SketchUp: Floor Plans

Now lets design a house using SketchUp. In this tutorial we will create the floor. Now remember, we are going to create the floor based on the bubbles diagrams we created for this house. We have already decided in the previous lesson titled Design a Home how many bedrooms, baths, etc. we need for this house. We also decided how big the land is.

Please read carefully all this information if you haven't already as we need all this information to be able to design the house. Once again, I'm going to teach you how to design like an architect and not like an immature so please bear with me.

Working with SketchUp is different than other 3Ds programs. Usually in programs like Revit and AutoCad, we architects start with creating walls, not floors. However, for the the purpose of this tutorial, we will start with the floor.

As we studied in the prviouse lessons, we came up with a complete floor plan by now. Now we are going to take these floor plans and create/design our house with them. We will start with the first floor.

This section includes information about how to learn  SketchUp Architecture and the typical architectural workflows and tasks.

  • First Floor Plan:

  • Creating New Project

Don't worry to much about details, and whenever you feel confused, just use the instructional images as guidance. This not an advanced project. This is only to get you comfortable with the software and design. Each lesson will be accompanied with a file that includes the design up to the point where the lesson ends. So you can always download the file and use it to practice or to use for the followed exercises.

■In this first exercise,we need first to create and name a new project in which you will create the house shown below.

  1. Create a project:

■ Click File menu > Save
■ For File name, enter My First Project, and click Save.

On the menu bar, go to View >> Toolbar >> and check Large Tool Set.

On the menu bar, go to View >> Toolbar >> and check Standard.

Now you will have more shortcuts to tools we are going to use. However, before we start we need to get acquainted with two important tools: The Orbit tool and the Pan tool.

Orbit and Pan Tools

Orbit and Pan Tools

We use the Pan tool to either move the view vertically or horizontally. You can activate the Pan tool from either the toolbar or the Tools standard menu.

We are going to use the Orbit tool to rotate the camera about the model from the outside. It can be activated from either the Camera Toolbar (Microsoft Windows), Tool Palette (Mac OS X), or the Camera menu.

We are going to use the Orbit tool heavily when designing and editing our home.

You can always click and hold the scroll wheel on a three-button mouse to temporarily activate the Orbit tool while in any other tool.

Adding Floors

Now lets create the floors in the the house model. To create floors in SketchUp design, we must sketch them first and then apply materials. Because SketchUp is easy, we are actually going to create wall from the floor as you will see. This is one method of many that you can use to create walls in SketchUp, we will get there in the next tutorial.

Sketch the floors:

■ On the Tools Bar, click Line.

As shown on the image, one click near the human figure and drag a line while adjusting it until it becomes red to make sure it's a straight line on the red axis.

  • Red Axis First Floor Lesson

Red Axis First Floor Lesson

Don't second-click, to make the end of the line: directly using the keyboard type 18'(5,486 mm)and then press enter. Notice on status bar at the right corner where it says "Length" that the number 18" (or 5,490 mm) appears when you enter 18'. Don't forget to add the feet or mm measurements indication " ' " if using the Imperial system or " mm " if using the metric system.

■ Tip:

Measurements Toolbar or Length which is located on the right side of the status bar displays dimensional information while you draw. Here you can enter values to manipulate currently selected entities, just we did when we created a line of a specific length.

Continue from the endpoint of the first line and move the cursor up until the line is green this time(the green Axis) to make sure it's a straight line. Enter 9' (2,743 mm) and press Enter as shown in the image.

  • Green Axis First Floor Lesson

Green Axis First Floor Lesson

Continue from the last endpoint but on the red axis again, enter 18'(5,486 mm)and press Enter. Keep going from the last endpoint but on the green axis again and enter 50' (15,240 mm)and hit Enter. Now again continue from the last endpoint and draw a line on the red axis : drag the line from the last point until you see a doted green line that connect the new line with the second 18'(5,486 mm)line as shown. One click with the mouse when you see the green line and/or when it says "From Point". This is called the "From Point" method and it's faster method to draw another 18'(5,486 mm) line horizontally.

SketchUp First Floor Lesson 3

SketchUp First Floor Lesson 4

Go up again and drag a line from the last endpoint but on the green axis; enter 6' (1,828 mm)and press Enter.

Using the "From Point" method draw a line that ends with the very first endpoint we created. If the dotted green line does not appear, hover with the cursor over the very first endpoint and go back to draw a horizontal line, this time it should appear. Finally, connect the last endpoint with very first one to have the enclose shape as shown.

SketchUp First Floor Lesson Image 4:

SketchUp First Floor Lesson Image 5

SketchUp First Floor Lesson 4

The same shape using SketchUp 8:

Shape using SketchUp 8:

You can download the SketchUp File that contain this shape from the list at the end named "SketchUp First Floor Lesson 1"