Help getting started

Hi I just downloaded the Sketch up pro app
I bought a house that is still been build and I wanted to use this app design the house using the real measurements
can somebody help me?

Start with learning the basics, from the videos at, and practice those on something simpler than your house to start with. There’s an exercise to draw a playground slide and stairs - try it.

Make sure to get some of the very basic ideas right, from the start. Many beginners don’t (including me, when I first started using SU many years ago!), and then get into trouble when they try to edit the model later.

I’ve tried to cover here some of the things that trip up many beginners, to help you avoid their mistakes. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few, but others may chip it to rectify my omissions.

Choose your units
Your profile doesn’t say which country you are from. Depending on your country, you will want to choose the units used in the construction industry in your country.

In the USA and Canada, and for some purposes in the UK, Architectural Units (feet, inches and fractions) will be appropriate.

In much of the UK, continental Europe, and Australia (and most of the rest of the world) you will want metric units. Most commonly, millimetres or in a few places, cm, will be the preferred unit.

Choose a starting template, adjust the units and precision in Window/Model Info/Units, and TURN OFF length snapping, which is on by default.

Save the drawing As Template, and start new drawings from that.

Automatically assign Untagged (Layer0 in earlier versions) to geometry
Before you start drawing anything, make sure the little pencil icon in the Tags window (or Tool palette on Mac) is at Untagged, and LEAVE IT THERE! ALL THE TIME (with VERY rare exceptions as you become more experienced).

That will draw all your geometry (edges and faces) tagged with Untagged.

Tag only grouped geometry
Tags (or Layers in earlier versions of SU before 2020) only control visibility, and should only be applied to groups or components, or objects that aren’t part of the model geometry like dimensions, text, section cuts, and a few other types of object you won’t encounter until later.

They DO NOT ‘separate’ geometry. Edges or faces to which different tags have been applied still stick together.

Do NOT apply any tags you create yourself to edges or faces. Unexpected and usually bad things happen when you do that, and start adding more geometry when some existing edges or faces aren’t visible because you’ve turned the tag (or layer) off.

Make components (or less usefully) groups as you go
Whenever you draw something, ALWAYS make it immediately into a component (default shortcut is the letter g). As you create the component, give it a meaningful name that you will recognise later on.

ONLY groups or components separate geometry - they will not ‘stick’ to each other (except using a more advanced ‘glue to’ property, which you can ignore for the moment).

Usually, you should aim never to leave ‘loose’ geometry (geometry that isn’t made into a component or group) in your model for longer than it takes to draw the object.

Keep physically separate objects in the real world as separate components in your model.

Groups vs components
You can use groups, but they have very few advantages and several drawbacks, compared with using components.

One drawback is they are automatically given the name Group followed by a hash character (#) and a number, (Group#1, Gropup#2 etc.) and that makes them hard to recognise later. You can give a group a name using the Entity Info palette, but you have to remember to do it as a separate operation after you create it.

Another drawback is that if you delete a group from your model, and later realise you want it back, it’s gone. A component will remain in the model, even if it isn’t used, until you Purge unused.

Power of groups when editing later
If you copy a group, then edit one of the copies, only that copy is changed.

If you copy a component, then edit any of the copies, all the copies are changed.

If you want to change only some of the existing but otherwise identical components, then select the ones you want to change, R-click, then Make Unique, before you edit one of them. The others which you Made Unique at the same time will also be changed.

Locate the component axes usefully
By default, the component axes will be placed at the ‘bottom left’ corner of the new object, parallel to the model axes.

Sometimes you might want it at the middle of an edge of the object, or even at its centre. If so, use Set component axes to place them there. If you want to change the component axes later, it’s easy - R-click, Change axes. It’s much harder to change the axes of a group.

If it’s a circular object such as a cylinder, circle, cone, or sphere, or part of one of those, it’s often helpful to place the axes at the centre of a defining circle or arc.

Control visibility in your model using Tags, and optionally, Scenes.
Until v2021, Tags only form a single list (2021 introduced tag folders, to group related tags together). So give them meaningful names, and to keep related tags together, use a two or three letter or number prefix before the individual tag name.

Scenes allow you to have separate views of different parts of your model, and each scene can optionally preserve all or some of its properties so they are the same when you come back to the scene. Properties include the camera position, field of view (effectively the zoom level) and whether it is viewing in parallel or perspective; what tags are visible; what Style properties are in use (e.g., Wireframe, Shaded, Shaded with textures, Monochrome, X-ray); which objects are hidden; whether Sections cuts are active; and several other properties.

Keep the file size under control
Every so often, use Window/Model Info/Statistics [Purged unused] to remove redundant components, tags, and materials or textures from your model.

Unused components and materials bloat the file size. Remove the ones you aren’t going to use from time to time.

Take care using components from the 3D Warehouse
Many (perhaps most) of the models in the 3D Warehouse are modelled with FAR TOO MUCH detail for use in your house model.

If you DO use them, look for models that have not too many faces, edges, or polygons, small file sizes, and not too many textures. Download each component you want to use into a separate new file. Examine them for bloat, for scale (some are modelled at wholly unrealistic scales), for over-large textures. Reduce most or all of the tags to a few that may be of use to you or to just one - Untagged.

Remove parts of the component that will be invisible - you don’t need a detailed model of the inside of your gas boiler, for example.

Purge the component before you save it.

Then R-click and choose Save As… to save the component to a folder on your computer.

Then, and only then, import it into your house model.

Ask again for help here when you next need it
When you get further along, post again on the forum with any specific issues you need help with.