Check out our blog “Different floor plan types real estate photo companies can offer”


The process of floor plan drawing could be simplified if you follow all the rules and sketch carefully. However, there are still mistakes made sometimes, which lead to a longer process. Originally, you would need to draw from the doors and go to the details, which takes more time. Understanding the struggle, floor plan services like Esoft has developed a technology called “Script tool” to support illustrator. With this new technology, the drawing process would be faster to save time.