SketchUp Make - floorplan a good idea?



Hi Guys,

Last year I used Make to create a 3D model of our apartment during the renovation. It was really helpful in imagining the inside layout.
We’re now planning a house, and have a draft from the architect that we would like ourselves to play with. This would need making a basic 2D floor plan. It seems it could be done in the free SketchUp version. Am I right about this?
A lot of tutorials are available for it, but they don’t specify if one would need the PRO version. So, I am not sure how helpful these might be once I get started.

I would really appreciate your comments and views on the matter.



SketchUp Make vs Pro

You can see the difference, and I think the most relevant point would be the Import/Export of CAD and PDF files. As architect would provide in CAD file


Why just a 2D floor plan? You’re not even going to bother making a model? Why not? If you know the wall height, you can pull the plan up into an actual room and get a sense of the space instead of just the area.

Of course SU Make can model a floor plan. It’s just a bunch of lines, right?



I agree. If you are not going to make a 3D model, then there are any number of free 2D CAD applications available. We’ve discussed this and listed them in other topics here.

There are also paid floorplan applications that make drawing and moving furniture, cabinets and walls, etc. simple for non-drafters.


Ask the architects if that’s ok, and if so, ask if they can supply a skp file to play around with…

never know your luck in a big city…



You don’t need the PRO version for this task. You can always import a screenshot of a plan and trace it with the rectangle and line tool to get it in the Make version.

@DanRathbun: Even if I only need a single 2D rectangle, I’m using SketchUp instead of other 2D applications because of the great inference system :wink:


Coreldraw has a system of dynamic guidelines and object snapping that is not so different from inferencing. Plus, CorelDraw (for instance) can do ten thousand other things in 2D that SU never heard of.



And it has a free version for personal projects?


No, but you didn’t say you used SU for 2D work because it’s cheap but because of the inferencing system, which is a bit strange anyway, since we know that SU’s inferencing system is designed for a 3D environment, e.g, it uses three drawing axes which are not aligned to edges of the page, a bad feature for 2D.

There are relatively inexpensive ways to buy into CorelDraw, including older versions and a home use version called CorelDraw Essentials.



We shouldn’t start this discussion here again. I just wanted to make clear for the OP that drawing 2D in a 3D space is perfectly possible since it is 3D with a very small height…


Okay, although nobody said it wasn’t possible. In any event, the OP didn’t ask if it was possible but if it was a “good idea.” There may be all kinds of extenuating circumstances that can excuse, explain, or mitigate it, but I don’t think using a 3D modeling tool for a 2D drawing is ever a “good idea.”



That is what millions of AutoCad users are doing every day. Quite a lot of them haven’t even realized that it is a 3D application. I do it because I prefer doing my 3D in SketchUp or a BIM application.



It’s not so much a conflict in “type of space” but simply a matter of tool capability. SU has fairly rudimentary 2D drawing tools, very poor dimensioning tools, and no controls whatsoever for things like line thickness and line conventions, whereas Acad has a full complement of both 2D and 3D tools. In practical terms, in my opinion, SU is a terrible 2D drawing tool because of all the things it can’t or won’t do (or does with a complete lack of finesse) that are more or less standard 2D drawing tasks.



Thanks guys. Great responses.

As some of you indicated, I would love to go with Sketchup as it is a brilliant tool to imagine the spaces before installing/changing anything.

In fact, I watched a few tutorial videos and dived in. And… boy … it was super smooth.

I have now drawn the walls and will start adding doors.

Thanks a lot. Cheers.


I don’t think the suggestion of Corel or Acad is the best advice for this task. In fact, I’ve started learning SketchUp exaclty because of this task and was able to procude a complete 3D model which was used by the architect afterwards to create the construction documents.
We can see that there is more than one opinion on this subject…


I wasn’t really recommending one app or another. I used Corel as an example of a 2D drawing program.

Mostly, I was challenging the OP’s choice of a 3D app to do a 2D task, as I do all the time, frequently to find that people don’t really have any particular rationale in mind except SU is cheap.

If you, @Cotty, happen to prefer SU over 2D apps for 2D drawing tasks, that’s certainly your choice, but I don’t find your reason compelling. If you find that 3D inferencing helps with 2D drawing tasks, you ought to see how handy 2D inferencing is for those same 2D tasks. But it’s more than just that–it’s the ability to produce an actual page layout with a fixed relationship between the drawing and the page. It’s the ability to produce highly formatted notes and tabulations, to control the shape of arrowheads and the exact placement of leaders, and on and on that makes using a 2D app for a 2D drawing a huge advantage over something like SU, which can’t do those things, as well as a of list other commonplace 2D drawing tasks.

I know for sure that if I try to make a 2D document with SU, it’s going to be one compromise or improvisation or violation of basic drafting rules after another.



Sorry, I must have overlooked the restriction to 3D here:
Why can’t we leave it at that: there are different opinions about this.


I presume that was sarcasm.

If you want to quit debating it, you’ve got to quit making a closing point each time that I must then refute.

Although there is no explicit restriction to using inferencing on 3D only, as I said, SU’s inferencing is tied to the three axes in space, not to the edges of the page, a disadvantage to making a 2D document.



erm… I think you will find that most 2D packages extend drawing space waaaaay beyond paper space. You have the same viewing window limitations when trying to print a 3D object and 2D object.

The other thing is that you mentioned using CorelDraw for 2D drawings - it’s a DTP package; It’s really good at pulling together elements for presentation (in fact I used it for years to annotate and colour in architectural CAD drawings) but it’s not really the tool to use for drawing floor plans. (It can be used for this, but it’s not the best tool.)


I’ve been using CorelDraw since version 1.0 in around 1988. Of course it’s a drawing program (albeit a versatile one)–why do you think it’s called CorelDraw? In fact, Corel produced an actual desktop publisher for a while (which I used) called Corel Ventura, which was originaly one of the early big name dtp packages called Ventura Publisher.

Indeed, it was such a good drafting tool that I used it in favor of actual CAD programs to make the sample drawings in my drafting manual because they were perfect to look at–perfect linework, perfect lettering, perfect dimensioning. CAD drawings look too machine-made by comparison.

Corel is a great tool for floor plans. It has scaling, snapping, line weight control, and every other 2D amenity you can think of. Additionally, it is more talented than, say, Acad, for strictly graphic design tasks in case you want to do page layout or other purely 2D graphic design.