Hello, nothing like jumping off the deep end to get a good education!
The first step is to choose the printing process you want to use. For color printing, most architecture prints are made with "Full-Color Sandstone
". For a plain white model, the same sandstone without color data, or SLS nylon
both make a great model.
The next step is to choose the scale to print at. You'll probably want to make it small enough to not break the bank. However the smaller you go, the fewer details will be visible on the final model. A 1/16" scale is pretty small, and you'll lose a lot of detail. Maybe double that would be a good balance of size and detail or this model.
You could scale down the Sketchup model, and use the tape measure to start measuring details - how wide are the porch pillars? ...how thick is the roof? Those kinds of features will need to be at least 2 mm thick to be printed properly. Often you'll need to exaggerate features somewhat to make them strong enough to be printed at small scale without making the whole model larger.
Another question to think about is, will you want the model all one piece, or would you like the roof to be separate so you can see inside?
For getting the model printed, Shapeways has great prices. i.materialise
works well with Sketchup files, and WhiteClouds
is also well known in the space.
Here's a much simpler project I did that you may reference and ask questions about: viewtopic.php?f=81&t=57157