Creating a Bonus Room Above a Garage

Reference Number: KB-00904
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


I want to create a "F.R.O.G.", or Family Room Over Garage, in my plan. How can I do this in Home Designer?


A bonus room over a garage can be created in all Home Designer programs. This article describes how to create a living area above a simple detached garage; however, the same basic approach applies to attached garages as well, so the steps within this article can be used in various designs.

To create the 2nd floor 

  1. First, launch your Home Designer software program and start a new, blank plan.

  2. Next, select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall , then click and drag out walls to create a basic enclosed rectangular structure.

  3. Next, select Build> Floor> Build New Floor  from the menu to build a 2nd floor based on the 1st floor plan.

    • In Home Designer version 10 and newer programs, after clicking OK, the Floor 2 Defaults dialog will display. Click OK again without making any changes to continue.

  4. On the second floor, click the Select Objects  tool, click the left wall on Floor 2 to select it, and then click the Open Object  edit button.

  5. On the Roof panel of the Wall Specification dialog which appears next, check the box next to Full Gable Wall, then click OK to close the dialog and apply your change.

    Note: The appearance of the dialogs may vary, depending on the version of Home Designer you are using.

  6. Repeat this process for the opposing gable wall on this floor.

To modify the area above the garage

  1. With the Select Objects  tool active, click in the area that is above the garage on the 2nd floor to select it and click the Open Object  edit button to open the Room Specification dialog. 

  2. On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog, lower the Finished Ceiling(F) Height to the height that you want the exterior walls to be, then click OK.

    • In this example, the Finished Ceiling(F) Height for this area is lowered to 36".

  3. Click OK to apply the change and close out of the dialog.

To build the roof

  1. Select Build> Roof> Build Roof from the menu to display the Build Roof dialog.

    • Specify the desired Pitch. For the purposes of this example. We selected a roof pitch of 8/12.

    • Uncheck the Auto Rebuild Roofs box if available.

      Note: Auto Rebuild Roofs is not available in Home Designer Essentials, which is the product being used for this example.

    • If you are using Home Designer Pro, check the box next to Build Roof Planes.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and automatically generate a roof.

  2. Now, again, select the 2nd floor room that was edited previously and click the Open Object edit button to return to the Room Specification dialog.

    • Change the Finished Ceiling(F) Height from the 36" set previously back to the default height by checking the Default box.

    • Press the Tab key on your keyboard to update the dialog without closing it, and note that the Finished Ceiling(F) Height is back to the default height. 

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply the change. 

  3. Dashed lines may display on the floor plan, indicating where the ceiling planes intersect the roof.

  4. You can now place objects from the Library to finish customizing your plan.

  5. Finally, take a Camera   view of the interior to see the results.

You are now ready to take the information that you have learned and apply it to your own designs.