Creating a Bonus Room Above a Garage

Reference Number: KB-00904
Last Modified: July 21, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


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

  2. Select Build> Floor> Build New Floor from the menu to build a 2nd floor based on the 1st floor plan.

    New Floor dialog where the derive option is chosen

    Note: After clicking OK, the Floor 2 Defaults dialog will display. Click OK again without making any changes to continue.

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

  4. On the Roof panel of the Wall Specification dialog that opens, select the Full Gable Wall option, then click OK to close the dialog and apply your change.

    Roof panel of the Wall Specification dialog in which the Full Gable Wall option is selected

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

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

To modify the area above the garage

  1. Using the Select Objects tool, click in the area or room that is above the garage on the 2nd floor to select it, and click the Open Object edit button.

  2. On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog that opens, lower the Finished Ceiling value to the height that you want the exterior walls to be above the floor, then click OK.

    Set the Finished Ceiling height of the selected room on the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog

    In this example, the 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.

    Set the pitch and build the roof by accessing the Build Roof dialog

    • Specify the desired Pitch.

      For the purposes of this example, we selected a roof pitch of 8 in 12.

    • Uncheck the Auto Rebuild Roofs box if available.

      Note: Auto Rebuild Roofs is not available in Home Designer Essentials.

    • 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. 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 back to the default by selecting the wrench icon or placing a check in the Default box

    • Change the Finished Ceiling height from the 36" set previously back to the default height by selecting the wrench icon. A red check will display within the wrench icon signaling that a default value is now being used.

      In Home Designer 2019 and prior program versions, place a check in the Default box instead.

    • 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 Browser to finish customizing your plan.

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

    3D camera view of a room above a garage