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Building an A-Frame Structure

Reference Number: KB-00452 Last Updated: 06-23-2014 09:47 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials or Home Designer Landscape & Deck


QUESTION

I want to build an A-Frame house but can't seem to get my roof to build right, how do I do that?


ANSWER



The trick to making an A-frame house, is to get the roof planes right first and then work on the rooms inside.

For this example, we will walk you through creating a basic A-Frame structure in a new plan created using the Default style template.  Once you understand this process, you can then take that knowledge and apply it to your own design.

 

To build a structure

  1. Use the Straight Exterior Wall  tool to draw a basic 30' x 40' rectangular structure.


  2. On Floor 1, use the Select Objects  tool to select one of the 30' exterior walls.


  3. Click on the Change to Gable Wall  edit tool.


  4. Use the same procedure to change the opposite 30' wall to be a Full Gable wall as well.

    In Home Designer Pro, you can group select both walls to set them as Full Gable at the same time.


Once you have created a fully enclosed structure, you are ready to create a second floor.

 

To create a second floor

  1. Select the Build menu and choose Build New Floor  and in the New Floor dialog, select Derive new 2nd Floor plan from the 1st Floor plan and click OK to display the Floor 2 Defaults.


  2. For the purposes of this example, we will not make any modifications to the Floor 2 Defaults so click OK to build the second floor.

Now that you have the second floor created, you are ready to have the roof build the roof at the appropriate pitch.

 

To set the roof pitch

  1. Select Build> Roof> Build Roof  to display the Build Roof dialog.


  2. On the Build tab:

     

    Increase the steepness of the
     Pitch (in 12) to 22" 

    Check
    Ignore Top (2nd Floor).

    Click
     OK to rebuild the roof using the new pitch.


Now that you have both of the opposing walls on your first and second floors set to Full Gable, so that they will not generate the automatic ­hip roof that Home Designer would create by default, you have your roof pitch set, and the second floor will be ignored for automatic roof generation, you need to adjust the height of the first floor so that the roof planes will extend all the way to the ground.

 

To lower the height of the first floor

  1. Return to Floor 1 and use the Select Objects  tool to highlight the room.


  2. Click on the Open Object  edit tool to open the Room Specification dialog.


  3. On the General tab:

     

    Lower the Ceiling Height (B) to 6". 

    Remove the checkmark next to the option for Ceiling Over This Room

    Click the OK button to save these changes and exit the Room Specification dialog. 


  4. Finally, take a 3D Camera  view to see the results. 



    If you see a Gable roof at this point, either you did not lower the Ceiling Height in the room on the first floor, or you have already turned off Auto Rebuild Roofs.  The Home Designer Essentials version does not have Auto Rebuild Roofs, so you need to return to the Build Roof dialog to rebuild the roof planes based on the lower Ceiling Height for Floor 1.


Now that you can see you have created the type of style you want, and do not want any future changes you make in the rest of the design to affect the roof, you need to turn off the automatic generation of your roof planes.


To turn off auto rebuild roof and readjust the walls*

*Auto Rebuild Roofs not available in the Home Designer Essentials version of the software.

  1. Select Build> Roof> Build Roof  to display the Build Roof dialog again.


  2. Uncheck Auto Rebuild Roofs and click OK.



    Unchecking Auto Rebuild Roofs ensure that, now that you have the roof how you want it, it will not regenerate.


  3. Now that roofs will not regenerate, return to the floor plan view.


  4. Use the Select Objects  tool to select the room on the first floor again, and click on the Open Object  edit tool to display the Room Specification dialog.


  5. Place a checkmark in the Default box next to Ceiling Height, and click OK.

     


  6. Now you have a 2 story A-Frame house with a small attic in the peak. You are ready to customize your A-Frame plan by adding interior walls, fixtures, furniture, etc.