Ideal workflow for creating 3D Model of house with floor plans

I want to create a 3D house model from four separate 2D floor plans (basement, ground floor, upper floor, attic) which I have drawn using SketchUp. All of these floor plans are currently contained in separate SketchUp files. As I am rather new to SketchUp I would like to know how to do this in the most “ideal” and “efficient” way. What would be the steps I have to take one after another? Also, if you have any reference to some tutorial where this is described I would be very happy! Thanks for any tips, hints and advice!


I’d take each file and create a component for each floor plan you have.

You’ll be able to name it, and ultimately combine all of them together in a single ‘master’ SketchUp File.

Moving them in-between sketchUp files can happen by copy/pasting them from one file to the other.

Alternatively you could also set up a component collection and import them through the component details menu.


You could upload the components to the 3D Warehouse, and download them into the other SU file as you need.

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It really depends on what you want to achieve with your model. Are you after some simple 3D views to explore or are you after comprehensive drawings for construction etc.

Before jumping into your project I would recommend following some tutorials on YouTube for these topics:

How Groups and components work.
How layers work.
How the inference system works
The basic toolset, lines and shapes, push pull, move and copy, follow me.
How the material system works.

Once you understand those things you will be able to start modeling your building from simple geometry and asigning them to a simple layer set:


Organising you model well helps with speed. As you can hide the parts of the model you don’t need.

Once you have a model that works you can move on to tutorials about the following:
Section cuts.
Camera positioning.
Scene creation.

That should give you a good grounding from which to build.

Good luck!

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No I just want some “simple” 3D model which can be explored, both from the out and inside. It is for an existing house which I want to model first as is and later make some changes to the attic (e.g. adding dormers). The aim is to get a first impression of what changes will look like. I will definitely check out all the tutorials you suggested! Thanks for all the input!

Great thank you so much - this is very helpful! So, would you first model each floor in its seperate file or would you first combine all floors in a single master file?


I’m not at all against modeling things in separate files. I do that sort of thing all the time, and often only because I’ll want to work on a part from within a fresh and uncluttered SU file.

But having said that… as far as multiple floor plans go I would certainly combine those all pretty early on, if only to make sure that they are all stacking together correctly.

It’s not much fun to realize that you’re walls aren’t lining up as the should be once you’ve gone too far into the modeling session. This is the sort of thing I’d like to know about early on, even before I ever start extruding the walls up to their finished heights, and committing to the finished room sizes.

It’s just so much easier to move around, and compare various floor plan walls, than their 3D representations.

I can play devil advocate with this however, because in doing a take off where you’re modeling rooms that have already been built… there’s a good chance that your walls won’t all align anyhow. Small errors in construction, your measurements, or inconsistent wall thicknesses in-between rooms (or floors) will shown up in viewing overlaid floor plans. It’s not likely going to be off by a lot, but it can matter if you were doing built-ins, or some other cabinetry project where you really want to account for their overall fit, and finished reveals. To this extent I always go with how the room measures, and not by what compromises were made in order to get the set of drawings to align nicely.


My vote is to combine now, and check for obvious errors in the floor plans. If all that checks out, then it sort of comes down to working preferences in terms of how you want to continue.

There could be strong arguments made for having independent room (or floor) drawings. In doing it this way you could have duplicate rooms set next to each other in a row… but for each instance they would represent a different design idea you might have.

Seeing these all side by side in SU is a great way to sort out design decision. but it would also be a very
cluttered way if this same file also held all of the other elements of the building.

There are of course ways in which you can have everything happening in one file… but as the file gets more complicated you’ll end up having to manage the visibility of objects (via layers), so that you can keep focused on the small details when needed. which I hope makes sense.

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I recommend modeling each floor in its own SketchUp session, and later consolidate the separate files into a single master file format. Working on individual floor layout arrangements will be much faster and more efficient in most cases! Be sure that your point of origin is the same for all related floor models as this greatly simplifies the task of assembling the master model. You just bring all files in using the common origin.


I have some tips. I would just compile all the floors into one model, then add a section plane to the ceiling of each floor. You can put them on a layer, so you can hide the section planes. Just toggle the active plane to switch floors. Also, assigning a shortcut to walk and look around is helpful. I use "J’ for walk & “N” for look around. It’s helpful to make doors and windows components too.

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