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What's a Quick and Easy Way to Capture Floor plan Sketch with Dimensions?

Published: 08/05/2017

Brandon in LA says:

I recently purchased a Leica DISTO D2 and am planning to offer floor plans (just 2D to start) as an additional service. I've thoroughly researched the various vendors you have listed in previous posts on this subject, and have played around with Leica's own Sketch app (which unfortunately seems way too basic even to create a rough sketch). My plan was to create either hand-drawn sketches and send them to an outsourced company for final creation, or use MagicPlan or another iPad app to create the final plan on-site (or at least rough it in for completion later). I would rather use the laser tool than try to have MagicPlan determine room dimensions via the camera.

I'm a bit frustrated with the process so far. Maybe I'm overthinking it. I have been unable to find any definitive "how-to" videos or resources that show the entire measuring process with the laser tool.


I think you are on the right track. I have MagicPlan and while I don't use it intensively, I think it is a good option to make a sketch and capture dimensions on site. I agree I'd rather use a laser measuring device to capture the room dimensions. Of course, there are many other iPad Apps that would allow you to make a room sketch. Any software like MagicPlan takes some intensive investment in time to learn how to use quickly and efficiently. You can make a sketch and add dimensions to it with your measuring device. There are a bunch of training videos on the MagicPlan site. You could also just use your Leica DISTO D2 and a sheet of paper to make the sketch.

Once you sketch each floor with all the dimensions if you are not into doing the drafting work to make a great looking plan it's well worth it to send it to some place like to have them make the finished plan.

What other advice do readers have for Brandon?

Larry Lohrman

8 comments on “What's a Quick and Easy Way to Capture Floor plan Sketch with Dimensions?”

  1. Don't get hung by insisting on an iPad (or tablet) application for your floorplan. You may find it much easier to find something that runs on your desktop where you can use more precise input devices (KB and Mouse).

    Pull out the trusty #2 pencil and make a rough sketch of each room. Measure distances with the Leica and add them to the sketch. If you aren't familiar with common drafting symbols, it's a good idea to find an online tutorial or book. While you can come up with your own symbols for doors, window and so forth, if you think you may want to outsource the final work, using standard symbols will cut down on errors.

    See what sort of market response you get to offering floorplans before you get too invested. I've offered them for several years and the only one I have done was a practice run and I did it in a basic 2D CAD application that I already know fairly well. I tried a couple of dedicated floor plan applications to find out what features are most valuable, but it's been a couple of years and I couldn't tell you what they are. They weren't all that great anyway. This might be something that is best to outsource. Some of the service providers do a very good job.

  2. HomeDepot offers a floorplan service where they'll have someone come out, do the measuring and supply a detailed floorplan. I haven't tried using them yet, but the next time someone wants a floorplan, I'm going to give them a try. They start at $100 for up to 3,000sqft.

  3. I probably do it the old fashioned way. Laser measure and graph paper. I then upload a scan of the paper to a service who redraws it. It's a bit time consuming but the drawing they provide are much better than anything I could produce. It does take 2-3 days for the whole process to occur. Floorplansusketch I think is the site.

  4. Great Question.

    We have been doing floor plans for 10+ years and frankly, the easiest and fastest onsite method is use graph paper, scale it to 2 ft per square, and sketch it out. As an authorized service provider for FloorPlanOnline, our production group will digitize the plan for you, do photo editing, flyer creation and sequence our video. If you have a Matterport camera, we can create the floor plan out of that scan as well by simply making us a collaborator. We have our own floor plan system and with the click of a button it is in 3D. No extra work on your end. We can also provide enhanced plans with color, flooring or even furniture. Finally, the buyer can claim the home and get a copy of the floor plan, right from the tour, put into their own private HomeDiary account. See for an example of for one with Matterport embedded into it.

    I have tried MagicPlan and others...and if you do not mind the time and frustration those things bring, then give them a try...but a sketch of the property is the fastest. Or, if you have architectural plans, a marketing brochure, etc, we can also work from that too - just take a photo from 90 degrees, upload it, and we convert it into a 2d/3D plan. We do use Home Depot in some markets but they send someone out wearing an orange HD smock, and yet another person to schedule, which at times is not easy as they call you the day of to make a specific appointment time - so that often does not work well with agents and your schedule...

    This is totally something you can do - we do have a mix of photographers and appraisers, but we provide some training. We are looking for authorized area managers to work with us in a cobranded fashion, so you can provide some big company functionality and branding, at a local level. We are an official Photography For Real Estate advertiser (see our rotating ad on right hand side above Tourbuzz). Or go here to learn more., As an area manager, you set your own prices, define the various add-ons you want to provide and we do the rest - billing, customer care, production/processing, etc. Email me if you have questions.

  5. Matterport keeps getting better at floor plans. They now only cost an additional $19 on top of the $19 to process and host the 3d scan. The best thing is that there is absolutely no additional work other than clicking the purchase button to add the floor plan. They are supper accurate and now generally arrive in 12 to 24 hrs from order. We do them standard on every listing. If you don't use Matterport and you have a particularly large house you may consider hiring a 3rd party to get a 3d scan and floorplan then mark it up. In most markets you can get both for $175 to $250.

    Here is an example

  6. I have been doing floorplans for years.
    I sketch on graph paper on site take accurate measurements with a disto then digitise on metropix.Com very easy to do and quick once you get used to it. Their support is amazing. Just a call away.

    Very impressed with Matterport plans too. Just a tad expensive. I guess if you are doing the 3D VT can offer the 2D plans as an upsell or throw in free if you can sell a nice package.

    Good luck ????

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