Adding Detail to Customize a Porch


Reference Number: KB-00760
Last Modified: October 23, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors



QUESTION

I would like to add masonry and millwork details to the porch in my plan. What are some ways to do this?

Camera view of front porch with masonry around bottom of posts, with caps and corbels added and upgraded newel with finial on stair railing


ANSWER

Use items from the Millwork library to create custom details on the interior or exterior of your plan. In this example, we will use millwork items and soffits to customize a staircase and the railing of a porch.


To create a custom newel post

  1. Open  a plan in which you would like to customize a staircase.


  2. Select View> Library Browser  from the menu, then browse to Home Designer Core Catalogs> Architectural> Millwork

    Library Browser showing Boxed Newel (panels) from Arcways Balusters & Newels Manufacturer Catalog

    • When you find an item that suits your needs, click on it to select it. 

    • In this example, the Boxed Newel (panels) post from Manufacturer Catalogs>  Arcways® Balusters & Newels is used.


  3. When you move your cursor into the drawing area, it displays the Millwork icon .  
     
    • Click once to place the item at the location where you clicked. 

    • The exact location isn't important right now - you can adjust its position next.


  4. Click on the newel post to select it, then use the Move  edit handle that displays at its center to move the newel post into location at the bottom of the stairs. 

    Floor plan view of porch and stairs with newel post placed and positioned at bottom of stairs

    • Try to align the Move edit handle with the corner of the staircase in floor plan view.


  5. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow in the direction of the newel post.


  6. In the 3D view, click on the newel post to select it, then use the edit handles to adjust its height and width.

    Camera view of newel with temporary dimensions used to adjust height


  7. With the newel post selected, click the Open Object  edit button. 


  8. On the General panel of the Millwork Specification dialog:

    Millwork Specification dialog showing Height of 42” and 10” for Width and Depth

    • Make any needed adjustments to the Width, Height, and Depth of the post. 

    • Typically, the Width and Depth will have the same value.

    • In most cases, the Floor to Bottom value should remain at 0.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  9. Still in the 3D view, select 3D> Material Painter> Material Eyedropper  from the menu, then click on a staircase newel or baluster to load its material into the Material Painter. 

    • When you do so, your cursor displays the Material Painter icon.


  10. Click once on the newel post to apply the loaded material .

    Camera view of stair rails with material of rail applied to newel using Material Eyedropper tool


  11. When you are satisfied with the appearance of the newel post, select File> Close View to close the camera view and return to floor plan view.


To add a cap to a post or column

  1. In 2D  floor plan view, select View> Library Browser  from the menu, then browse or search to find an item that meets your needs.

    • When you find an item that suits your needs, click on it to select it. 

    • In this example, the Finial 04 cap is used which can be located by navigating to Home Designer Core Catalogs> Architectural> Millwork> Finials & Caps> Finials within the Library Browser. 


  2. Move your cursor into the drawing area, and click once on the newel post to place the cap on top of it. 


  3. Click on the cap to select it, then use the Move  edit handle that appears at its center to adjust its position so that it is centered over the newel post.

    Floor plan view showing Finial 04 placed in plan and positioned over newel

    If you have trouble selecting the cap or any other object, click the Select Next Object edit button or press the Tab key on your keyboard until the desired object is selected


  4. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow in the direction of the newel post.


  5. In the 3D view, make any needed changes to the size or material of the cap as described in steps 6 through 9, above.

    Camera view of newel and finial


  6. When you are satisfied with the appearance of the newel post and cap, select File> Close View to close the camera view and return to floor plan view.


To copy and paste multiple objects

With the newel post and cap edited as needed, you can quickly make a copy of them both for the other side of the staircase.

  1. With the Select Objects  tool active, click on the cap to select it, then press the Shift key on your keyboard and click on the newel post to select both objects as a group.

    Floor Plan view showing newel and finial both selected together

    • You can also hold down the Shift key, then click and drag a rectangular selection marquee around the post and cap, but take care to select only these two objects.

    • To avoid selecting objects other than these two, you may want to Zoom  in on them.


  2. With the post and cap selected as a group, select the Copy/Paste  edit tool.

    In Home Designer Pro, a better alternative to Copy/Paste is the Transform/Replicate Object edit button. In the Transform/Replicate Object dialog, you can copy and accurately replicate objects in a single step.


  3. Move your cursor to the other side of the staircase and notice that it displays the Copy/Paste  icon.

    • Click once to place a copy of the two objects at that location.

    • With the two objects still group-selected, use the Move  edit handle to adjust their position so that it is matches that of the original post and newel.


  4. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow in the direction of the newel post and cap to see the results.

    Camera view showing newel and finial copied to both sides of stairs 

    This same Shift + select and Copy/Paste process can be used to create multiple masonry porch columns with caps and corbels at the eave.



To create masonry porch columns  

The Soffit tool is ideal for any straight-sided object, such as a brick column.  Intended primarily to fill the space between wall cabinets and the ceiling above, soffits are very versatile and can be used for numerous tasks.

  1. Select File> Close View to close the camera view and return to floor plan view.


  2. Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit  from the menu, then click once in your plan near the porch to place a soffit at that location.

    • Alternatively, you can use  Shapes> Boxes> Closed from the Core Catalogs and use the closed box to create a column.

      Floor plan view showing soffit placed near stairs and rail


  3. Click on the soffit to select it then click the Open Object  edit button.


  4. On the General panel of the Soffit Specification dialog:

    Soffit Specification dialog showing Depth and Width of 18” and a Height of 84 ¾”

    • Specify the Width, Height and Depth of the column you wish to create.

    • The Floor to Bottom value will probably be a negative number, which will extend the column below the porch, allowing it to reach the ground. The exact value will vary depending on the plan.

    • When specifying the column Height, be sure that you take the Floor to Bottom value into account.

    • On the Materials panel, click on the word Soffit with the rainbow icon beside it, then click the Select Material button and browse the Materials library category to find the material that suits your needs.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  5. Again, click on the soffit to select it, then use the Move  edit handle to move it into position at one corner of the porch.

    • To move the soffit into the same space as the porch railing and floor, hold down the Ctrl/Command key on your keyboard while moving it.


  6. Masonry columns typically support posts that extend to the ceiling. Specify that your porch railing has posts by selecting a railing and then clicking the Open Object  edit button.


  7. On the Rail Style panel of the Railing Specification dialog:

    Railing Specification dialog with Balusters, Post to Beam and top and bottom rail options selected

    • Select either Post to Beam or Post to Ceiling.

    • On the Newels/Balusters panel, specify the desired Newels/Posts Spacing, which also determines the spacing of posts.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.

    • Repeat this step for each porch railing in your plan.


  8. In floor plan view, select View> Library Browser  from the menu, then browse to the Millwork category of the Library Browser.

    • In this example, a Cap 03 is placed over the masonry column and the Rustic corbel is placed at the top of the railing post. 


  9. In both floor plan view and 3D views, make any needed adjustments to the size, material and/or position of the group-selected objects, as described earlier in this article.

    Camera view of brick pier, cap and corbel


  10. When the column, cap and corbel are edited and in position, click the Select Objects  tool, then Shift + select the three objects as described in earlier in this article. 


  11. When the three objects are group-selected, click the Copy/Paste  edit button, then click on the Sticky Mode  edit tool. 

    • Click along your porch railing to place a masonry column, millwork cap and corbel at each location.

    • Don't worry about exact placement at this time.

    • When you are finished, click the Select Objects  tool to deactivate Copy/Paste. 


  12. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Perspective Full Overview  from the menu to see the results.

    Camera view of front porch with masonry around bottom of posts, with caps and corbels added and upgraded newel with finial on stair railing

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