How to Insert Doors and Windows in Google SketchUp 8 - dummies

How to Insert Doors and Windows in Google SketchUp 8

By Aidan Chopra

When building models in Google SketchUp, you can make openings in your walls in a couple ways. The best option depends on what kind of building you’re modeling, whether you’re using single-face or double-face walls, and how much detail you plan to include in your model.

Using SketchUp’s handy-dandy components

As long as you’re making an exterior model, you can use some of the doors and windows stored online on Google’s 3D Warehouse. Without going into a ton of detail, here’s what you need to know about them:

  • Components are accessible from the Components dialog box. Choose Window, Components to open the dialog box and then choose the Architecture collection from the Navigation drop-down list (it looks like an upside-down triangle). Components that can cut their own openings generally contain gluing or cutting in their descriptions.

  • You can find hundreds more online.

  • Components are editable.

  • Some components are dynamic. Dynamic Components have special abilities that make them easier to resize and otherwise reconfigure.

  • When components cut their own openings, the openings aren’t permanent. When you move or delete a hole-cutting door or window component you’ve placed in a model, the opening goes with the component.

Follow these steps to adding a hole-cutting component to your model:


  1. In the Components dialog box, click the component that you want to place in your model.

  2. Place the component where you want it to be.

  3. If you don’t like where your component is, use the Move tool to reposition your component.


Making your own openings in SketchUp

Most of the time, you can’t get away with using SketchUp’s built-in door and window components — the fact that they can’t cut through two-faced walls means that they’re limited to external use only. That’s okay though; cutting your own holes in walls is quick and easy, and you end up with exactly what you want.

To cut a precise opening in a double-face wall, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Mark where you want your opening to be with guides.

    If you’re drawing on a wall that’s part of a group, you need to edit that group in order to punch holes in the wall. To edit a group, double-click it with the Select tool. To stop editing, click somewhere off to the side of your model.

  2. Draw the outline of the opening you want to create, making sure to create a new face in the process.

    You can use any of the drawing tools to do this, but you might want to stick with the Line tool when you’re starting.

  3. Use Push/Pull to extrude your new face back into the thickness of the wall until it touches the face behind it.

    If everything goes well, your face disappears, taking with it the corresponding area of the face behind it. Now you have an opening in your wall. If your face doesn’t disappear, and no opening is created, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:

    • Your faces aren’t parallel to each other. This technique works only if both faces are parallel.

    • You hit an edge. If you push/pull your face into a face with an edge crossing it, SketchUp gets confused and doesn’t cut an opening.