How to Build a Clerestory Roof

Reference Number: KB-00492 Last Updated: 03-25-2015 01:02 PM

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional, Architectural, Suite, Interiors, Essentials, and Landscape & Deck covers


How can I build a structure with two shed roofs facing each other?


A ­clerestory style house has two shed roofs with ­ridge or top edges that face one another, and with one top of the ridges higher than the other.

You can create a roof of this type using the automatic roof tool in any Home Designer program.

To create a clerestory roof

  1. In a new plan, select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall  then create a basic rectangular structure.

  2. Add two parallel walls on the interior to create a room about 18 inches wide, as shown in the image below.

    These walls will be a temporary walls used to create the roof style.

  3. Use the Select Objects  tool to select the top wall, and click on the Open Objects  edit tool to open the Wall Specification dialog.

  4. Go to the Roof tab, check the Full Gable Wall option and click OK.

  5. Follow the same procedure to set the bottom wall as a Full Gable Wall so that both of the walls indicated below are specified as Full Gable. 

  6. Next, follow the same basic procedure for the two inner middle walls as High Shed/Gable walls.


    Now, we have two Full Gable Walls, at the top and bottom as indicated with the dark blue wall hatching, and the two inner walls defined as High Shed/Full Gable, indicated by the green wall hatching in the image below.

  7. Use the Select Objects   tool to select the little center room.

    Click on the Open Object   edit tool to display the Room Specification dialog for this room.

  8. Select the Structure tab, and uncheck the Roof Over this Room option.

Once you have your walls defined correctly, you are ready to raise the Finished Ceiling Height for one of the rooms.

  1. Using the Select Objects  tool, select the left room in the plan, and click on the Open Object  edit button to open the Room Specification dialog.

  2. On the Structure tab, increase the Finished Ceiling (F) value.

    For the purposes of this example, we will raise it to 155 5/8" (raising it 48" up from the Default value), then click OK.

  3. Next, build your roof by selecting Build> Roof> Build Roof  and setting the overall pitch of the roof and overhangs and click OK.

    Remember that if you need to adjust the pitch for one of the roof planes to set the pitch in the Wall Specification dialog on the wall that is neither the Full Gable nor the High Shed.

  4. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Overview , and if everything was set correctly you will see something similar to the image below.

  5. Next, return to the Build Roof dialog, remove the checkmark from Auto Rebuild Roofs so that further changes to the plan, such as adding or removing walls, or adjusting the Ceiling Height within the rooms will not affect the roof.

  6. Now you are ready to add further details to the plan such as windows and doors, or take the information that you learned in this article and apply it to your own designs.