Sketchup vs hiring an house designer?

Just wondering a couple questions:
Can Sketchup be used to print blueprints for building permits?
or do you still have to hire an architect or house designer?

There are architects who use SketchUp and LayOut to create construction documents.

You could probably do it yourself but regardless of the software you use, you need to make sure the engineering is done correctly and you have the documents you need for permitting and other requirements sorted out.

You don’t need a designer for most houses. For some construction you need structural engineering by a qualified professional. Check with your local building official. When you say “you still have to hire an architect…”, I want to say the software doesn’t know anything about houses or creating documents for construction (it’s not like TurboTax). It only provides a way to draw in 3d and includes some tools for finished presentations and drawings, with notes and dimensions etc.

Some plugins have building oriented routines that provide shortcuts to the modeling.

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That depends on local code and legislation. In our parts buildings must have a “leading designer” who has to be a “qualified professional”. Usually it is also required that structural, HVAC and electrical plans are done by qualified persons. The local authorities have some leeway in deciding who is considered “qualified” and who not. In some other countries it is much more strict, with designers having to go through certification procedures.


I guess that must be in Europe. I wonder if any jurisdiction in the western hemisphere has a built-in requirement like that (for conventional houses).

Thanks all. I guess I am having a hard time justifying hundreds of dollars for Sketchup vs a house design app like Planner5D or something cheap, especially if I still need to hire an architect or professional? Has anyone tried the Planner 5D or other house building apps?

That looks cool. I’ve used Homestlyer. The pros and cons of each of these methods comes out when you try to use them. Planner5D looks to be oriented to interior design. I wonder if it would help in designing, or documenting, the structure or exterior appearance etc. But there IS a picture of an exterior model of a house with surroundings and an environment.