A career using SketchUp


Good afternoon all,
I’ve been using Sketchup now for the past 6/7 years to mainly design wine cellars, which is my current and main job. I came across Sketchup by chance years ago as I was trying to find a better solution for the designs we were creating at the time, which were extremely basic. Started to use the software, found it to be very user friendly and over time designing more & more. I’m 100% self taught and think I’m at a level now that I’m (suprisingly) pleased with plus recently started rending using Shaderlight which also seems to be going well.
As I’m self taught I have no idea if what I have learn’t over the years would be enough to pursue a further career using Sketchup, I love designing wine cellars but feel as if I would like to design other things in the future also, furniture, components, small building etc…
I could freelance but part of me thinks that my work would not be up to scratch compared to other very talented people out there who produce amazing works.
Wasn’t too sure how to tread the water here but I seem to have found a real passion for designing and I’m feeling a little lost as how I could make it more of a career.
If anyone has any advice or tips as how I could move forward then I would really appreciate it. More than happy to answer any questions (if there are any)
Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
Kind regards

How to earn money to upload model in SketchUp

First things first. To see if anyone could help you forward, one needs to know where you stand now, how proficient you are.
Could you share some of your work/models (and possibly some renders) here on the forum? I think that would help.


Could you tell please what do you want?


Hi Wo3Dan,
No problem. I’l add some pdf’s, images, render’s etc this evening.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.


Hi tmyusuf,
I’m basically looking to eventually produce works other than just wine cellar’s, although I love doing this I would like to move into other design’s too. I just enjoy creating projects for people and the whole drawing process. I’d be happy to freelance as I have a good home set up, just don’t know how to go about offering this type of service and if it’s of use to people.


I’m interested to see what you’ve done.

Have you drawn any of these other things you’re interested in? Furniture? Buildings? If not, you should do that. You need to put together a high quality portfolio of your work to show prospective employers or clients. That’ll help to convince them to hire you and after all, it’s not much of a career if you don’t have someone paying you for your skills. Then you also have to find those people.

You’ll need to be proficient in more than SketchUp, too. Probably LayOut, definitely some form of image editor as well as other software. A career can happen, though. You just have to make it happen.


Hi DaveR,
Very encourging comments, appreciate it.
I’ve created a 3D model of my house which I have uploaded to the Sketchup 3D warehouse, it’s titled 1960’ House by Ben. M if you fancy taking a look I’d be interested in your thoughts.
I actually use Layout in conjunction with the 3D models to create documentation for clients, these include 3D views, 2D elevations etc. I have a fair understanding of the software as a whole but I’m sure there’s a lot more to learn which would improve things massively.


There’s nothing wrong with self taught. If you know how to use your tools by practicing them on a regular basis then 6/7 years practice should see you proficient enough to make a go of it.

My opinion would be to stick with what you know which is rooms. If you can see how best to design a wine cellar then I see no reason why you couldn’t design a kitchen, a bathroom or maybe a small extension.

Social media is an absolute essential tool to promote a startup business. Build a portfolio of ideas and show people what you are capable of through the social media channels and connections you already have from your cellar design.

If you love what you do, you stand a good chance of success imo.

Wish you the best


Good afternoon everyone,
As previously mentioned I’ve attached a bit of a mix of various designs/drawings that we supply to clients. Like I mentioned before, I’m 100% self taught so I don’t really have any idea if what I produce is really any good or where I can improve. If you have the time please have a look through and let me know what you think.
I look forward to you comments.


your drawings looks good. i think you can get contract all around the world and specialised yourself only in the cellar design. We are in an era where boundery doesn’t count so much. I myself have a one man company using almost just sketchup and im fully booked for the last 5 years. Also self thought. My client are on different continents. Im using skype share screen and team viewer for communication. I’m sure there is enought client for wine cellar around the world to fill your schedule, only by using sketchup. You just have to find the way to reach them. My advice is: like i do, try to find a few clients who will bring you many clients. It will avoid you passing half of your time fetching for new project.


Hey there,

One option might be to reach out to a custom home builder in your area and offer to model/render new homes for them. Many of these guys work in old school CAD if they aren’t already outsourcing to someone using Revit or more advanced 3D software. Often times a quick exterior view is all that’s needed for a builder to sell their design.

My advice would be to call around and see who is interested. Offer to model the first home for free to try it out. Your goal is to do what you have done with the wine cellars and sell the design to the client or future client.

Note: I’m not suggesting getting into the design/drafting side of things. You may want to consider looking into classes at your local community college if that’s the route you want to take. Very few firms work exclusively in Sketchup, and an entry level drafting position will probably pay less than running your own 3D visualization service.


I’ve been in all phases of the AEI industry as well as many others (Education, Training, Child Care, Management Consulting, Disaster Lending, Asset Management, even FDIC). I suggest making the best out of the niche in which you’ve been successful. Perhaps explore additional users within your market then new, but related markets. The Wine Industry has a plethora of small, individually-owned winemakers, each of whom seek tasting rooms, display and storage facilities. Restaurants, too want to exploit the interest in wine and beer. Good Luck

Walter Porembski, Managing Member
Planning Logic LLC
AuldGuise Global Vintner
Clearwater Brewing Company


Do you live in a wine region? Maybe look into modeling winery equipment and the space wineries use. For evaluating the use of the space and new development. I’m working on that myself here in Paso Robles, CA. Getting facilities drawings and blueprints has been the most difficult part. Oh and also equipment manufacturers spec drawings. It’s like they don’t want to waste their time if your not buying their equipment. But I keep at it.


Hi JoeDrafter,
Thanks for the response. Can I ask, how do you promote yourself? do you have a website or online portfolio? I’m thinking of going down the website road, very basic but enough to showcase some project examples etc… what would you recommend?


Hi guidepro,
Thank you very much for the encouraging advice, really appreciate it.


Hi Jaxcoffee,
I unfortunately don’t live in a wine region, I’m in the UK…pretty much centre of town (London). The wine areas/cellars that we produce have been for private homes/clients, about 90% anyway. It’s usually very challenging to get in with wineries etc… but we do get approached from time to time. Thanks for your comments, really appreciate it.


I never really have to promote myself because Im in set design area for show production and before I draw things, I’ve been performing on stage and being backline tech on world tour for many years. Ive been building a huge network through it and all my co-worker in the old time become directors and Ive been the first they call when they needed a drafter. While on tour, i’ve always used to draw my project and without being an official drafter, people liked my drawings and slowly it become my full time job. Thing is, when you are alone, it doesn’t take much client to fill your schedule. In my domain, its mostly technical director or production director who feed me my work. I have about 4-5 directosr I work for. You have to find in your area what would be a constant work feed for cellar or any other things. Like guidepro said, there is a huge demand these days for house rendering, and he is also right to say that many architects out there are still on 2D, Black & white mode and often need a simple set of rendering perspectives on the side to create the wow effect with the client. If I would be you, and you are interested in doing house rendering, I would knock at the door of old school architect and offer then a sub-contracting deal where they would feed you contract. It’s also a very good situtation because you don’t have to struggle with the house design. You simply pop out in 3D what they did in Acad or Revit, don’t have to bother about construction detail accuracy and create beautiful pictures with clouds, trees, bird and sun! (sorry for my bad english, its not my mother tongue)


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