5 Best Ways To Design a Basement Floor Plan

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Creating a basement floor plan can be fun and challenging, but it can also be a bit overwhelming at first if you’re not sure exactly where to get started.

You may be able to get started with just a scrap of paper and a pencil to draw out a basic idea. But after that, you’ll want to switch to a modern design tool to help solidify your idea into something that can be used to start determining costs and construction time.

Below, we’ll look at the steps needed to start designing a great basement floor plan and then look at some popular software tools to help you get professional results – sometimes for free.

Important Steps Before Starting The Design Process

Before getting down to the actual design details, you’ll want to consider a few things that will make the process much easier and more efficient. By doing this, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and the actual process of designing will be much more enjoyable.

What Purpose Will the Basement Serve?

The first step is to determine what type of living area the basement will be. For example, will it be used as a home theater area for guests? Or perhaps it will be a spare bedroom and small living space?

Each of these options will require a different layout and different amenities to be added to complete the project and fulfill the goals for the space.

What Are The Measurements?

This is another crucial stop and you’ll need all the measurement data before you start using any design software. Even if you draw the design by hand, you’ll still need accurate measurements.

Some of the software and apps we will discuss in the next section allow you to 3D scans of the area to get an idea of the measurements. Even with this, you’ll still need to do accurate manual measurements.

Choose Different Zones

It’s likely the basement area will have different zones to accommodate different amenities or features. For example, if it’s going to work as a spare bedroom, you may want a small area for sitting, a sectioned-off area for the bedroom, and finally a small bathroom.

Determine all the zones you need for your basement plan and make sure they will all fit in the space available. You may also want to research your local zoning and building codes at this point to make sure everything you want to include is allowed.

Some areas may have restrictions on what type of features a finished basement can have.

Finally, even though there are different zones, you want to be cautious of using walls to separate these areas. Due to the confined space of a basement and the usual lack of windows, walls can quickly make a basement feel claustrophobic.

Try to aim for a more open design that resembles that of a flat or studio-style apartment.

Start Designing The Basement Floor Plan

Now that you have your measurements in hand and a list of all the features you want, it’s time to start creating a formal floor plan.

Most will start with a simple 2D layout. This is the typical layout that looks like a simple top-down view of the space. 

To create these, you’ll likely want to use software or an app to get more professional results. 

We’ve selected a few software options that we feel work best for this purpose and offer some tips for each one below.

Planner 5D

This program is aimed at homeowners or amateur DIY enthusiasts who want an easy-to-use application to get professional results.

With Planner 5D, you can make 2D layouts very easily but you can also convert them to fully 3D renderings that allow for viewing from any angle. This really helps give you an idea of how the space will flow after your design changes.

Planner 5D also allows for objects such as furniture or other items to be added to the space to get an even better idea of how the layout will work when finished.

Pricing is inexpensive with Planner 5D compared to some other tools. There is a free version with basic features as well as a paid version that starts at $6.99 for 30 days.


This more advanced tool is meant for professional designers, builders, and even architects. It has robust features to work with both 2D layouts but there is no 3D rendering available. On the plus side, it can work on almost any device via the cloud without having to install software.

Pricing for SmartDraw is $117 per year.


Roomstyler is unique in that it combines a room layout tool with a social media component. The app lets you browse designs by other users to find inspiration for your own creations.

Roomstyler has options for 2D and 3D layouts and even has name-brand furniture models to include in your renderings.

Pricing is free for the basic features like the drag-and-drop floorplan editor. For other features, you need to contact Roomstyler for pricing.

Cedreo 2

This professional-level design app is geared toward homebuilders, remodelers, and designers. It has many advanced features for both 2D and 3D modeling. Their library includes over 7,000 assets including furniture and other items to include in the renderings.

Cedreo also works well with almost any room design, not just basements.

They offer free access to their software with limited features. Paid plans begin at $119 for unlimited features.


This popular computer-aided design (CAD) software is well-known in the industry and has been used to design countless floor plans over the years.

This advanced tool features unique walkthrough viewing as well as flyover viewing to create stunning animations. However, the software can be somewhat difficult to use compared to other offerings.

Professionals with a background in CAD should have no problem, but other designers may struggle with the interface at first.

A web-only version with limited features is available for $119. Fully featured versions start at $299.

detailed plan for finished basement

Floor Plan Drawing

When it comes to renovating your basement, planning is key. Along with knowing the cost to finish your basement, a detailed floor plan is a necessity. Whether you’re turning your basement into a cozy living space, a home office, or a recreational area, creating an accurate floor plan is the first step to success. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of drawing a basement floor plan like a pro, ensuring your project starts on the right foot.

Drawing a basement floor plan may seem daunting, but with careful measurement, planning, and attention to detail, you can create a blueprint that sets the stage for a successful basement renovation. Whether you’re transforming your basement into a functional living space or a recreational haven, a well-thought-out floor plan is the foundation for a beautiful and functional finished basement.

Designing Your Basement Floor Plan Made Easy

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to add a new living space to your home or a professional designer who needs to make stunning presentations for clients, there should be a tool on this list to match your basement floor plan needs.

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