Building a Deck from my SketchUp plan! #1: SketchUp drawing of a front porch (Deck)!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Dick, & Barb Cain posted 05-17-2008 01:02 AM 10386 reads 0 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building a Deck from my SketchUp plan! series Part 2: Some modifications to the deck plan! »

I’ve been really busy trying to learn SketchUp.

My Son needs a new front porch on his home.

I decided this would be a good way to learn SketchUp.

His old concrete steps have been gradually leaning, & it makes the whole house seem crooked.

He said if he sits on a step, he feels like he’s going to fall off.

This was quite an experience for me, because I’ve used a T-square, & triangles for so long.

This project took me an awfully long time, but I learned a little about SketchUp.

It’s almost addictive as LJs. LOL

The city planning, zoning called this a Deck, so I changed the title.
You can see by the gap at the siding, the steps have sunk 2 inches
Here’s Barb going in for a visit.

A series of SketchUp Models of the Porch.

I designed it so it will fit over the old steps, all we have to do is break away the concrete deck.

What I really like about this, is you can attach your drawing right to an image.

My Daughter in law loved seeing what it would actually look like.

Even with a paint job.

Now all we have to do is build it.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

32 comments so far

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 4123 days

#1 posted 05-17-2008 01:41 AM

That is really cool how you are able to see what it will look like ahead of time. I like what it is going to look like too.


View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3742 days

#2 posted 05-17-2008 01:42 AM

WOW, someone has some great sketch up skills. It looks beautiful in my opinion. What wood will be used? Good luck and have fun.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3768 days

#3 posted 05-17-2008 01:50 AM

really cool, i didn’t know that you could put a sketchup over another picture. I’ll have to remember that one. Thanks for the post.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4300 days

#4 posted 05-17-2008 02:10 AM

Thanks a lot to all of you. It’s a ”cool tool for an old fool”.

We’ll be using pressure treated pine.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#5 posted 05-17-2008 02:21 AM


It seems that you can learn some new tricks. :) Nice job on the Sketchup design. You are well beyond the beginner stage with this. Nice design on the deck as well. Hopefully your son will have the concrete taken care of by the time you are ready to start building.

Well done both with the design and mastering of Sketchup.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4100 days

#6 posted 05-17-2008 03:02 AM

When I read “His old concrete steps have been gradually leaning” the first thing I thought was, “I bet he doesn’t have rain gutters and downspouts. On my 13” laptop I may be wrong, but I don’t see any gutter on the house. All of the water coming off of the roof is draining all along the house. That is the real issue.

Rain gutter has to be planned on for the design of anything new to work here. With water draining on wooden steps it will wear much faster than the concrete. All money will be wasted without controlling the water running off of that part of the house.

I would wrap the skinny metal pole to beef it up visually. That would be more aesthetically pleasing and would give you something to attach the downspout to as well.

With water draining on the steps at the right temperature, it has to be creating an ice hazard as well. This would be alleviated somewhat without the direct runoff on the steps.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View furnitologist's profile


198 posts in 4013 days

#7 posted 05-17-2008 03:05 AM

JEEEEZZZ…...Dick!!!! You must be in carving withdrawal now. Pretty cool the way you stuck the design in the house picture. If this is the same son that plays the guitar, as the tools come out and you start to build, don’t fall for the old…. “hey Dad check out this new riff I just learned”.......before you know it, he’ll be playing Lila Rose and you’ll be singing and building the porch.


View jcees's profile


1058 posts in 3799 days

#8 posted 05-17-2008 03:09 AM

Dick, you could even go wider on the stairs too. Nice rendering, ain’t software fun?


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4100 days

#9 posted 05-17-2008 03:14 AM

A good point of the design is that the area under the deck will be able to breathe and dry out. It looks like you will get good air flow through the skirt.

I would set the skirt back behind the horizontal framing band. This would create a visual break from the railing design. It currently feels as if it needs the separation. The bigger corner post needs to be the visual anchor of the design.

The great thing about the Sketchup is that this is all able to be seen since it is in proper proportion. I think those things would enhance the visual balance of the design. I think the overall look is good.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4247 days

#10 posted 05-17-2008 03:30 AM

Hey Dick, who said you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Man where they wrong. I’ve been on that site a dozen times and just get so darned confused I just say what’s the use. You must have a pretty good IQ to do what you’ve done. That is amazing. Bet your son is happy as well. Thanks for sharing this. mike, I’m jealous.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3957 days

#11 posted 05-17-2008 03:48 AM

Nice SU work! I have to agree with Todd on both counts….if you dont adress the water removal in that area all your hard work will be ruined. I like his idea for the small design changes as well..subtle differences in the planes and masses of design elements makes things stand out and flow together better. Thats another great thing about designing in’s easy to make changes like that!

Also, just a suggestion… If you rendered it before you stuck it in the picture it would look even more realistic.

“edit”..I think that someone might trip over that dimension near the stairs..LOL!


View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3988 days

#12 posted 05-17-2008 04:22 AM

Great looking drawing and photo! I really need to get up to speed with Sketchp.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4300 days

#13 posted 05-17-2008 06:14 AM

Thanks for all of the great comments guys.

Todd: Water isn’t the reason for the tilting.

Whoever made the steps didn’t go down to the foundation footing.

The foundation of the extended front portion of the house, goes across to

the right side of the porch. the step portion is cantilevered with no foundation,

that’s why its sinking. The rain gutters are kind of useless in this country,

in the winter they fill with ice, & cause more trouble than they’re worth.

I may install a trough over the steps though.

Thanks for some of your other design suggestions, I’ll take them into consideration.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3730 days

#14 posted 05-17-2008 12:47 PM

FANTASTIC ! That’s the only way I can explaine it Dick.

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3983 days

#15 posted 05-17-2008 01:01 PM

Gutters ? it does not look like you would get much run off on that small patch of roof but covering up that pole would be a good idea and why remove the concrete steps? I say build over them and cover it as is (as long as they are not falling apart). I have covers old concrete steps many times in the past and my decks are still standing 25 years later.

I would think about putting a planter box on the ground in front of the deck and maybe on both sides of the steps not just to hide the concrete but to add a bit more BANG! For balance (if you use planters of wood) run them on both sides of the steps across the front of the house and deck… just a few thoughts :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

showing 1 through 15 of 32 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics