How to Add a Second Floor to a SketchUp House Model

By Aidan Chopra

Modeling each new floor directly on top of the one underneath guarantees that everything in your SketchUp building model lines up. Some folks advocate for working “off to the side” and putting things together later, but that’s a recipe for trouble. Here’s how you add a second floor to the house model.

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  1. Trace the inside perimeter of the exterior wall to create a new face.

    Use the Line tool to do this. Keep in mind that this works only if everything you touch is already part of another group; if it isn’t, your new edges stick to your existing ones, and your model becomes very, very messy.

  2. Push/pull your new face into a thick slab.

    How thick? It depends on your building, but a reasonable ceiling-to-floor distance between levels for houses is about a foot. You can figure yours out with a tape measure and a calculator.

    The underside of the new slab is the ceiling of the first floor. Modelling buildings this way improves visibility when you hide a floor group to see the one below it.

  3. Draw the interior walls of the new floor.

    This is just like drawing the first floor. Switch to the Top view (Camera→Standard Views→Top) and then use the Tape Measure, Eraser, and Line tools to draft your floor plan.

    If the floor you’re drawing is bigger than the one below it, its outline overlaps the exterior walls. That’s okay — just pay special attention to where your edges and faces end up as you draw. Orbit every once in a while to check that everything’s copacetic.

    In the event that your new floor is smaller than the one underneath, represent the inside boundary of the new exterior walls with a single edge.

  4. Push/pull your interior walls to the correct height.

    That’s 8 feet, in this example.

  5. Group together your interior walls, your floor, and the ceiling of the level below.

  6. If your upper floor isn’t bigger or smaller than your lower floor, pull up your exterior walls to match your interior ones.

    Here you’re extending the box that holds your floor trays up another level. Follow these steps:

    1. Edit your exterior wall group by double-clicking it with the Select tool.

    2. Use the Push/Pull tool to extrude it up.

    3. Exit (stop editing) the group by clicking somewhere off to the side of your model.