How to Design a Kitchen with CAD Software

Designing your dream kitchen is now easier than ever with the use of CAD software. CAD stands for computer aided design and is used by designers and architects. There are many different CAD programs available to purchase, from basic software that allows homeowners to design floor plans using 2D images, to more technical offerings for professionals who require the use of 3D imagery. If you want to have a go at designing your own kitchen but have never used CAD software before, we suggest you choose a basic program and follow our guidelines below.

kitchen1

Design your dream kitchen with CAD software
Image source: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/179/482490489_d54aafd4a1.jpg

Preparing your kitchen design

Before you begin using CAD software to design your kitchen, you will need to take accurate measurements of your kitchen in millimetres. It is important to mark the positions of your windows and doors as well as fixed items like gas pipes, switches, sockets, radiators and drains.

There are a variety of different kitchen layouts to choose from including U-shapes, L shapes, column and single wall plans. If you are unsure about which layout will be best for your kitchen, take a look at other images online or in home magazines for inspiration. It is also a good idea to make note of the appliances you will want to have in your kitchen such as a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer, as this will influence where you position your cabinets and work surfaces.

Using CAD software to design your kitchen

When using CAD software the first task will be to insert your kitchen measurements as this will determine whether or not your plan will work in real life. You will usually have to start your kitchen design from scratch, though some programs do allow you to drag and drop images into your plan.

It is important to focus on the layout of your kitchen before you think about the style and colours of your units. Once you have drawn the room and added in the doors, windows and fixed items you can begin to position the units you want to include in your kitchen design. Make sure you position corner units first and work your way out from there. 

Making sure your kitchen design is practical

When designing the layout of your kitchen it is important to think about its practicality, for example your dishwasher should be positioned next to your sink, so you can load it with ease. The kitchen work triangle is another design idea to keep in mind. Most designers ensure that the sink, oven and fridge form a triangle within the layout of a kitchen, to minimise movement between these key areas. If you are thinking of having a number of appliances in your kitchen it is always a good idea to place a unit in between each.

Learning to use CAD software to design kitchens

Complex CAD software can be more difficult to use, with some people even going to college to learn how to use it properly. If you are using a novice program you should be able to learn the basics by having a play around with the software and adopting a trial and error method. There are also plenty of books and help guides available, as well as video tutorials on the internet.

kitchen2

CAD software enables you to map out where everything will go in your kitchen
Image source: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7023/6783965531_71573e2c20.jpg

Conclusion

If you have your heart set on designing your own kitchen then CAD software offers the perfect solution. It is much simpler than attempting to draw your plans out on paper and gives you a visual idea of how your dream kitchen will look. Many homeowners have already used CAD software to create kitchen plans which give their designers and architect an initial idea of how they want their kitchen to look.

By Megan Hunt