This home echoes the first two centuries of American architecture with its formal, symetric facade. The hipped dormers and exposed rafter ends clearly say Craftsman. The wide, eight-over-eight windows seem appropriate in a home of this size.

The pile of dirt in front looks like a garden waiting to happen. Remind your tutor to retake this shot in the spring.

Formal Craftsman home, NY, c. 1910.

Formal, architect-designed, Craftsman home.

Edges to Rubies The Complete SketchUp Tutorial

Putting it all together

Chapter 9—Putting It Together

As our chapter thumbnail shows, we've got some details to take care of. There are no windows in the apartment's outside walls. Driving your carriage into the garage? It will drop into the basement as there's no garage floor. Minor stuff. Let's start with windows.

Hold Everything! Freehand!

I was just about to put this chapter to bed when I saw in the table of contents that I was planning to introduce Freehand here. I must have assumed that I'd think of some use for Freehand. I haven't.

Sample freehand drawing 

Ctrl+N. Try Draw/Freehand (no shortcut). Drag around the screen making silly lines. Someone once said, "Drawing with a mouse is like drawing with a rock." I couldn't agree more.

Let's start with windows.

Window Basics

Double-hung windows, open and shut 

The classic American window is the "double-hung" window. Four window "sashes" with glass forming the moving parts of two windows are shown to the left.

The sashes' vertical pieces are "stiles"; the horizontal pieces are "rails".

These windows are "one-over-one" double-hung windows. This was the most common Craftsman window. Craftsman designers took advantage of then recent advances in glass manufacturing that made large, flat sheets of glass possible.

Six-over-six, double-hung windows 

On the left are "six-over-six" double-hung windows. The small pieces of wood that divide the window into "lights" are called "muntins".

The six-over-six window was a solution to the problem of making a large window when only small lights were available.

Casement windows opening outward 

The casement window (hinged, not sliding) goes back at least to medieval Europe. They were not common in Craftsman architecture, although they might have been. Stickley's home at Craftsman Farm was in the Tudor style. Tudor architecture itself revived medieval architecture, so there is a direct link.

Modern casement windows may be vertically hinged, at the sides. They open outward by a crank mechanism that holds them in place, regardless of wind.

Our front and back windows will be top-hinged casement windows, good for ventilation and light. The back windows will also provide views. These are modest windows. The side windows, on the other hand, are not so modest.

Front Windows

Here I use "frame" to describe the entire window surrounding the moving sashes. Windows are actually made from many pieces, each named. Our windows are made from a single block of solid wood, using the same technique we used for door frames, that I'll repeat here.

Ctrl+N. File/Save As... "window_front.skp".

A solid block of wood begins the window 

Begin the frame with a block of wood ten inches thick (for eight-inch exterior walls), 50 inches long (a 42-inch opening plus 4 inches on each side for "casings") and 26 inches tall (an 18-inch opening, plus 4-inch casings).

Beginning to Pushpull unneeded wood from top of window 

Tape a guide an inch from the edge. Rectange 8,3. Pushpull away the excess wood.

Do not stop your Pushpull in the middle unless you're trying to take an explanatory screen shot. Pushpull all the way to the far side.

Beginning second Pushpull 

Continue around three more sides. Your first Pushpull provides an exact starting point for your second 8,3 Rectangle. (No more guides needed.)

When you are done, Orbit until you are back in the customary position: solid blue axis up, solid green up and left, solid red up and right.

Using Pushpull to create a window-sized opening 

Guides four inches down from the top and four inches in from the left give you a starting intersection. Rectangle from the intersection, 42, 18. Pushpull out the unwanted wood and you have a complete frame.

Completed, grouped frame 

Delete the guides, select all, group and name the group "frame" (Entity Info) to finish the frame.

Window sash as a solid block 

Next, create a solid block for the window sash. This is 42 inches long, eighteen inches high and one inch thick.

Mine is down the red axis, to the right of the frame.

Opening the window sash 

Two more guides an inch from top and left locate the top-left corner of your Rectangle 40,16. Another Pushpull and you have a window sash.

Window glass in place 

Time to call the glazier.

To get a face, redraw the window opening. Bucket to the Materials window. Translucent choices. Translucent_Glass_Gray works well for me. It's dark enough so that the glass is visible; light enough to see through.

With the glass installed in the sash, select all and group as "sash".

Time to install the sash in the frame. First, let's open the window.

Opening the window 

Zoom in. Get the Qrotate tool. Place it in the middle of the left end of the sash, so you get the red axis orientation. Hold the Shift key to keep this orientation. Click the top front corner as shown. Click a point farther down the edge.

Window opened to 45 degrees 

Open the window!

Mine is opened 45 degrees.

Completed window frame and sash 

Move the sash, grabbing it by the same point your Qrotate protractor was located. This will snap nicely into the corner of the frame.

Save. You have achieved front window!

Back Windows

Not by coincidence, the front and back windows are the same size. Select all. Qrotate your front window 180 degrees so it opens toward the back. File/Save As... "window_back.skp".

You have achieved back window!

Remember that you do not need to group the completed component. When you File/Import... it into your model, it will be made into a component named "window_back" (the file name). In turn, the window_back component will contain a frame group and a sash group.

Install the Front Windows

Bear in mind these facts. The front window frame's opening is 42 inches long, 18 inches tall. The frame is one inch thick around its opening. You need a wall opening that is 44 inches long, 20 inches high to accommodate the frame. The "casings" extend four inches from the frame's opening, around 4 sides. That said, here is the installation:

Open "outside_wall_front.skp".

Front wall with guides for installing windows 

Tape a guide 56 inches up from the bottom. Tape a guide 27 inches toward the center from the left gable side wall. Tape another 35 inches toward the center from the right gable side wall. These intersections locate the outside corners of the window frames.

Tape out guides 3 inches above and inside the first three. These intersections locate the holes to cut in the walls.

Front windows cut 

Rectangle 44, 20 up and in from the second set of guides, twice. Pushpull out the openings.

Window_front imported 

From the warehouse ("components") requisition a "window_front." Drop it in front of the wall.

Ready to install front windows 

Move/Copy one window to under an opening. Move the other under the other opening.

Front window moved closer 

My left window resolutely refused to snap to the intersection. If you have this problem, don't fight it. Just finish your first move close to the final destination. Then Zoom in as close as you can before you try another Move. The next Move should have no trouble snapping window to intersection.

Front windows installed 

Here we're looking good and getting ready to save.

Final steps: delete guides and move everything into the "outside_wall_front" layer. Save.

Install the Back Windows

Open "outside_wall_back.skp".

Back wall construction guides laid out 

Lay out guides per the following instructions.

Again we'll start with the guides that lay out the intersections where you position your window frames. These are 54 above the bottom, 12 inches from the left and then three more, each 80 inches right of the previous..

Lay out opening guides 3 inches above and 3 inches to the right of the vertical guides.

How do you know where to put these guides if you don't have a tutor around to tell you? All the window layout in a style that has no rules (many styles have strict rules) is up to the designer.

You have an idea for what would look good; you lay it out. You discover that there's a wall where you want a window. You move windows and walls around until everything works together. This is the fun and challenge of designing. It's also hard work.

Back window openings cut 

Rectange each 44,20. Pushpull the openings.

Back windows ready to install 

Requisition a "window_back" from the warehouse. Drop it in front of the wall.

Move/Copy it 80 inches, 3x.

Zoom and Move until your windows are installed.

Back windows installed 

Lose the guides. Admire your work. Orbit some.

You are going to put all the geometry into the "outside_wall_back" layer, aren't you? Save.

It's past time for a test fitting. Ctrl+N. Don't save. File/Import... (snapping to origin) "apt_floor", "apartment_inside_walls", "apartment_built_ins", "outside_wall_front" and "outside_wall_back".

Zoom and Orbit until you're convinced everything fits. (Or until you find that there are issues. Open the culprit. Fix the issues. Repeat from the paragraph above.)

I've added some of these windows to "ground_floor.skp". It makes the garage seem lighter and drier.

Side Windows

This designer flaunts the Craftsman tradition with these windows. Flaunting tradition is a Craftsman tradition, so I'm following the Craftsman tradition with these windows.

There is a side issue: these will be expensive. Is this the best use of your, or your client's, budget? Frank Lloyd Wright always broke the client's budget. We're still following tradition, but not necessarily the best tradition. A pair of 24 by 48 one-over-one double-hungs would be almost as good, and a whole lot cheaper.

Ctrl+N. In "components" File/Save As... "left_window.skp".

Four foot square window opening frame 

Create a block of solid cherry 54 inches tall and wide, 10 inches deep. Pushpull away 8,3 Rectangles around all four sides. Pushpull away a 48 inch square Rectangle to create the opening for the sashes. Group it and name the group "frame".

You could redraw the opening rectangle to get a face; Bucket it with Translucent_Glass_Gray and you'd have a window, ready to install. Or you could copy mine or you could resolve to do one that's better than mine. Your choice. Here's mine:

Casement window with stained-glass decoration Windows Outliner showing "frame", "sashes" and "sash" groups

Qrotate your "window_left.skp" 180 degrees and File/Save As... "window_right.skp".

Install the Side Windows

Cutting the window openings in the left wall  

Open "outside_wall_left.skp". Tape guides 18 inches up from the bottom, 30 inches from the back for the left window; 34 inches up and 55 inches from the front for the right window. Rectangle a 50 inch square up and in from each intersection. Pushpull the window openings.

Left windows installed in wall 

Tape new guides 3 inches below and 3 inches outside the existing guides.

Import a "window_left.skp". Use the same Move/Zoom/Move/Zoom process you used in front and back to install two windows in the left wall.

Save. Repeat for "outside_wall_right.skp" starting with these guides: 29 inches up for both, 65 inches from the back wall and 61 inches from the front wall.

Roof Braces

I also made a set of roof braces. The center one goes at the peak. The left and right ones go on the left and right, of course.

Roof braces ready to install

I Lined from Center Point to Center Point on these braces. That means they are at 45 degree angles. The roof is not 45 degrees. For a model, this doesn't matter. If you build, be sure that your carpenters use the real roof angles.

Roof braces installed on left outside wall

Attach braces to "outside_wall_left.skp" and "outside_wall_right.skp". If you use Structural Insulated Panel construction, these braces will be key to supporting your roof overhangs. I also think they look great.


Here you have two choices.
  1. Model your own roof.
  2. Steal my roof.
I'd recommend number 2.

The rest of this section gives the modeler some ideas.

First, there are lots of "How to make a gabled dormer" tutorials on the web. I have yet to find a decent one. By "decent" I mean one that recognizes that neither walls nor roofs are simple faces. Both are three-dimensional solids. In fact, most gable cookbooks aren't even very intelligent about the simple case, where we'll start.

Simple house with floor and wall upstairs 

Begin with the simple house you met in Chapter 1. Delete the roof face that will meet the gabled dormer. Rectangle a floor for the upstairs. Line, using Midpoint inferences, around a wall in the middle of the upstairs.

Simple house with gabled dormer outlined on the wall 

Outline a gable on the center wall.

Simple house, gable Pushpulled out 

Pushpull out more gabled dormer than you really need.

Simple house with roof and gabled dormer 

Line over one of the roof plane edges to restore the roof face.

Simple house with correctly drawn gabled dormer 

Select the roof face, right-click and choose Intersect/Intersect with Model. (There are two other Intersect options that may appear, depending on what you are doing. I've never used either one.)

Geometry that looks like it intersects (roof and gable, in this case) does not automatically get edges at the intersections. The Intersect with Model order creates those edges (and any faces they bound).

Simple house with correctly sized gabled dormer 

Pushpull the dormer to its intended size.

Simple house with gabled dormer showing interior cleanup needed 

If your gabled dormer will be viewed from inside, there's some cleanup left to do.

That's the basic technique. Extending it to real roofs and walls isn't much harder.

Thick roof and thick gabled dormer outlines drawn 

Draw a section of roof and a section of dormer.

Thick gabled dormer Pushpulled out 

This one's easier if you Pushpull the dormer first.

3D roof Pushpulled across 3D dormer 

Pushpull the main roof across the dormer.

View from rear of two-plane roof intersecting two-plane dormer 

From the front, Select the roof and Intersect with Model. Pushpull the dormer to final size.

From the rear, hide the two rear roof faces. Select the inner front face and Intersect with Model. Then take a look at the needed cleanup.

Beginning with SketchUp 7, if you draw a long line, then draw another beginning in the middle of the first, your original line is now split into two shorter lines. This is just what you did when you Intersected with Model around the dormer. When you delete an edge of the outer dormer in the interior, the continuation of that edge outdoors will remain.

Rear view showing outer dormer edges deleted 

Begin by deleting the outer layer of dormer in the interior. Then delete the excess inner dormer.

Completed 3D gabled dormer 

Last, the gable-outlining edges define faces inside the dormer. Delete them.

If you have a model, such as your model carriage house, where the dormer wall is already complete, use this technique for just the dormer roof.

One problem with this technique: your gable/roof intersections are precise. As you orbit, these precise intersections sparkle. One solution is to claim that it just rained, so they should sparkle.

Another solution is to group roof and dormer separately. I poke my dormer into the roof an inch. No more sparkles.

Garage Floor

I do not know how to make a garage floor. I looked the subject up in the 2006 International Building Code book. After reading a bit I was convinced that a college major in something like structural engineering was needed.

I say this so that when your chauffeur drives your Rolls into your carriage house, and goes crashing through the improperly-specified garage floor into the basement, I do not want to hear from you.

I do, however, know how to model a floor in SketchUp. Ctrl+N and File/Save As... "ground_floor_floor.skp" in "components".

Ground floor floor, guides in place 

Rectangle, 28'4, 25'4. (Don't Pushpull yet.) Tape guides 8 and 44 inches from the left wall; 80 inches from the front and 87.5 inches from the back. Rectangle the stairwell. Select the stairwell face and Delete it.

Bucket gray. (The top surface of any garage floor will be non-flammable, probably concrete.) Pushpull up twelve inches.

Delete guides and save. Open "basement.skp". File/Import... "component/ground_floor_floor.skp". It snaps to the top corner of the basement walls, a foot below the origin. Move everything into the "basement" layer. Save. It should look like this:

Completed basement

Finally, there is a temporary floor in "ground_floor.skp". Delete it.

Putting It Together

(Soundtrack: drum roll, near silent at first but crescendo to fortissimo as you save your complete "carriage_house.skp".)

Apartment outside walls assembled 

Ctrl+N. File/Save As... "apartment_outside_walls.skp".

Turn the Layers window on and watch it as you import each of the four outside walls to the origin. Save.

Comeplete apartment assembled 

Ctrl+N. File/Save As... "apartment.skp".

Import "apartment_floor.skp" to the origin. Import the rest of the "apartment_x.skp" (where "x" is "inside_walls", "built_ins", "furniture" and "outside_walls") to the corner of the floor above the origin. Save.

Ctrl+N. File/Save As... "carriage_house.skp".

Import "basement.skp" to the origin. Turn the "basement" layer's Visible off. (The rest of the components import to the origin. You don't want it hidden.)

(Drummer: rapid crescendo!)

Import "ground_floor.skp", "apartment.skp" and "roof.skp".

(Drummer: 10-second finale—give it all you've got!)


Completed carriage house

Orbit. Admire your work. You have really sketched something up. Patting of self on back is encouraged.

Since you've made something worth showing off, the next chapter is devoted to just that: showing it off.

The apartments furniture. View of apartment contents. Showing it off.