Construction professionals using Sketchup & PlusSpec

Where the Journey began
When I first discovered Sketchup (17yrs ago) I spent hours, days, probably months & possibly years learning and using and perfecting my Sketchup workflow. The aim was to win more paying customers for my construction business by showing them what I’d build for their money. Essentially Sketchup started as a sales tool for me.

To a small few builders, this will sound familiar yet to a new builder on a similar journey this is a story in progress that may just save you countless hours.

To be continued…

Making edits to the model cost me an arm and a leg
The above project was designed in Sketchup but not everything was smooth sailing as the client made multiple changes after the first concept was completed.

Sketchup won me the job yet my ability in Sketchup cost me time
Sure I won the clients initial business yet I hadn’t allowed sufficient time to make edits in Sketchup and I based my predicted edit time on using AutoCad and as a result, I lost a lot of time.

The 3D model helps with sales but it can be a double-edged sword when it comes to edits
It is a fine line between creating a pretty model for sales and creating a detailed model for buildability so understanding what to put into a model was something I had to learn.

To be continued…


Every Design-Build business needs to grow to succeed
If you are like me you fill your plate and start chewing as fast as possible to get through what’s in front of you, the key is to avoid gluttony as it can lead to overload.

Employing people in your Sketchup workflow
Originally I thought that I could employ Sketchup staff straight from school and the first young feller I employed was a cracker, he listened and he learned and to the day he still works alongside of me. However, after this I had a few disasters with Sketchup students, most of it came down to me not spending the time to eliminate bad habits and implement systems

A structured model enables everyone to work in, on and extract the desired result without rework
Running a business, especially a design & construction business is a handful, to say the least, and it is easy to see why small businesses do not have the time to teach everything they know about Sketchup.

How to employ Sketchup staff and have them producing billable work in the first 2 weeks
Automating the structure of Sketchup modelling
To be continued…
add window to Sketchup using PlusSpec Plugin

Quantifying or estimating my Sketchup models was one thing, associating price, suppliers and sub contractor was another.
Finding information in my estimate was in many cases the straw that broke the camels back.
You may like to see this video as we recently solved this problem as well.

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On top of being able to find things, it is important to be able to lay out things like trusses. I actually just screenshot these in many cases as a truss layout does not need to be to scale as long as the girder setbacks and load-bearing walls and truss spacings are clear the rest of the info is on the floor plan.