Creating a Saltbox Roof

Reference Number: KB-00735
Last Modified: July 21, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


I need to create a Saltbox style of roof in my Home Designer plan, where I have a long, pitch roof that slopes down to the back, which creates a single story in the back, and two stories in front. How can I create this?  

An example of a saltbox roof.


Salt box roofs can be created using the Knee Wall setting and manipulating how roof planes generate.

To create a basic salt box style of roof

  1. Start a new, blank plan using the Default template and select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall , then click and drag out 4 walls to create a basic 40' x 30' structure.

    Start with a 30 by 40 foot box.

  2. Use the Select Objects  tool to click on the left 30' wall and click on the Change to Gable Wall  edit button.

  3. Follow the same procedure for the opposite wall.

  4. Select Build> Floor> Build New Floor  and choose to Derive new 2nd Floor plan from the 1st floor plan.

    Note: In Home Designer version 10 and newer programs, when you click OK, the program will display the Floor 2 Defaults dialog, where you can set your Finished Ceiling Height, then click OK.

  5. Move the top horizontal 40' wall in so that its distance from the opposing bottom horizontal wall goes from 30' down to 20' as demonstrated in the image below.

    Moving the top wall to be in position as a knee wall.

  6. With this top wall still selected, click the Open Object  edit tool to display its specification dialog.

  7. Go to the Roof panel and place a checkmark in the Knee Wall box then click OK.

    Selecting the wall to be a knee wall. 

  8. If you do not have a version of the software that automatically rebuilds roofs, or if you have this option unchecked in the Build Roof dialog, then you will need to select Build> Roof> Build Roof  , and click OK to rebuild the roof planes to reflect the changes that you have made.

  9. Take a 3D Camera  view to see the results.