project addition: week four (confessions of a sketchup junkie)


This week’s meeting of the minds is mostly a solo one. I’ve set myself a little challenge – to get my SketchUp habit under control, and try to get a good base model to work with.

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, then you’ve surely seen SketchUp¬†renderings along the way. This can be a very helpful tool when trying to make decisions about some things before actually committing to them in time and money. It can also be a complete timesuck when I get so caught up in the minutia that I spend hours at the computer tweaking the tiniest details.

How would the living room look with curtains?


Or shutters?


Or neither? Check.

See, this was helpful – I saved us lots and lots of money with this program!

It was super helpful when designing and planning E’s room mini-makeover and custom desk on her sloped wall:


And the real deal turned out exactly like it!

Ella Custom Desk

Also handy for¬†planning out the way we’d convert our laundry room from one combination washer/dryer, to a separate, stacked unit.


But doing all these little projects throughout the house means I have a base model with a zillion pieces, plus a lot of extra furniture floating in the sky around the house.


I’ve never completely built the entire house in SketchUp, just enough to surround each of the areas we’ve been working in at the moment.


I put the site plan into a new copy of the model tonight, and this week I’m focusing on reducing some of the clutter in the model – putting all the little details onto layers that I can shut off for awhile, so that we can focus on massing ideas and vertical elevation changes first – big picture stuff, not the kind of a lamp I’ll put on a desk or a set of window shutters (both closed and open!)

Sometimes there’s a danger to having the ability to add detail to drawings in the computer that you don’t really need. That’s why I’d like to also build the physical model so that we can quickly test out some massing ideas of the addition and the garage.

I’m hoping between the two tools that we’ll start to hone in on what we want this thing to look like on the outside – something that will compliment the clearer list of objectives we’ve established for the inside.

Meeting adjourned.

P.S. We’ve also got a ton of quick addition models in the archives, including this colorful one I made with E one afternoon several years ago when I was showing her how to use SketchUp. She and I were designing this amazing garage with an artist’s studio above, where the grassy yard ramped up to form a green roof on the garage and we installed a climbing wall on one elevation.


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