Photo by Adrienne Dufficy

by Dan Fritschen

Update: Starting to plan an addition to your home or a remodel doesn’t need to involve an architect, project manager or contractor from the very start of the planning phase. There are plenty of new technologies that will help you make a start on your remodel without the need to engage the services of a contractor straight away – saving you money in the mean time! Whether it’s our free, easy to use remodeling cost calculators, or the range of iPhone apps available, you’ll find that planning your remodel on the move is easier than ever.

There’s plenty of modern technology available to help you with your remodeling project. Whether it’s an auction site such as eBay, an iPhone app or organizational software like iCal or BaseCamp, there are many ways to help your remodel run smoothly.  One of the more difficult parts of the remodel is the planning phase. Endlessly measuring your space and the dimensions of furniture, fixtures and fittings can be a lengthy and tiring process. Employing contractors, designers and architects and presenting them with a blank page can also make your project much more expensive and time-consuming. But with a piece of software called SmartDraw, you could save yourself both time and money.

SmartDraw is compatible with Microsoft Office and has a number of features that allow you to create visuals quickly and easily. The software is used primarily for presentations such as mind maps, graphs and flowcharts but also has a dynamic floorplan option. The floorplan design software is easy to use and much simpler than professional architectural software.

You can start by choosing from a wide variety of floorplan templates that match whatever project you’re doing – so whether you’re building a whole house from scratch or just looking to remodel the guest bathroom, you can save time by having the tools ready and waiting in front of you.

Once you’ve selected a template, making it conform to your exact dimensions is as simple as typing in measurements on the image so that the software immediately scales it. This can also be done for any doors, windows and furniture you then add.

Adding these items is as simple as clicking ‘add door’, ‘add window’ or even ‘add bed’ to make it appear on the plan. Then you can move it around easily with your mouse to get it in the right position. SmartDraw can even be used for landscaping projects, with various trees, shrubs and ground surfaces to choose from.

When you’ve finished creating your floorplan, you’ll have a clear, professional looking set of plans that can easily be passed on to designers, contractors or even family members concerned with the project. This also allows you to measure exactly what can go where in your house remodel so you can work out all the kinks long before the project gets underway.