My childhood house is a brownstone in New York City. The general shape is very simply a rectangular prism. Once I got the basic shape of the house represented, that is when I started encountering more trouble. I realized that the first floor is halfway underground. I had to readjust so that there were one and a half floors below ground level along with three and a half floors above ground level. On the side of the house are stairs leading to the second floor. While creating the stairs, at first, I made them too tall and I realized a proportional person would not be able to walk up them. When recreating them, I encountered the opposite problem: they were too shallow. I still think the stairs are not in perfect proportion to the real, physical ones, but that is one of the elements that I had to compromise on. Another factor I had to compromise on was the surrounding environment to the house. My brownstone house is connected on both sides to other brownstone houses. I was unsure about how to design the sides to the house; I left them blank except for horizontal lines, indicating the different floors. I added a cement sidewalk in front of the house, but otherwise it felt decontextualized.
Once I got to using colors, patterns, and designs, I felt limited by the options. My house is a tan/cream color. The closest approximation I found was a light yellow. I also had trouble finding good designs to apply to the windows. I ended up picking colors and designs that represented the window curtains. In terms of successes, I feel that I was able to add smaller details that make the brownstone more recognizable, such as light fixtures and door designs. As for tips for other novices planning to use SketchUp, I would say one essential tool is the push/pull tool. This helped to create a sense of depth and differentiation of different objects and backgrounds. I can see SketchUp being used as a tool in relation to architecture, in teaching architecture to students as well as modeling future and past structures.