TotW: Google SketchUp and House Design

I redesigned the interior of a client’s house to incorporate a new full bathroom, the option to move their water heater inside the house, a dedicated computer station/home office, enlarged kitchen, larger TV room and more book storage.  To minimize costs, the envelope of the house was not to change.  I broke this rule slightly because one window in the kitchen had to be shortened to accommodate new countertops.

The project started by talking to the client about what they wanted.  Next I did some rough concept sketches to see if we were on common ground.  After positive feedback I measured and drew up the existing house since no blueprints were on hand.  From there I modified those plans to provide the client with a few dimensionally accurate options.  After a second meeting to discuss these drawings, I provided two refined concepts for final approval.

In addition, I taught myself the basics of Google’s SketchUp this week.  Putting this house in 3D really helped me learn the software.  There are still a lot of things to learn, but I’m happy to have generated something that is dimensionally accurate and useful even if some of the surfaces are screwy.

If any of you SketchUp masters out there have a link to a great house drawing tutorial, be sure to drop it in the comments.  Lessons on how to use SketchUp Pro for house plans are worthless to me right now as SketchUp does not allow for direct import of DWG or DXF files (Why is this only a Pro feature?!).