Making Floor Joists Flush with the Top of the Stem Wall

Reference Number: KB-00546
Last Modified: July 21, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional


I am creating a floor platform in which the floor joists are even with the top of the stem wall. How do I illustrate the lowered floor joists when using Home Designer Pro?


Floor joists can easily be raised or lowered to the height you desire. in this article we start with a simple 20' by 30' structure.

To remove the default floor structure

  1. On Floor 1, with the Select Objects  tool click in the middle of the room to select the room then click Open Object  to open the Room Specification dialog.

  2. On the Structure panel, click the Edit button next to Floor Structure (L).

    In Home Designer Pro 2014 and prior, click the Floor Structure (L) button.

  3. On the Floor Structure Definition dialog, click the text field for Layer 2 and change its value to 0 then click OK to close the dialog. Click OK again to close the Room Specification dialog.

To make the floor joists in your drawing flush with the top of the stem wall

  1. Joists will need to be manually added to the foundation of your structure. If you do not already have a foundation drawn select Build> Floor> Build Foundation  and create a new foundation.  

  2. On Floor 0, select Build> Framing> Joist  from the menu.  

  3. Click and drag to place a joist. If you do not already have the "Framing, Floor" layer displayed, the program will prompt you with a dialog, asking if you want to display this layer.

    Choose Yes and remember you can always turn off its display in the Display Options dialog when you have completed working on this section of the plan.  

  4. Once the joist has been created, use the Select Objects tool to select the Joist. When the floor joist is selected temporary dimensions will display. These dimensions can be used to precisely place the joist.

    More information on precisely positioning objects and using dimensions can be found in the Related Articles section located at the bottom of this article.

  5. With the Joist sill selected click on the Open Object  edit button to display the Framing Specification dialog.

    • On the General panel, click in the Depth field and change this value to the thickness of your joist then click OK.

      For this article 11 7/8" is used.

  6. Next select Build> Floor> Rebuild Walls/Floors/Ceilings .

To create a camera view

  1. To create a view in which you can see the stem wall and floor joists, from the menu select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation .  

    Click and Drag to place and orient a cross section camera.

  2. From the menu, select Tools> Display Options  to open the Layer Display Options dialog.

  3. Once this dialog is open, put a check in the Disp column next to the "Framing, Floor Joists" layer to allow the floor framing to be displayed in the 3D view. Click the OK button.

    In Home Designer Pro 2014 and prior, look for the "Framing, Floor" layer.

  4. You will be able to view the Floor Joist in relation to the subfloor and foundation walls to determine if you will need to raise or lower the floor joist.

  5. If you do need to alter the height of the floor joist, choose the Select Objects  arrow tool and double click on the joist.

  6. After the Framing Specification dialog displays, you can alter  the Raise/Lower field, and click Apply to adjust the height of the floor joist, and then click OK.

  7. The current cross section will update with the results.

  8. Using this technique, you can set the floor joist so that its top is  flush with the top of the stem wall, and then make copies of that joist for the rest of the plan.

To replicate the floor joist across the plan

  1. In plan view, use the Select Objects  tool to select the floor joist.

  2. With the joist selected, click the Transform/Replicate Object  tool located on the Edit Toolbar.

  3. In the Transform/Replicate Object dialog put a checkmark in the box next to Copy and put in the number of copies necessary for your plan.

  4. Next put a checkmark in Move and specify the distance and direction you need to replicate the copies of the joists.

    Note: For this article it is necessary to have the joists replicate to the right of the selected joist so a positive number in the X delta is used.

    A negative number in the X Delta would make the Joists replicate to the left.

    A positive in the Y Delta would replicate towards the top of the screen while a negative would replicate down.

    A positive in the Z Delta would replicate towards the sky and a negative towards the ground.

  5. Lastly, make sure that the radio button for Relative to Itself is selected so that the joists replicate from the 1st joist placed and not the absolute location. Then click OK.

  6. See the results.