SU + Autocad User Looking at Plus Spec


I’m a long-time Sketchup to Autocad Lt user. Primarily designing concepts in Sketchup / Enscape and exporting to Autocad Lt to do the construction plans. With a quieter year ahead, I’m looking at BIM solution and to streamline my work process. The most popular CAD systems in New Zealand for drafting is Archicad & Revit. Both far too expensive options for a solo practitioner along with all the other software subs, insurances needed. I also cant let go of Sketchup, its what gets me to work in the mornings :slight_smile:

So after looking at your software in 2015 I’m back to have another look. Ive decided to jump on the Plus Spec Pro Freedom Plan for a couple of months to see if I can change the whole way I do things. Most jobs I’m involved with are on the complicated side. But Ive just started a small simple job which I thought might be a great place to start learning your software. I’m designing a double garage with a living space over it with a raking rafter roof structure. After watching a ton of tutorials I see that it’s not only learning the tools but figuring out which methods to use.


1.) I have windows across levels + windows across split walls. Is this solved with the Custom Window Tool? (in PlusSpec Architect)

2.) Looking at my wall sections, is there a better way to do them, so that windows were not across splits?

3.) Do you think I need to upgrade to “PlusSpec Architect” for tools like “Custom Windows” & “Project Wall to Roof”. I was hoping to trail Plus Spec for a couple of months on a small project to see if it would work for me on larger, complicated projects.

4.) Is Plus Spec + Layout the right tool? I generally work on projects with complicated detailing and some of the construction plans get to 65+ sheets.

Any advice would be so apricated.



Garage / Loft

Typical Project - SU construction model ready to export sections to Autocad Lt

You really need PlusArchitect or PlusDesignBuild if drafting is your end goal. @Andrew

The custom window and door tool will draw a window anywhere without a wall. So yes, it will; however, the examples below will be faster and they are the best way to build it onsite.

First, I would watch this section of the following tutorial video for adding windows in a gable wall. It shows adding raked windows, yet the principle is the same. I would make the entire wall a gable like shown in the video

If you were to split the walls so they were more manageable onsite, you would do it like this: I have not seen anyone build a wall with a window across two walls.

In your image, you also have a void wall. I would build that as one wall as it will be easier to manage onsite, yet if it were two walls, I would build the lower wall 200mm lower than the window sill.

It depends on your requirements. Do you want to add beams and framing or just do drafting? It also depends on how well you know Layout in Sketchup.

PlusArchitect and PlusDeisgnBuild really help with Layout. They both create the same geometry; however, PlusDesignBuild has advanced estimating and scheduling. PlusArchitect is more for building designers who want to see and edit what’s behind the cladding (Eg structure), and PlusDesignBuild is for Designers and builders who want to deliver a bill of quantities and associate suppliers/ subcontractors to tasks. Why don’t you stay on PlusSpec Pro until you get the basics and then reach out to the office? @Tyler will look after you with an upgrade so you don’t pay twice. Or, maybe wait until your Sketchup license is due for renewal and then get the package of PlusArchitect and PlusDesignbuild. It is your call


Wow thanks for your very well explained response, much appreciated. I will go though that tutorial.

I’m very used to just modeling in SU exporting to Autocad with out needing to think about how the framing actually works. In NZ, once construction consent plans have been approved by local authority, they are sent to a pre-cut framing company who do their own set of plans. Therefore showing framing isn’t totally necessary, but beams, joists rafters lintels are.

I think your advice with keeping with PlusSpec Pro for now is sound. I’ll see how it fits in with what I do and upgrade to PlusSpec Build / Architect if needed.

Thanks again