Background: I just bought an old house that I will be renovating significantly, and mostly with my own two hands. I have an architect buddy who will create CAD drawings for me (plus stamped engineering drawings for the permit office) if I provide a DXF or DWG file with accurate measurements. He suggested I use Sketchup because he said it would export the files correctly and was “intuitive”. Ha! Well, although I am highly skilled with software and mathematics, my brain is distinctly 2D in its wiring. From the moment I first launched the program, I was dumbfounded by the lack of gridlines and labeled dimensions. And the concept of placing the origin anywhere other than an extreme corner of the paper is very distracting.
What I want to do:
- Take the measurements of my property, structures (inside and out), and major flora, then build a baseline drawing to pass off to the architect.
- Use the baseline drawing on my own to plan my landscaping: irrigation lines, planting locations, fencing, etc.
- Work with my architect to create engineering layers for things like total rewiring, replumbing (gas & 3 types of water), totally new HVAC ductwork with zones, etc. [This item may be be better accomplished directly in Autodesk].
How I want to do it (ideally):
- Generate an inventory of objects of known dimensions that I can simply place at an (x,y) location on the basemap. Typing the characteristics of these objects directly into a table is a million times easier for me than f-ing around with a mouse.
- Set the program to automatically label every line I draw with its length, and every point I drop with its (x,y) coordinate. So far, I have found it tedious to actually get dimensions labeled in this software.
- Lock the property lines as the limit of visible area on my screen. I do not want to be able to zoom out past the point where land beyond the lot lines becomes visible. I can’t seem to prevent this from happening.
- Do it all in a 2D planview perspective, with the z-axis metadata embedded, but totally invisible to me. I don’t want to see a “pretty” 3D picture of my own ■■■■ house. I want to see line drawings that I can use to purchase and cut materials against.
I’ve read about 3 hours worth of previous threads on this forum, but nothing really helps me address the issues above. This makes me suspicious that the software is not appropriate for what I want to do. The problem is that more cheapo software doesn’t capture the level of precision that I need to input (+/-1cm), and/or export in a DWG/DXF format.