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Improve Your Work With SketchUp

Here are the many ways one builder uses a free design program to avoid complications, to plan more efficiently, and to raise the quality of his work.

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.

Improve Your Work With SketchUp

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