Build house with non 90 degree angles

I am using Sketchup since almost 2 month now and I am now trying a more complicated (for me) project.

We have land divided in 8 lots along a road over 260 feets. From top to bottom we have about 8 feets tilt. Like this:

I managed to draw the road and create the 8 structures that will be the floors of the 8 buildings:

This was already complicated enough for me :grinning:

But now it starts becoming difficult.I managed to create 4 “distorted” walls

But I now realize that working further is not possible with my limited Sketchup-Knowledge. I do not even manage to cut a window or door into a wall.

Can someone point me at a technique for building such structures? Is there a way to build it sqaure and then distort it? Considering the amount of additional walls, windows, doors, roofs I will have I must have a more structured way to do this.

PS: I am only “predesignig” this. An architekt will make it a real plan. It will end up being like a walking street with 8 restaurants side by side.

I think as most of the experts here will suggest… you need to add your Sketchup model to the question so we can look at your setup… There are a few different ways to complete your task… it is not difficult… but you need to understand axes, guide tool and scenes when dealing with various building alignments efficiently…
Attach your file and have a quick read/refresh of those tools in help while waiting for responses here…

1 Like

walkingstreet.skp (1.9 MB)

Here is the model.I will consult the help :slight_smile:

It’s not obvious to me whether you want the buildings to be deliberately distorted or whether that is just a function of the site. Usually, the site provides certain constraints within which the design has to work, but it is a compromise between making something that is both buildable and affordable and making something that is unique.

As an example, a lot of designers would start by designing the building they want that fits within the given plan and then “drop” it into the site. If both site and building were components, you could then use Solid Tools to have one cut the other. Clearly, you’re going to get different floor levels if your levels differ by 2.4m from top to bottom. The cutting could take account of that.

sorry, cant open a 2021 file . not everyone is running the latest version — save as 2019 would be more universally accessed.

As Simon says :slight_smile: … your design intentions are a little obscure… do the houses intentionally extend to the boundaries [eg terrace houses? or are the set back a distance? normally walls are parallel with the side boundaries and perpendicular to them… not trapazoidal [or is that just a strange orthographic view angle?

Is each house meant to be unique? or are they all to be identical? usually the local authority sets planning controls that determine the basic form of a home - front and side setbacks, % of the site that can be covered,no of floors etc

First step I can see from your images it to aligng youe side boundaries to the green axis [nominally north] so at least your primary coordinates all parrallel to that

Why have you drawn the back wall to a different height than the front wall?

1 Like

SketchUp skills aside I would get an architect involved sooner than later. What your proposing seems problematic from a design and build ability standpoint.

Because there will be a roof like this:

There’s nothing about your walls that prevents regular push-pull from cutting openings. Is it just that you are having trouble drawing rectangles on the slanted faces? You can either create the rectangles with Line tool instead, and infer to the other edges that define the wall, or you can pretty quickly reset axis within the group each time you move to work on a different wall.

Your current axis:

Reset to one wall:

Reset to another:

1 Like

The design intention is “dictated” by the land. The land (2 big lots) is as here:

At the lower end we plan this walking street. In this picture you can see 3 restaurants side by side. Will be optically looking somehow like this, but single buildings will differ from each other. This is just to give you an idea. Building must be collated to each other.

Of course I could plan to make the single building in 90 degrees to the road. But then I lose land left and right AND I have a gap between C and D. I must avoid a building crossing the line between the 2 big lots. If for whatever reason one or the other lots should be sold then we have a mess.

That the floors are on different levels is not an issue.

I am happy for all suggestions to organize the lots better. For sure designing at 90 degrees would be much easier :slight_smile:

Here a top view from the drone to give you a better view.

Here is the 2019 file. I do not even manage to make windows in the upper part.

walkingstreet2019.skp (2.7 MB)

I tested with scenes and axes. Did not really help. For this project I would actally need axis that are not in 90 degree angle :wink:

Sorry, axis are supposed to be 90 degrees in angle.

I’m still having trouble understanding what is “not working” with your current approach, in terms of pure SketchUp functionality? If your abstracted representation of these structures is failing, perhaps you need to remove abstraction to at least one degree. Build the walls on the default axis and then stage them into place and, when all set, weld them together with Solid Tools.

Union or Outer Shell

Just because a sites meets and bounds are not orthogonal, 90 degrees to each adjacent corner, doesn’t mean that the building walls cannot be. You just have to make sure you are within your setbacks as described in your local ordinances. Why would you build following the site property lines? Makes framing very difficult.

1 Like

Why would you build following the site property lines?

Currently the land lots are 9.8 meter wide. Planning them all 90 degrees makes the lots D, E, F, G and H only 9.3 meter wide and the buildings C and D would not be collated.

I got further in my planning. Starts to look like something real :slight_smile:

1 Like

I seem to see a confusion between two concepts.

  1. Having at least one wall of the buildings all parallel to each other.
  2. Having the walls of the buildings at 90° to each other.

You can have 90° walls, and houses/buildings rotated relative to a fixed direction at different angles on different plots.

Building with walls NOT at 90° to each other will complicate construction and increase costs, to little purpose.

1 Like


I think perhaps we could start by asking what country this is in and how they build. People are talking about setbacks and framing, because that matters where they are at, but most of the world doesn’t use setbacks or wooden construction.

In many places cheap fast growing farmed pine is not a thing and clay is abundant and cheap so solid brick is used. It is easy to track to odd profiles of the lot lines when using brick, especially when it won’t be the final show surface itself.

My guess is you are in such a place where you are going to build to lot lines, so you are tied into the angle (and curve on a few of those parcels) of the lot line.

So people responding kind of need to know this so they don’t keep trying to lead you back to 90s and straights, the don’t exist on your lot lines and you are stuck with what those give you. You should try to have a wall be straight where you intend to have doors and windows. When you get to interior rooms, you might consider picking an edge to be either parallel or perpendicular for each room.

Where I’m at you can’t put a window on a lot line unless it is the road access side, if that is the case where you are at this simplifies things because you won’t have windows on walls that are built to the three of your adjacent land sides and therefore follow a curving line on the back.

The front where it looks like you are going to have a walkway set into it anyhow, you are free to make the walls straight at least, if not exactly along one of the set axis. It would be easiest if you could align that front wall to be on a primary axis but if not set your axis for the front face of each building as discussed above and then draw directly on the flat face and you should have no trouble pushing and pulling through.

The thing to watch out for if the land slopes make sure your floor does not and that you base your axes on that floor. I would recommend starting from a file that has no slope shown and do each building from that as its own component. Then you can be sure everything that should run horizonal like window openings does.

Then you can drop each building (as a component) into location on the file that does have the sloping land and set the vertical placement of each one as you see fit. If you have that slope in your house files you can get yourself messed up and once things aren’t staying parallel to the bottom plane it is just going to go downhill (forgive the pun) from there.



1 Like

Thank you for all your well thought suggestions.

We are planning this walking street on the beautiful isalnd Koh Mak in the East of Thailand.

To make things easier I ended up replanning the plots into a more square (90 degree) angle. only the fron fron will be “followin the road”. See here:

Wood will not be a solution. Thermites will eat that up in few years :slight_smile:

Clay (which woudl be nice) is not available on this small island.

I am working on the design right now. I will post what I ended up creating.

PS: spending my time in redoing all the lots, since I managed (I don’t know how) to design one the 90 degree angle in 90.4 :frowning:

So wood and clay are no options, but you don’t answer the question how buildings are normally build on the island or Thailand generally…

Isn’t Thailand near to Nam? @gsharp