Creating a Bonus Room Above a Garage

Reference Number: KB-00904
Last Modified: September 18, 2023

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?

Bonus room located directly above a garage


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 and in the New Floor dialog that appears, choose the Derive new 2nd floor plan from the 1st floor plan option, then click OK.

    New Floor dialog where the derive option is chosen

  3. The 2nd Floor Defaults dialog will appear. Click OK without making any changes to continue.

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

  5. 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 this dialog may vary, depending on the version of Home Designer you are using.

  6. Repeat this process for the opposing wall on this floor. If Auto Rebuild Roofs is enabled, you will notice a simple gable roof will be generated. The roof will be adjusted further in the next section.

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 second floor to select it, then 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.

    In this example, the height for this area is lowered to 36".

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

  3. 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 (in12).

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

    • Uncheck the Auto Rebuild Roofs box, if available.

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

    • Click OK.

  4. Select the second floor room that was edited previously and click the Open Object edit button to return to the Room Specification dialog:

    Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog

    • 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.

    • Click OK. Dashed lines may now display on the floor plan, indicating where the ceiling planes intersect the roof.

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

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

    3D camera view of a room above a garage