Most builders think of their tool kit as including things like hammers, saws, and screwdrivers. How about adding a piece of software to that mix? As South Dakota builder Matt Jackson writes, SketchUp has become an invaluable part of his tool kit. SketchUp, a free design program from Google, lets you create plans easily on your computer. With a tool palette that includes push/pull (a “board stretcher”), a tape measure, and a protractor (helpful for determining angle measurements for roofs), SketchUp gives you the ability to make 2-D plans into 3-D plans for your own projects or for work for clients. One highlight of SketchUp is the photo-match feature, which allows you to import a photo of a room or house, then draw to scale to visualize projects.
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