Modeling a house


I’ve been using SketchUp off and on for a little less then a year. When I first started I thought in order to get my feet wet I should do something meaningful so I decided to model my house. I learned a lot and made a bunch of mistakes and eventually I want to do that again.

Previously I started in one room and just kept adding rooms until I was finished, I don’t think that is the proper way to do it but I’m not sure. I certainly don’t want to hire someone to survey my house to get all the dimensions and angles correct, I’m most interested in the interior, but getting the exterior correct is also important.

So my question is where do I start? I know if I start as I did before it will turn out a lot better, I knew nothing about groups, components, or layers back then. Any guidance will be appreciated.

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I’d start with the outside dimensions and the draw a floor plan. Then pull the walls up and add the details like doors and windows. It might take some time running around with a tape measure but you can do it.

Thanks Dave, I was pretty sure that’s the proper way to to it. I have a floor plan the builder left, could I trace it or would the dimensions be way off? This is a Manufactured house.

You could scan it to get an image that you could then import into SketchUp and trace it. You could adjust the size so the dimensions are correct. It isn’t unusual for the dimensions to be off in one direction while they are on in another. An alternative is to just measure the key points on the drawing and then draw in SketchUp manually. Very likely that will be easier and faster anyway.

You could take photos of your house from different angles and use the photo match process to get a rough exterior, if you can… I know my house is hard to get these photo due to trees etc, sounds like the floor plans would be best way, just import the image, scale and trace

It doesn’t really matter where you start drawing as long as you are fairly organised while you progress through it. Most people with architectural backgrounds are taught to draw plans first and then make elevations, however that’s very 2D / old-school thinking: SU is a modeling package and that’s what it excels at - to get the most out of it I would recommend that create volumes and spaces (ie inside-out rooms) and then join them together.

Personally I would model each room as a group and the outer envelope of the building as another group. I would also change the “rear face” to a semi-transparent colour.

If you make these groups “components”, then you can copy a room and place it out-with the model for ease of editing.

Make use of the “section planes” to cut away bits and allow you to edit the internals. Also make use of the “scenes” to quickly navigate to a specific room or position.

Once you are at the stage of decorating and coloring in your model, I would recommend purging the model often to get rid of any useless components and textures that you might have down-loaded and not used (or changed).

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, makes me want to get started on it.

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