Using Sketchup for complete construction documents

I would like to know what your opinion is on using sketchup to generate complete architectural construction documents?

You would need the Pro edition that has the LayOut documentation application.


Turn models into documents

SketchUp Pro product page

LayOut User Guide

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if in the conceptual or creative area you may want have a look at the external ‘Layout’ of the SketchUp Pro version, if shop drawings only without any 3D content go for a plain 2D CAD already available for free as e.g. Dassaults DraftSight.

We have the Pro Version with Layout.

We have AutoCAD, and obviously have been doing complete construction drawings using that. We have done some models for concepts, and are looking into using them for complete construction documents, since we’ve already done the work to generate the model. We are trying to eliminate doing double work. Meaning generate model, then turn around and redraw floorplan and elevations in CADD.

You might find this an interesting read.

Go to the first link I posted, “Turn models into documents”, there are two links on that page. One to a video, the other to a blog post on creating documentation.

The answer is yes! I switched over from CAD (Vectorworks) to only SketchUp, LayOut and Skalp (extension to generate hatched sections which we developed) some years ago and I don’t miss it.

On our Facebook page you find a lot of examples fully done with SketchUp, LayOut and Skalp.

Here is an example made by Mekers-Broekx architects (Belgium)


the questions is not to create the drawing above but how long it will last to do something like the following (or bigger) complying all standards regarding dimensions and line styles etc. for presenting building documents to the local building authorities by meeting their requirements:

Yes I agree sketch3d_de, I know it can be done. The REAL question is can it be done efficiently, and the company make money??

There are plenty of people doing it and they seem to be staying in business. Look at the work of Nick Sonder and others.


if I understood correct, Nick Sonder is doing mainly concpetual design, haven’t seen real shop drawings from him like the one above.

Could imagine also, that requirements of local building authorities may vary from country to country.

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I’ve seen some of his presentations where he’s shown conceptual drawings, documents for permitting, and construction documentation that is used for actually building the houses he’s drawn.

There’s also Mitchel Stangl’s work. he’s using SketchUp and LayOut to create construction documentation.

I use them to create shop drawings for furniture and other projects.

Also check out the work of Mike Beganyi.

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Here’s an example of a set of construction documents I drew.


This is example of cd’s in Sketchup

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Very well-done drawings. How do you then do the enlarged details, do you use Sketchup and then send to Layout?

Your documents look fantastic. Where can I learn to produce drawings like this? I hand draw my plans now. Started using Sketchup. When I get to Layout things just don’t seem to work with the lettering, layers, line weights, symbols, etc.

What do you mean “don’t seem to work”? Can you give specifics? Maybe start a new thread and give examples.

This is an example of a boiler plan I’m currently working on. I use SU and LO to good effect and tend not use Inventor or AutoCad as much now.

Not exactly architectural. But heavy manufacturing. This one is just a wee baby.


Wow, love the detail in this model and in the drawing. Fantastic work.

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Thank you @medeek