Setting Floor Defaults and Building, Inserting, or Deleting a Floor

Reference Number: KB-00381
Last Modified: March 18, 2016

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


I need to be able to setup my floor defaults so that when I build or insert a new floor the floor and ceiling heights are correct.

Floor Defaults are important. They allow you to set the floor height, ceiling height, molding, and overall structure of any given floor. By setting the floor defaults for a floor before you edit specific rooms, you can quickly establish the common parameters of that floor.

In this article a 30' by 40' structure is used.

To build a new floor

  1. Create a second floor on this plan by selecting Build> Floor> Build New Floor to display the New Floor dialog.

  2. For the purposes of this example, when prompted, choose to Derive the Second Floor From the First Floor and click OK.

  3. In Home Designer version 10 and newer, the Floor 2 Defaults dialog will be displayed, allowing you to specify the values for your newly created floor.

    Once you select the OK button, Home Designer will automatically copy the first floor plan perimeter walls up to the second floor.

Although ideally you will always want to set your default settings prior to starting a plan, you can still make changes after a plan is started. Now that you have created your second floor, take another look at the Floor Defaults.

To view or modify floor defaults

  1. From the menu, choose Edit> Default Settings , select Floor and click on the Edit button.

    The appropriate default dialog will appear for the current active floor. For example, since you were on floor 2 of the plan, the Floor 2 Defaults dialog box is displayed.

    You should set the Ceiling Height in your Floor Defaults dialog to be the highest ceiling that will exist in your plan. You will set individual ceilings that need to be less than that maximum value on a room by room basis in the plan by way of their Room Specification dialogs, once the rooms are defined.

  2. In this case, you don't want to make any changes, so choose Cancel to exit this dialog without saving your changes.

Working with and resetting defaults

  1. Select Build> Wall> Straight Interior Wall and create a new interior wall for our second floor as illustrated below.

  2. Using the Select Objects tool, click to select one of the rooms and then select the Open Object edit tool to display the Room Specification dialog.

  3. On the Structure panel you can see that, much like our Floor 2 Defaults dialog, you can specify the Ceiling Height, Floor Height, and other values.

  4. Notice the Default checkbox which indicates that these are set to follow the default values for this floor, as specified in the Floor 2 Defaults dialog.

  5. As an example, raise or lower the ceiling by changing the value for Finished Ceiling Height (F) and press OK.

  6. To return to the default value, simply check the Default box. Once you move the cursor to another field, the value will return to the default.

    In this manner, floor and ceiling heights can be set on a room by room basis, regardless of your floor defaults. However, you can save yourself a great deal of time if you preset the floor defaults before modifying each room.

To add a foundation

  1. To add a foundation, select Build> Floor> Build Foundation .

  2. In the Build Foundation dialog it is possible to set wall thicknesses and heights. Optionally you can check Automatically Rebuild Foundation. This will rebuild the foundation automatically if a change is made in the first floor.

    Note: If the wall height is at least 6 feet (1800 mm), a slab floor is generated above the footings and inside the foundation walls. The Wall Height includes the thickness of this slab.

To delete or remove floors

  1. Select Build> Floor> Delete Current Floor to remove the current floor from the plan. If there is a floor above, it becomes the current floor. If there is no floor above, the floor beneath becomes the current floor.

To insert a floor

*For Home Designer Pro Only

  1. Select Build> Floor> Insert New Floor to display the Insert Floor dialog.

  2. Select one of the two available options:

    Derive new floor plan from the floor plan - Select this option to insert a new floor below the current floor, based on the exterior walls of the current floor.

    Make new (blank) plan - Select this option to insert a blank floor below the current floor.

  3. Click OK and that floor's default dialog will show. Set any floor defaults necessary and click OK.

    The existing floor and any floors above it are moved up, and a new floor is created below.