Ideal window thickness

I am modelling a house, and I have to make the windows. However, I do not know how thick I should make the windows. I am not modelling a real house ( I am creating a house for myself ) and I was wondering whether I should make the windows just one thin polygon, or use two polygons. The windows are not double panes - just plain glass windows. How should I go about modelling it? With just one flat polygon or with two?

When you say plain glass, you mean single pane right? I’ve never heard of a plain glass window. It’s really tough for me to answer to this because I need more specifics. Are you asking this because you’re looking for best practice sketchup modelling advice? If so is this going to be rendered with a rendering software? If you’re asking this to get advice on building best practices, you should be consulting a designer or energy advisor, if you want anything that has performance in an energy efficient kind of way. I can help with all of these as a house designer and I use sketchup professionally. Just not sure what you’re asking really. … happy to share workflow tips just not sure what this is about.

Yes, single pane.
No, I’m not going to be rendering or energy efficiency stuff.
I just want to make windows.

Like this?

Or with two of them?

A single surface is fine.

Oh okay I see now. I guess the reason your comment baffled me is because I thought you were literally making a window that had basically only glass and no frame around the glass. That is actually what you’re doing haha… Your window glass should have a window frame around it is my initial thoughts…
What I would do to answer your question, is to make a basic window frame around the glass, say 2" wide by 2.5 or 3" deep of a frame. Put the glass in the center of the window frame to keep it simple and group the flat plane glass with no thickness as it’s own object, have the window frame as another group, than wrap both objects into one group. Now you have a single window which is a group with two groups inside. If you need to copy it, make that outer most group a component instead by converting it to a component. Me personally, I would never find the use in rendering a window pane of glass to look realistic with thickness, for window glass and rendering, it doesn’t matter and can’t be seen unless you’re at a close up so close to the window pane of glass, rare in my experience. Hope that helps.

If we’re talking windows here, one of the biggest time savers by far is to use the fredo stretch plugin, it will stretch objects so that the perimeter does not get bigger as it would if you scaled the window with the native sketchup scale tool. I use that plugin all the time, always for resizing windows.

@ArayaCAD , The move tool can do that easily too…

Lol. …I guess you might need more context. A window for me usually is more than just a window. I try to model for the real world in my designs. So windows I am always scaling have trim around all 4 sides, sometimes a stool, a 2d graphic for me as well. These are all individual groups of course, sometimes if it makes sense and all geometry could be moved together than sure, juse use the move tool. Move tool can’t make an object to a bigger size though unless you click all the way into the group… Scaling a basic window like this with fredo stretch vs. trying with the move tool would take a minimum of 5x-10x longer if there was a few groups for a single window. So I would never use the move tool I guess is what I’m saying. Trying to save time.

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That’s true, was assuming that the OP had a single group or component for his window…

Even still, compared to fredo stretch, still quite a bit slower and these things add up.

For a Make user that shouldn’t be to much of a problem…

I agree.

Personally I always give the glass a thickness, usually 10mm and I normally model separate sheets for each pane of glass in a window… Maybe its me being a little bit a$%lly retentive but also I have fewer rendering issues when I build the model physically correct. Only takes a second to push/pull the single surface into a 3d object.

I am much more stringent when it comes to curved surfaces and their segment count to keep models efficient

Just adding that in most cases for a transparent material to work correctly, it must be applied to both sides of a face.


I typically use two planes, but it depends how abstract or realistic you want to be. All glass use around me is insulated glass, but sheet metal work like gutters and flashing, I don’t give thickness to. I use Takata’s Stretch By Area for the resizing part. You can do it with Groups and native tools, but that gets tiring fast, and a plug in helps.

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Depends on how realistic your glass is supposed to be. Being in the architectural field again, after a lengthy sabbatical, as well as working directly with an architect, I can say that if you are out to achieve “representative” components, like glass and don’t have a 3rd party renderer on hand, use a single face object. If realism is tantamount, go for something with thickness, depending on manufacturer, or you can just place a 1/8th inch or even 1/4 inch glass object, solid of course. In that regard, you can then assign glass materials (preferably from your favorite renderer) and render away with realism and accuracy. No significant difference in model file size by increasing polys, as long as the glass is a solid. I use Vray, and find a huge difference in my renders with having glass with thickness, since you take advantage of the reflection and refraction parameters more accurately.

When doing glass in windows, if the window is a component and if you utilize mullions in your window design, making one pane of glass a component, makes it easier for assigning materials for all of them at once. Even making one pane of glass a component, for one pane of glass in a window will make it quick too. Components and groups really do save a lot of time, without having to resort to external extensions.

Yea I would even add in now, thanks to some recent rethinking based on tips from @AK_SAM , I would keep as much geometry that makes sense all as sticky geometry. For example, I have a window frame, single piece of glass in middle as flat plane all as sticky geometry, I also inside of the sticky geometry boudning box, have a grouped handle. There are plugins like the fredo scale plugin which are certainly much faster for scaling than the move tool, however it’s super easy now to move the entire side of a window to be bigger so that the sides stay the same thickness using the move tool and at the same time you’re moving the handle with it as well. Rethinking what should be inside of sticky geometry is a good idea and can make you a bit more efficient.