Carport with ADU

I live in Portland, OR and we have laws preventing multi-tenant buildings in residential areas. We also have a relatively new City Council member named Chloe Eudaly who is for housing expansion within the city limits. One of her projects for infill housing is low-interest loans for people who build ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units.)

My first Sketchup model was a shed. Pretty straightforward, I built the shed (partially from a kit; the Sketchup model was mostly for placement and designing the foundation and learning Sketchup.)

Now I have a design that is quite a bit more complex. I am designing an ADU with a carport (since our 1947 house does not have a garage.)

My model is too big to upload, but here are some photos.

1. Views of the property. The available space is on the right as you face the house, including and behind the existing driveway. There is a considerable slope.


2. My Sketchup drawings. I am having trouble with knowing how to make actual construction-level measurements of everything, and how to spec the foundation, lumber, plumbing, electricity, etc. Also how to make shapes stick together.
Comments from anyone who has done these things will be welcome.

Here are my Sketchup pictures:

Thanks for your help!
John K

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“Make shapes stick together:” You should be placing things in groups. In general the geometry WILL stick together without a group (read: “group or component”) separating them from other geometry. So your stairs could be a group and the treads can be like components inside the group. Place groups and components on layers for organization and hiding as you need or see fit. Keep Layer0 as the active layer and don’t put geometry (edges and faces) on any other layer (though the group containing it can be on another layer).

Are you using SketchUp Pro or Free?

Dimensions, notation, and presentation of construction drawings are a big subject.Try some plan views (using section cuts), elevations, and sections in parallel projection from the “standard views” under the Camera menu, because eventually construction documents will require this (or at least a plan checker will expect this). There are threads in SketchUcation about construction drawings. I don’t know about this forum.

I think the movement regarding construction drawings is going toward use of LayOut because that is what professionals will tend to use, but people HAVE done quite a lot just using SketchUp for that.

Shoot for reality in the model (within reason–for things you will actually see or want to show). That means things like boards and panels have thickness (minimum two opposing faces in SketchUp) Also consider where the elements might be. In a hand sketch you might draw your lines right through, but in the model not (do your posts go all the way to the bottom of the foundation? etc). And your floors may have thickness. You may choose not to show all the framing in the floor and save that for detail or another drawing, but you would show, at least, a face for the finish floor surface and a face for the ceiling below.

That said (about “reality”) I can actually do a house model just showing the outside surfaces and no framing inside walls and floors etc. I could use it for the sections, elevations and floor plans, because I know what is “inside” and how to show construction in framing plans and details. The contractor also knows how a typical wall is framed, so why draw it all? Sometimes I do fully detailed sections, sometimes not, depending on how conventional the construction and whether I have a structural engineer holding up that end. (I use conventional 2d detail CAD drawings where needed–it’s not in the model.)

Thank you so much pbacot. I will investigate the topics you have suggested. So far I am using Sketchup Free. I have wondered about upgrading to Pro or Layout, but I feel (like I do about my grandfather’s wood Jack Nicklaus golf clubs) that I want to learn all I can about the system on which I am working before I move on to the next one.