You should make some nice connections at Bootcamp!
Neets online here also seems a good source relating to Interior Design.
I have made some shortcuts similar to my PowerCADD settings, but I prefer to keep the standard SketchUp shortcuts for most tools. You’ll pick them up quickly.
I have often felt it best to not explode the imported dwg linework, but use it for drawing over. However since I control the whole process, starting with drawing in PowerCADD, I have confidence in the import and often do actually use the imported edges for elements in SketchUp. I export a stripped-down dwg with only the lines I want. I prepare layers and groups in PowerCADD to simplify the import. I draw these elements carefully in PowerCADD but check myself when I clean up the export. The command “select adjoining” is a good check if your lines are intersecting properly before you export.
Are you using WildTools?
Making metal look like metal. Most standing seam roofs are painted and I don’t try to have a metallic texture on them. I would need to see the texture you began with and how you turned it gray to see why it didn’t get the effect you wanted. Without rendering, you can’t get the reflections and sheen that make roofs look realistic. In projects where I didn’t want to use renderings, I have used gradient patterns to suggest sheen, as you can add in Photoshop.
IMO for architectural models, groups don’t have to be solid. But you may desire solids if you want to have a form that you can carve and combine with other forms, using Solid Tools, or if you hope to print models, or have an interest in finding the volume. Doing “solids” is good practice for clean modeling technique.