Dec 9, 2012

Drawing A Tiny Home With Google SketchUp: A Complete Video Tutorial Series

Prolific tiny house designer, Michael Janzen, has made a seven part video tutorial series for YouTube that is all about how to use Google's free 3D drafting software, SketchUp, to draw tiny house plans.    He's actually using SketchUp Pro, but I didn't notice too much difference between that and the free software.

SketchUp drawing by Michael Janzen

He draws as though he was actually building the tiny house, making sure that it is properly framed, sheathed, sided, and so on.  The thickness of the various materials, air spaces, gaps, flooring, etc., are all drawn very precisely so that there won't be many surprises when the real building occurs.  

I did a post quite a while ago that featured Michael narrating a tour and describing his clever 12'x24' house plan in a YouTube video that you can see by Clicking here.  

At the bottom of the post, after all the videos, I've included a link to download Google SketchUp for free.  His seven part SketchUp video tutorial series begins immediately below.

Part 1
12 minutes
Discusses & demonstrates drawing lines & rectangles, use of push/pull tool, rotating objects, and compares the value of groups & components.  Frames floor platform and walls, adds floor sheathing.

Part 2
9 minutes
Adds cleats to trailer to secure framing, & adds wall sheathing.  Makes groups to copy & paste.  Colors materials, assigns materials to layers, shows push/pull hole cutting trick.

Part 3
10 minutes
Frames loft & adds tongue & groove loft floor.  Adds rafters & ridge beams, notches "bird's mouth" into rafters at top plate.  Frames gable ends, sheaths gables & roof.  Imparts building technique & wisdom throughout. 

Part 4
7 minutes
Makes door & windows, then adds them.  Adds trim to doors, windows, and corners.  Demonstrates & explains offset tool.

Part 5
6 minutes
Adds exterior siding & roofing.  Uses "paint bucket" tool to add textures.  Demonstrates & uses the circle tool.

Part 6
9 minutes
Works on the interior, framing partitions & taking advantage of the copy / paste abilities wherever possibleAdds flooring and drywall.

Part 7
12 minutes 
More interior work.  Drawing  kitchen base & wall cabinets, a sink, faucet, knob, door knob, and a fold-down table.  Also draws appliances and a heater.  Demonstrate and uses the "follow me" tool.

Google SketchUp is an amazing and versatile drawing program that works on both Windows and Mac operating systems, and it's free.  They also offer what they call SketchUp Pro, which is even better and more versatile but it costs $495.  Still, that's a bargain compared to most professional drawing programs out there, and as of this date, they are offering an aditional $100 discount.  Click on the following link to get to a page where you can download Google SketchUp ( now called Trimble SketchUp ) onto your computer for free: 

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