New user needs help

I am a new user to sketch up and trying to get started. Not sure what app to start with first. Style, layout or 3d. Just want to create a 3d image of a design of barn with living quarters. I am a home user and watch Fixer Upper with the Gaines. I discovered they use this program but not sure what all plugins they use or apps or warehouse extensions are being used. Watching the program, I was impressed with this and thought it might be a good program to use but after downloading and going through some of the tutorials, I am beginning to feel I am in over my head.

SketchUp is a tool for creating models of reality on the computer. Chip and Joanna Gaines use SketchUp to wow clients on their Fixer-Upper show. I use it to create models of furniture, built piece by piece the way I might with real wood in the shop.
My advice is to stick with the tutorials until you feel comfortable with basic operations: Drawing lines on-axis, creating a shape and giving it thickness, moving, copying, and rotating.
When you are ready to tackle that barn, begin by selecting the proper template from the SketchUp Preferences menu; you’ll want one of the templates for architecture, with units in feet and inches. But before you try to model something as big as a barn, practice on something smaller, like a doghouse.
Most important of all, whether you make a birdhouse, a doghouse, or a great big barn, be sure that you make each separate element in the building a component. For me, making and using components is by far the most important thing to master in SketchUp. Components are separate entities, like the individual boards and timbers that comprise the framing of a barn. If you don’t work with components, you will only create random shapes that will interfere with each other.
Hope this helps.


Unless you are planning to purchase SU Pro (or are amenable to being persuaded to doing so), you can forget about Style Builder and LayOut, which will become inactive after a trial period. Just use the SketchUp main program.

At a minumum, you should try to familiarize yourself with the SU interface so you have a rough knowledge of the various menus, dialogs, and controls–at least that they exist–and with the tools. Try to learn enough about each tool, e.g., the Line tool, the Circle tool, the Arc tool, and so forth, that you know their approximate capabilities. At that point, you’re ready to try a project of your choosing. Whether you favor videos, interactive tutorials, or the written word, is largely a matter of your personal learning style.

Abundant Learning Resources are identified here (Learning Center) and here (SketchUp Sage–Educational Resources).

Of course, you should depend heavily on this website for clarifications, explanations, demonstrations, and perhaps advice on how to apply a tool or method to your particular application.


Thank you for your help.

So when you state make each separate element a component, are you referring to each wall, door, window, etc a component?

I was reading some in the tutorials on instances and got totally lost.

Thank you for your heIp. I have been working in sketchup for the past three hours and have become some familiar with sketchup make which it appears is what I will be using.

Powerful tool and I can see it will take more than just a few days watching videos and going through tutorials to get to using a proper work flow process.

I still do not know which application to start with. Sketchup 3D, Layout, Style Designer.

Each unique piece should be a component. You can make as many copies of a component as you need. So, in that barn you want to design, say there are 10 identical posts supporting beams. Make 1 post component and 9 copies. Ditto rafters: Make 1 rafter component and as many copies as needed. The neatthing about components is this: When you make a change to one component, all copies of that component get the same change at the same time. So, when you mortise the posts for the beams and braces, you only need to draw the joinery in one component; all the others will automatically get the same mortises.
Begin with SketchUp. It’s the application for creating models. LayOut is for dimensioning and presentations of SketchUp models. Style Builder is for creating unique line styles (if the styles baked into SketchUp aren’t enough). Get a good grasp of SketchUp first, then move on to LayOut.