≑ Menu

How to Design Tiny Houses in SketchUp Lessons 1-5

In this video based post you’re going to learn how to design tiny houses in SketchUp with LaMar Alexander of Simple Solar Homesteading.

So hopefully if you’re here you’ve already downloaded SketchUp and you’re ready to follow along. If not, you can do so right now.Β Then come back here to watch the video so you can watch, learn, pause and rewind when you have to, and most importantly do.

It’s important when you watch instructional videos like this to take the time to pause the video for a few minutes so you can practice and play around with the tasks you just learned. Otherwise, you’ll completely forget!

So don’t expect to go through the entire video all at once. For best results, bookmark this page. Take your time with each lesson inside. Mark off where you left off and come back to it later in between practice.

Designing Tiny Houses in SketchUp Lessons 1-5 (FREE)


I encourage you to enjoy, follow along and learn using the full 1-hour long video lesson with LaMar for FREE below:

Lesson 1 (Basics)

Lesson 2 (Interior Design)

Lesson 3 (Framing)

Lesson 4 (Foundations)

Lesson 5 (8×20 Tiny House on Wheels)

Sources, Resources, Links and More

For even more tiny house design tips click here.

If you enjoyed this tutorial on how to design tiny houses in SketchUp you’ll absolutely LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more!

The following two tabs change content below.


Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Renee
    June 11, 2014, 10:27 pm

    What a great tool! THANK YOU

  • LaMar
    June 12, 2014, 11:51 am

    Thanks for posting this Alex!

    I used the free Sketchup version 8 for this tutotial and do not get the pro version unless you are a professional designer and need lots of special effects.

    There are 5 lessons in all and the videos take you step by step from designing a small house to creating a framing model and there is a lesson for designing a house on wheels model.

    I use this same method to design all my small houses and I have many videos and plans available for those houses on my channel for ideas.

    Once you get used to the basic Sketchup commands it is a simple and fast tool that really helps you to visualize your house designs or other project designs in 3D and even create a walk through and framed model. Framed models are used by builders and to create a material list so you know exactly what materials are and can estimate the cost of the house.

    Enjoy the tutorials and stop by my website and say Hi!


  • DFallis
    June 13, 2014, 12:00 am

    I have sketchup and used it for the tiny shed we built and have used it to design, re-design, and re-design again the tiny house that is now going to be a tiny print shop on wheels. I love the program and it is easy to use if you have any knowledge of building or drafting. I was lucky growing up with a draftsman/woman–my mom–and the manager of a commercial construction company, but I’m not sure how easy it for those with no knowledge of building? I wouldn’t think it too difficult, but I don’t know. πŸ™‚

  • Linda
    June 30, 2014, 9:22 am

    LaMar is a really good teacher. I’ve seen some other teaching videos by LaMar and he made them seem easy.

  • Raymond
    July 4, 2014, 9:58 pm

    Lamar, your voice and way of talking irritate me to no end, but I will say this is a great service to any and all who aspire to make their own plans. You certainly cover using sketchup better than the videos I found from the sketchup people.

    my hat off to you sir

  • Claude
    January 17, 2017, 9:56 am

    Last year I have downloaded this program and try to use it, I said try, that was it. So I designed a few tiny house plans by hand. I will see with your lessons, if I can do it with Sketchup.
    Thank you.

    • Natalie
      January 17, 2017, 10:56 am

      I hope you have great success!

  • January 17, 2017, 1:11 pm

    It is all very useful, valuable instructions.

    • Natalie
      January 19, 2017, 7:27 am

      So glad!

    January 17, 2017, 9:04 pm

    Interesting stuff, and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of building their own tiny house…

    • Natalie
      January 19, 2017, 7:14 am

      Me too πŸ™‚

  • Martin
    January 18, 2017, 10:43 am

    Good teacher. Very clear and well prepared.
    One thing, though: if you lay out ten foot long floor joists, then add two band joists on the end, you get a ten-foot-three-inch floor length. Your 8 foot plywood sheathing will end up too short. That sort of thing gets expensive, and more importantly, annoys carpenters like me. We charge more for weird detailing, strange angles, time-consuming wastefulness. We have to, or go broke.

    • Natalie
      January 19, 2017, 6:57 am

      Good thing to keep in mind!

  • Martin
    January 19, 2017, 11:14 am

    Good videos. I learned a few things, and I’ve been playing with SketchUp for years.
    a. When doing actual framing plans remember an 80″ door gets an 82″ rough opening (or more, to make insulating easier) Check R.O.s before drawing plans.
    b. don’t omit studs, or any other member, just because they are inconvenient to your drawing. It annoys engineers, inspectors, and carpenters who have to nail material edges. Also, read up on “Advanced House Framing” (“optimum value engineering framing”, “OVE”, etc) save yourself some money while building and on every fuel bill thereafter.
    c. Eaves aren’t necessary, many old houses don’t have them. They lead to uneven rain and sunlight discoloration, and don’t, unless specifically designed to do so, protect anything. Attic ventilation can be done just as well without soffits. Eaves can be designed for some purpose (solar shading/covering the top of an out-opening door or window/covering someone standing outside) and that’s what will determine their size (as will standard material dimensions).

    • Natalie
      January 20, 2017, 10:01 am

      Thanks for those great tips!

  • Megan Garcia
    December 6, 2017, 5:29 pm

    “Comma”…lol….it’s an apostrophe πŸ˜‰

    Great info! Thanks much! πŸ˜€

  • Megan Garcia
    December 6, 2017, 5:33 pm

    P.S., unfortunately, Sketchup is discontinuing SketchupMake (which is the free downloadable version) effective immediately for the 2018 year. Now they only offer SketchupFree (which is an online web browser version for free). The SketchupPro is also still available (the paid version). But that’s it not. πŸ™

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.