In our last tutorial, we added the interior walls to a basic 2D floor plan that we drew in SketchUp from a PDF plan file. In this tutorial, we’re going to identify the opening locations for the windows and doors and create 2D symbols for both. We will also learn the following techniques:
- Creating components.
- Using layers to control the visibility of elements.
- Copy and Paste in Place.
- Copying elements using the Move tool.
- Using the Rotate tool.
- Using the Divide command.
- Using the Flip Along command.
First, open up your floor plan from the last tutorial. Or if you’d like to follow along, you can download the SketchUp file we’ll be starting from.
You can see that we are starting in Parallel Projection mode, where the 3D model space is flattened into 2D. If you don’t have Parallel Projection on, go to Camera – Standard Views – Top and then Camera – Parallel Projection (PP). You can tell if PP is on because it will have a checkmark next to it in the drop-down menu.
Before we add any openings, we’re going to make a copy of our walls and put them on a different layer. If you remember from our last tutorial, we put the exterior walls on their own later called Walls-Exterior and the interior walls on their own layer called Walls-Interior. This step is important because it will preserve a copy of our walls with no openings so that we can use it for our 3D model later.
If your Layers window isn’t open, go to Windows in the top toolbar, and select Layers to open it. Click on the plus sign to add a new layer and name it Plan-2D.
Click on your exterior wall group to select it. Then go to Edit in the top toolbar and then Copy or you can use the shortcut CMD (or CTRL) + C.
Go to Edit and then select Paste in Place. This will paste a copy of the exterior wall group in exactly the same place as the one we copied it from. This is a very powerful tool because it can be used not only in the same SketchUp model but also copying between different SketchUp models.
Now we have two copies of the exterior wall group. We need to change one of them to the Plan-2D layer. The new copy should still be selected. Go to the Entity Info window and change the layer to Plan-2D and the name of the group to Exterior Walls-Copy.
Repeat the process for the Interior Walls.
In the Layers window, uncheck the check mark next to Walls-Exterior and Walls-Interior. Then click on the radio button next to the Plan-2D layer. The Walls-Exterior and Walls-Interior layers are invisible or hidden and the Plan-2D layer is active. The radio button indicates the active layer. Only one layer can be active at a time, and that is the layer on which you draw and create new elements.
Now we’re ready to start cutting openings for our windows and doors!
Zoom in towards your front door on the bottom of the plan. Double click on the exterior walls to open the group. You can tell a group is open and available for editing because the other elements will fade and you will see a dotted line box around the open group.
We’re going to use guidelines to establish our door and window openings the same way we used them to set our walls in the last tutorial. Click on the tape measure tool. Then click on the inside edge of the right wall of the closet. You can still use edges in groups that are not open to establish your guidelines. Drag your mouse to the right, type 18.5″ and hit enter.
Now, with the tape measure click on the guideline you just made and drag to the right. Type in 36″ for the width of the door opening and hit enter.
Continue adding guidelines to establish the opening for the windows in the living room. Click on the guideline you just made, drag right and enter 38.5″. Add another guideline 90″ to the right of that guideline.
Activate the Line tool by clicking on the pencil icon in the tool bar. Zoom in towards your front door again and use the line tool to create a break in the exterior walls at the intersections created by the guidelines.
By adding those lines to the exterior wall group, we’ve created segments in the lines that make up the top and bottom edge of that wall. Now we can use our eraser tool to delete them and create an opening.
Repeat this process for the window.
To finish adding the openings on this wall, zoom out and then zoom towards the bottom left side of the plan. Use guidelines and the plan dimensions to establish the opening for the dining room window. Then use the Line tool and the Eraser tool to create the opening.
Go to Edit – Delete Guides to clear all of the guidelines. Repeat this process for the remaining exterior walls. Your plan should look like this when you are finished.
Now it’s time to add the openings for the interior doors. If you remember from the last tutorial, we created two groups for our interior walls – the fireplace walls and the remaining walls. And then we grouped them together into one group. It can help to think of groups like nested containers. We have a big container called Interior Walls holding two smaller containers for each of our wall containers. And each of those containers holds the lines and faces that create the walls.
First, double click on one on the interior walls. This opens up the bigger group. In order to work with the walls, we need to make sure we have the right group open. Double click again on one of the walls (not the fireplace walls). This has opened up the nested group, and you can tell it’s open because you can click on the wall face and see the blue dots appear.
There are no dimensions indicating the openings of the interior doors, so this is where we can use the PDF to estimate. Let’s start with the closet in the top left bedroom. Zoom in so you can see it better and the activate the tape measure.
We’re going to make some assumptions – first that the door is centered on the wall and second that the door opening is a round number. Doors typically come in even increments like 24″, 28″, 30″ etc. With your tape measure, click on the top wall of the closet and drag a horizontal guideline down. As you hover towards the center of the wall, you will notice a blue dot appear. The blue dot indicates the center point of the line segment. Click to set the guideline.
Now we can draw guidelines from the center guideline to establish the edges of the door opening. This will require some estimating. Click on the center guideline and drag up.
You’ll notice that as you can close to the edge in the PDF, the measurement approaches 30″. This tells me that the door is probably 60″ wide. Type 30″ and hit enter. Repeat the process to set the bottom guideline. Then use the Line tool and Eraser tool to create the opening just like we did for the exterior openings.
Delete the guidelines before moving on to the next opening. We’ll do one more together – the door into the hall bathroom. This doorway isn’t centered on the opening, so we’ll estimate the distance of the opening from the left wall. Then you can use another guideline to estimate the opening width.
Use the Line tool and Eraser tool to create the opening. Repeat this process for the remaining openings. Sometimes you can use the center line and sometimes you’ll have to estimate the location opening. Now your plan should look like this image below.
I noticed a couple of mistakes in the model. First, there are two extra walls that we need to delete. Second, the bedroom doors are too narrow – 24″, so I would like to increase them to 30″.
First we’ll delete the extra walls. Use the Line tool to segment the extra wall in the hallway, then erase the top and bottom edges that make up the extra wall.
Repeat the process for the extra wall in the master bathroom.
Now let’s shift the hall bathroom wall slightly so that we can enlarge the doorways into the bedrooms.
Zoom in on the bottom wall of the hall bathroom. Activate the Selection tool by hitting the space bar. From left to right, draw a box around the wall to select it.
Click on the Move tool in the top tool bar. Then click on the bottom edge of the wall and drag upward. We’ll move the wall 9″, so as you drag, type 9″ and hit enter.
Now select the top edges of the two bedroom door openings. Hold down the shift key and click the left one and then the right one. Use the move tool to drag the edges up 6″, which will enlarge the openings to 30″.
Click outside the group in the workspace to close the group. Then click again to close the Interior Walls group.
In the Layers window, turn on the Walls-Interior layer and edit the interior walls to delete those two extra walls and move the bathroom wall. Turn off Walls-Interior.
Now we’re ready to start adding symbols for our windows and doors. We’ll keep the symbols as simple as possible for our 2D plan. Let’s begin with the windows on the bottom wall.
Start by drawing a rectangle over the window opening. Then draw a 1″x6″ rectangle on each side of the opening to represent the frame.
This is a triple window, so we’re going to add two divisions to represent the individual windows. Click on the top edge of the window rectangle to select it. Then right-click on it and select Divide from the pop-up menu.
The Divide tool can break up a line into a specified number of equal segments. You can choose the number of segments by dragging your mouse until you see the correct number of red dots or you can type in the desired number and hit enter. Type 3 and hit enter.
Now the line segment is divided equally. Draw a guideline at each of the points. The guides will snap to the points we created with the Divide tool.
Use the line tool to draw a 2″ x 6″ rectangle that is centered on each guideline.
Next we’ll draw rectangles to represent the glass panes.
Delete the faces that are on either side of the “glass” rectangles.
Our last step for this window is to turn it into a component so that we can reuse it in the living room. A component is similar to a group in that it turns a selection of lines and faces into a module that won’t stick to other elements. But, a component can be reused over and over again and any changes you make to one component will take effect in all instances of that component.
With the Selection tool, draw a box around the window from left to right. Then right click on the window and select Make Component from the pop-up menu.
A window will pop up. Name the new component Window-90 and type in a description. Then click the Create button. Now you have a new component that you can reuse.
Next, we’ll copy and paste our window component into the opening for the living room. Click on the Move tool in the toolbar. Then click on the top left corner of the window component. Hold down your option key (Alt for PC) and drag to the right. You will see a copy of the window moving with your cursor.
Drag to the right and click on the top left corner of the living room window opening.
Delete the guides. Repeat this process for the remaining windows. You can make a window component for the window in the left bedroom and then copy it to the right bedroom. You’ll notice that the sill on the right window faces outwards, so right click on the window and select Flip Along – Component’s Red. This will reflect the window along the red axis so the sill is facing the interior.
Next, we’ll draw the front door. Zoom in on the front door opening on the bottom wall. Draw a 1″x36″ rectangle up from the corner of the opening to represent the door thickness.
Next, select the Circle tool from the toolbar. Click on the top left corner of the door opening and then click again at the top left corner of the door rectangle.
You can see that the circle is segmented and looks faceted. We want to smooth the arc for the door swing. If your Entity Info isn’t open, go ahead and open it now. Click on the right side of the circle to select it. In the Entity Info window, change the Segments field to 100. Now the arc is made up of 100 segments so it appears smooth. If you have trouble with this step, try starting with a lower number like 50.
Draw a line across the top of the door opening to break the arc. Then delete the bottom and left arcs as well as the line across the opening and any faces so that you are left with the door thickness and the arc. Turn the door into a component.
Repeat this process for the hall bathroom door, which is 30″ wide and turn it into a component called Door-30. Use the Move tool to copy the bathroom door to the left bedroom.
Now we need to rotate the door into the proper orientation. With the door component selected, click on the Rotate tool in the toolbar. Then click on the bottom corner of the door opening. Drag your cursor up and click on the top corner of the door opening.
Then drag your cursor to the left. You will see the door start to rotate. Type in 90 for a 90-degree rotation and hit enter.
Copy the door over to the right bedroom and use the flip along tool to reverse the door. This time you will probably select the green axis instead of the red. Even though we rotated the door, the component maintains its original axis orientation.
Once our single swing doors are in place, we can move on to the bi-fold doors. Let’s start with the little entry closet. The opening is 24″ wide, so we’ll start by drawing a rectangle perpendicular to the opening that’s 1″ x 12″. Triple click on the rectangle and make a group.
Use the Rotate tool to rotate the rectangle from the corner 45 degrees clockwise.
Now we’ll make the other side of the door. With the rectangle still selected and the Rotate tool active. Click on the bottom left corner of the rectangle, then the top left corner. Hold down the option key and drag your mouse to rotate a copy of the rectangle clockwise. When the new rectangle is lined up perfectly with the first rectangle, click the mouse. Or you can type 270 and enter.
Select the new rectangle and use the Move tool to align the top left corner with the first rectangle so that they appear as mirror images of one another. Turn the door into a component called Door-BF-24.
You can repeat this process for the doors to the closets. Since the closets are 60″ double bi-folds, each rectangle will be 1/4 of the length or 15″. Since all of the closet doors are the same size, you only need to make one component and then copy it into place, reflecting it as necessary.
The sliding door in the dining room is very easy to draw. It’s simply two overlapping rectangles.
Finally, we are going to draw the pocket door into the master bathroom. This door will require a little editing to the Interior Walls group. Zoom to the pocket door and double click twice to open the group.
Delete the face inside the rectangle and the left edge to create the door pocket. Then click twice outside the group to close it. Set a guideline at the midpoint of the door pocket. Then draw a rectangle 1″ by 30″ from the midpoint of the pocket into the door opening to represent the door.
Trace around the opening of the pocket. Then select those lines as well as the door rectangle and turn them into a component – Door-Pocket-30.
Delete the guides.
Open the Layers window and create a new layer called Plan-PDF. Select the PDF, then open the Entity Info window and change the layer to Plan-PDF. Turn off the Plan-PDF layer by unchecking the check mark next to it.
We have our final floor plan with all of our windows and doors. You can print this floor plan to scale and use it as the basis for sketching out furniture plans and other elements.
In our next tutorial, we’ll learn how to turn our 2D plan into a basic 3D model with walls and openings for windows and doors.
If you have any questions or suggestions for future tutorials, please comment below. I’d love to know what you would like to learn about how to use SketchUp for Interior Design.