Drawing Accuracy


First off, I'm no architect, just a home owner planning to remodel. We're meeting with an architect next week. Im modeling our home in SketchUp to help with ideas.

I've noticed the second floor dimensions from one side of the house to the other are about 1.5" different across 40'. Is this normal? Should I worry about this on my SketchUp file? Or just keep walls straight (dimensions off about an inch)?

Will it help our architect to already have the home modeled in 3d?

Jul 15, 19 8:36 pm
atelier nobody

How accurate the drawings of the existing building need to be really depends on how the particular architect works. Personally, I never fully trust existing condition drawings, even when I've personally measured the building with my laser distance finder, so I always work in some extra tolerances to account for the inevitable "busts" in the existing conditions. On the other hand, I know architects who will want to know if a room is slightly trapezoidal and design their alterations down to the 16th inch based on the not-quite-right angles.

Jul 15, 19 8:54 pm

It is also quite useful for the architect to have the experience of measuring directly when doing remodels as it gives them time to consider the wonkiness of the house and to consider potential solutions.

I've inevitably redone measures done by others or regretted accepting their work while i'm trying to figure things out


Thank you for the reply. I used a laser distance finder myself. I'll likely keep my SketchUp file simple and communicate to the architect that there are some areas that are off an inch or two and they can decide how to handle it.

Jul 15, 19 9:06 pm

My guess is that the architect is going to redraw your idea model into a construction document model/file to generate the drawings- so even if its within an order of magnitude accurate, it should be helpful to facilitate the conversation. Good for you for taking initiative to start thinking through your spatial aspirations. 

I'd be interested to hear if the modeling effort is helping to reinforce and/or modifying your earliest/initial design assumptions.

Jul 15, 19 9:37 pm

I think the effort helps. I don't really have the ability to look at a space and just imagine what it could be, I need to "see" it. I suspect one of my ideas will look terrible once I model it.

It helps pick materials and colors as well. I've worked with Blender for a while so I can do my own archviz renders.

Jul 17, 19 10:32 am

Just let your architect do his/her job.

If you want to help with ideas, gather images of spaces/things/materials you like; write down your goals for this project; be present & attentive, and actively consider what design advice is given. Be as clear and concise with your goals as you are able without defining the architecture. (For example: don't draw the kitchen. Instead, tell the architect what is important to you about how the kitchen needs to work for you. How do you use it? What don't you like about your current kitchen? Provide a list of appliance types that are essential [48" fridge, range (or cooktop), etc]. Talk about how essential it is to have 2 dishwashers; or that a knife drawer be there in lieu of a knife block on the counter) Make timely decisions when options are presented. Ask questions when you do not understand fully what is proposed. That is your role as client.

Re: the model...My guess is that whatever assumptions you make in determining the sizes of things for the sketchup model will need to be redone to the architect's standard, unless you are willing to affirm to the architect that your work is reliable (ie, any mistakes resulting from relying on your work are your responsibility). Does the architect even use Sketchup? Or, is it importable to other modeling softwares without needing to be rebuilt anyway? Do the model for yourself, if you must, but don't try to do the architects job for him/her.

[this post is not intended to be obnoxious, so i do hope it is not reading that way]

Jul 17, 19 1:03 pm

I appreciate the input, and understand completely about letting the architect do their job. I've thought about what you said and I think this exercise is really more for me and helping to rule some things out. One idea in particular.

And I can 100% say I want a knife drawer and not a block on the counter.

Jul 17, 19 10:31 pm
Non Sequitur

knife blocks look more bad-ass and doubles up as quick access defense in case of ninja attack.

atelier nobody

I once had the joy of cleaning out a house with a major cockroach infestation. Unless you've seen it, you quite literally cannot imagine how many cockroaches can fit into a knife block.

Non Sequitur

Nice story, but how many roaches in the cutlery drawers?

atelier nobody

Many fewer, believe it or not. For some reason, they really loved that knife block - it wouldn't surprise me if there were more in there than the whole rest of the house (not that I was counting; I was wielding Raid cans like fire extinguishers).

Non Sequitur

I think Elon Musk sells a flamethrower for that specific situation.

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