Working off a hand drawn floorplan

I am using SU Make 17 and wondering how to work off a hand drawn floorplan to design a house in SU. Do you scan the drawing and then make it the bottom layer, trace over it and raise the walls? I just need a basic outline of the process, but a video link would be most helpful. Thanks!

That is a typical workflow for SU Make. But ive found it to be easier to not trace the walls but trace the footprint of the building (this is fastest with the rectangle tool) then offset the footprint inwards the distance of the exterior walls. Then go back and trace the interior walls. There is some clean up involved (punching doors and windows) but I think this is the fastest way to produce the exterior of your building with just a hand drawn floorplan.

You have the correct method but if it’s a hand drawn plan the X & Y scales may not be exact, if you are happy with the proportions use the tape measure tool to resize the scanned plan…

As your surmise…

Scan it in as a PNG or JPG.
Take that image file and import it, as an Image [choose under Options].
Make a group of the selected image, so what you are about to do only affects that image.
Edit that group.
Use the tapemeasure tool and pick two points on the image which are a known distance apart - e.g. a wall length.
The measure-box will show some arbitrary length.
Immediately just type in the desired length + enter, when prompted choose to re-scale…
The image is now resized so that at is sized properly [or at least as good as your hand-drawing!]
Exit the edit.
Select the group and use the context–menu to lock it - that way you can’t accidentally move it as you add walls etc.
Now start over-drawing it.
Use the Rectangle Tool to make room shapes, walls and openings etc.
Don’t worry initially about extra lines and faces that you don’t need later - you can erase/delete those later…
If you have any non-orthogonal edges draw those lines in manually.
When you have most of the form down in 2d, then you can delete the unwanted edges/faces.
Now PushPull your flat 2d faces up in 3d to make walls etc…

This is a very simplified - but you should get the idea…

This is great everyone. Thanks so much! How would I punch doors and windows into the walls once I have traced over the drawing with the rectangle tool and offset the walls?

If you make 2d rectangles for the windows/doors then you can use those to control what’s extruded.
Later on you can extrude the windows up to sill level then to head using +ctrl to leave the original behind and from the head once again up to the wall top.
Similar for a door, without the intermediate sill.
Once you have the wall with ‘holes’ outlined you need to delete unwanted faces and edges below/above the ‘holes’, and perhaps heal any missing faces of reveals etc by over-drawing edges…

Here is how I would do it:

First triple click the bottom face of the walls then unselect the face so that you only have the lines selected. Copy (Move+Ctrl) up to the sill and header height of you windows and doors. Then based on your sketched floorplan draw vertical lines where every there is a door or window. Then just simply push them through the wall and delete unwanted lines.

The information provided in these videos referenced in the following links should be helpful. Just click the titles.

Making Openings
Walls Doors & Windows
SU Training Series - Push Pull Tool
Advanced Doors & Windows
SU & CAD - Doors & Windows
Making Doors and Windows
How to Draw Door & Window Tut
Cutting Holes in Cavity Walls

It may take a little while to absorb the info, but I have found video tutorials to be instrumental in helping many users improve their SketchUp skills.

When I scan the plan in I want to lock it as a layer so I can draw on top of it and not move the imported sketch. How do I do this?

Your question suggests misunderstanding what SketchUp layers do. They do not isolate, gather, or protect content, they just toggle visibility. You want to create a Group or Component from your image.

slbaumgartner beat me to it, but I will add that you can lock groups or components. So once you have your plan in SketchUp make it a group (or Component) to isolate the geometry, and then right click on the group and chose Lock.

That will accomplish what you’re looking for.

How do you make an imported drawing into a group?

You can’t make a group of a single entity [except in the API]
Assuming you have sized the Image as you desire…
Select the Image and Explode it.
It will remain highlighted [now it’s four edges and a face].
Next right-click > context-menu > Make Group…
Now it’s a Group and still highlighted.
Next right-click > context-menu > Lock
It’s now locked in place.

An alternative way is to import the Image and immediately draw a Line over a known length in the Image.
Select the Line and the Image and then you can a use the context-menu to Group it.
Now edit the group and you can use the Tapemeasure tool to pick the two end points of the Line.
Immediately type in the ‘real’ length + enter.
Agree to Scale the contents of the Group.
Now you have a correctly sized Image.
You can erase the now redundant Line.
Exit the Edit session and Select the Group and Lock it as explained above…

I encourage you to continue to ask questions and hopefully the responses you have received thus far are helpful. However, the easiest way to become adept in SketchUp is to see how it is used in real time. Since forum users are unable to have you look over their shoulder while in front of a monitor performing work on a model, the next best thing is to view video tutorials that illustrate execution of the process of going from start to finish. Here is a link to a YouTube search for modeling a house. Click on the boldfaced type. Hope you get something out of this!

Result of search for modeling a house in SketchUp

A gif image is attached to illustrate how to make a group. This piggybacks on what @TIG said, but I did not focus on converting an image into a group. The process is just about the same…in this case there is no need to explode anything first.

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