5 Sketchup Mistakes Every Beginner Makes (and how to avoid them)

Featured image_ 5 Sketchup Mistakes Beginners Make

When you first start out, it can be easy to fall into the same Sketchup mistakes and not know where to turn! In this article, we’re going to go over the top five mistakes beginners make. We’ll also give you helpful hints so that you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to speed up your workflow and model efficiently. You’ll be a Sketchup pro in no time!

Sketchup Mistakes

1. Sticky Business

When modeling objects in Sketchup, you need to separate different parts into groups and components. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move individual parts of your model without affecting the whole.

Sketchup mistakes: sticky business

How to fix it: Select the objects that you want to move independently from the rest of the model. Right-click and select “make group.” Now when you move the object, it won’t take the rest of the model with it.

2. Overstocking from 3D Warehouse

Another one of the most common Sketchup mistakes is overstocking. Basically, it means downloading a bunch of 3D models from the 3D warehouse and placing them into your model. It can be a good thing, but sometimes when you are new to Sketchup it’s easy to go overboard with it. At first glance, you can never really be sure what you are downloading.

For example, in this model, we downloaded a pendant light, but when you click on it you can see the blue bounding box is not confined to just the light. If you turn on “hidden geometry,” you will notice there are other objects within the pendant model. This can really begin to slow down your model because it’s extra information Sketchup must load.

Sketchup mistakes: overstocking

How to fix it: Click into the group you downloaded and delete any extra information. If you have ta bunch of unused components in the model they still add to your filesize even if you don’t have anything in your 3d modeling view. To get rid of them you can navigate to window > model info > statistics and click on the “purge unused” button. This will get rid of any extra components you aren’t currently using.

3. Getting Hung up on Style

Sometimes when modeling, people can get caught up in the look of the model or the style they choose to add. This can really slow down the load time and it’s not really necessary when modeling.

Sketchup Mistakes: getting hung up on style

How to fix it: Navigate to the “styles” tab in the “default tray.” In the “select” tab, click on “assorted styles” from the dropdown menu. If you look in the bottom right corner of each style, you may see a green stopwatch icon. This indicates that it is a fast modeling style. Try to use fast modeling styles when working and save more artistic styles for final renderings. The best practice is to set up a “working” scene with a fast style and other scenes with the desired finished result.

4. Modeling Everything

It can be easy to get caught up in modeling everything but don’t waste your time. You may not see everything in the model anyway.

Sketchup mistakes: modeling everything

How to fix it: Make sure you define the parameters at the beginning of the project. Choose your views ahead of time and think about what you will see in the final image as you model. Don’t model what you don’t need or can’t see.

5. Using too Many Tools

When you have too many plugins, they can start to conflict. Sometimes beginners may fall into the trap of not learning Sketchup fully, so they use Sketchup for one thing then take their model into another program to do something else and so on.

Sketchup mistakes: too many tools

How to fix it: Minimize the number of tools you use. The simpler and more fundamental the tools are, the better. Try not to use tools as a crutch when modeling. Instead, learn all of the tools in Sketchup and become familiar with the program so that you can do as much work as possible in Sketchup before moving to another program.

Are you a beginner at Sketchup? What Sketchup mistakes do you need help with? Check out our tutorials page for more helpful tips or leave a question in the comment below!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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