Modifying a Walls Thickness

Reference Number: KB-00363
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

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


I would like to adjust the thicknesses of my walls to accurately reflect existing conditions in my home. How can I accomplish this in Home Designer?


The initial thickness of a wall is determined by its wall type, and how you will adjust the thickness of walls will depending on the version of the software that you are using. The more advanced versions of the software also allow for editing the individual layers that make up a wall. This allows you to accurately reflect not only the thickness, but the rest of the makeup of the wall as well.

In this first section, we walk you through editing the thickness of your walls in Home Designer Essentials, Suite, Interiors, and Landscape and Deck.

For information on modifying wall layers in Home Designer Architectural and Pro,
skip to the next section.

To set your wall defaults

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings , choose the Walls option to highlight it, then click on the Edit button to display the Exterior/Interior Wall Defaults dialog.

  2. Use the drop down menu to select the most appropriate options for your Exterior and Interior Wall types.


    For the purposes of this example, we will select the Stucco-6 for our Exterior Wall and Interior-6 for our interior wall type.

  3. Once you have set up your Wall Defaults, click OK to apply the change and exit the dialog.

Now that we have set our default to the Wall Defaults, we will show you how to set the thickness for your wall.

To increase the thickness of a wall

  1. Select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall  and click and drag out a single wall in your 2D floor plan view.

  2. Once placed, use the Select Objects  tool to select the wall, and click on the Open Object  edit tool to display the Wall Specification dialog.

  3. On the General panel, enter in a new Thickness value in this field.

    Note: In Home Designer 10 and newer versions, keep in mind when changing a wall's thickness that if a selected wall's thickness is changed:

    • A copy of the wall type is created with the same name but appended with a number equal to the thickness of the structural layer, and that new type is assigned to the wall.

      In our example, this means that the Wall Type is now a Stucco-9.

    • The change in thickness will be applied to the new wall type's structural layer.

    • The structural layer must be at least 1/16" thick, and the wall's thickness cannot be less than the original wall type's total thickness minus the thickness of its structural layer.

    • If a wall type's thickness is modified, the wall will resize about the outside edge of its structural layer.

    In version 9.0 and earlier versions of the software, you would need to change to the Adjustable Thickness Wall Type in order to be able to adjust the Thickness field.

  4. Once you have entered in the desired value, click OK to apply the change, and see the wall's thickness update to the value that you entered.

  5. Once you have modified this wall, you can open the specification dialog for any other walls you would like to change, and select the new Wall Type from the drop-down menu.

    Recall that in our example, this wall type was named Stucco-8.

In Home Designer Architectural and Home Designer Pro, you can also manually adjust the thickness of a wall by editing an existing wall type and specifying its Wall Layers appropriately.

Every wall in a plan is assigned a wall type, and its 2D representation, default materials, and framing width are specified by its Wall Type Definition.

It is important to understand that the Wall Type Definitions dialog is used to redefine existing wall types in the current plan file, so changes made to an existing wall type definition affect all walls in the current plan using that wall type. Walls in other plan files are unaffected.

To modify wall types

  1. Select Build> Wall> Define Wall Types to open the Wall Type Definitions dialog.

    You can also click the Define button on the Wall Types panel of the Wall Specification or the Wall Defaults dialogs.

  2. At the top of this dialog, we can see the drop down menu of existing Wall Types in the plan.

    Select a Wall Type that you do not plan to use elsewhere to edit.

    • After selecting the Wall Type that you want to edit from the drop-down menu, you can Insert or Delete layers.

    • You can also specify each Layer's Thickness so that the Total value equals what you need to have the thickness of your wall to be, as well as set that Layer's Material and Fill Style.

      If you change the total thickness value, the program automatically changes the thickness of the Main Layer to account for the difference.

    • In most circumstances, the Main Layer should be specified as the structural layer of the wall, particularly when the wall is a framed type, because information such as how platforms generate, floors align, baselines are placed, how dimensions locate, and how the framing is built all rely on the Main Layer.

      This is why creating your wall type definitions accurately beforehand and specifying the Main Layer is very important.

      Make sure that the Main Layer is selected for the primary layer(s) of the wall. If the wall is not a framed type, choose the structural layer.

      While selecting another layer is possible and may be preferable in certain rare situations, in most cases you will encounter problems with wall connections and framing.

  3. For additional information about the settings in this dialog, click on the Help button located at the lower right corner of the dialog box.