In deck construction, we often are removing an old structure and replacing it with a comparable structure made from new material. Older outdoor woods are pretty much shot after 20-30 years. We usually start with an as-built drawing and estimate our materials and labor from there. Here’s a case study in deck as-built drawings using SketchUp.
This is the top view after some edits. The best way I’ve found so far to make a proper blueprint from a sketchup drawing is to export a 2d graphic and pull it into GIMP. Use the color selection tool with a low threshold value to select the background color and delete it. You can add architectural textures in SketchUp to identify different components. Here, for example, there’s a concrete pad under the deck that I differentiate in the print with diagonal hatching.
There are also options for correcting your dimensioning; you’re not stuck with the tiny font that’s the default. Open Entity Info, go to dimensioning, then there are a lot of nice options you can play with. Here’s the edited image:
Partial view at 100%:
zupan dimensions pdf
You’ll notice the finished drawing is much easier to read!
SketchUp will generate 2d exports from standard camera views that are essentially like CAD patterns on steroids. From this point, I can add photo textures of the client’s material choice, model their house and lot and drop it into place, have a very accurate material list, and dimension anything I’m missing by inferring it from its relationship to the other components. I can troubleshoot problem areas, estimate cost, and send this to everyone working on the job so they have it on their tablets to reference as work proceeds. It’s a great way to build rapport with local building inspectors too!