Modelling a Crawl Space

Reference Number: KB-00905
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 or Home Designer Landscape & Deck


I need to model a crawl space under my structure in Home Designer. How can I do that?


Modeling a crawl space in Home Designer can be easily done by setting the appropriate wall height when you build your foundation, and modeling the necessary elements using objects from the Library Browser

Building the foundation

  1. First, launch your Home Designer software program and Open  the plan in which you would like to create your crawl space.

  2. Select Build> Floor> Build Foundation  to display the Foundation Defaults dialog.

  3. Select Walls with Footings and set the Wall Height for the height of your crawl space.

    • For the purposes of this example, we used 48".

    Note: If the foundation's Minimum Wall Height is less than 76" (1900 mm), a slab floor will not be automatically generated, and will have to be manually created. 

  4. Click OK to display the New Floor dialog.

    • If your crawl space does extend under the entire first floor, select the Derive new Foundation plan from the 1st Floor plan option and press OK.

    • If your crawl space does not extend under the entire house, select Make new blank plan for the foundation and press OK. Once created, you will then want to select Tools> Reference Floors> Reference Display  or use the F9 key on your keyboard to turn on the display of your first floor so that you can manually draw in foundation walls to create your crawl space.

Modifying the foundation

  1. Use the Select Objects  tool to select a foundation wall and choose the Open Object  edit button to display the Wall Specification dialog.

  2. Go to the Materials panel, and set the Exterior Wall Surface as well as the Interior Wall Surface to be an appropriate material using the Select Material button.

    • For the purposes of this example, we browsed to Materials> Masonry & Stone> Blocks> Cinder Blocks> Grey-Blocks Running Bond.

  3. Click OK to apply this change.

  4. Repeat this procedure for each foundation wall so all of the materials are the same.

Creating a floor surface

In Home Designer Pro you can easily place a floor in a crawl space by opening the foundation room's Room Specification dialog and specifying "Floor under this room" on the Structure panel. In lesser products the height of this crawl space is not enough to automatically generate a floor surface, we will need to do so manually. The easiest way to create a floor surface for our crawl space is to use a resized rectangular object.

  1. For the purposes of this example, we opened the Library by going to View> Library Browser  and browsed to Home Designer Core Catalogs> Shapes> Boxes> Closed and clicked to place it in our plan.

    In earlier versions of the software you could toggle the Library Browser's display by selecting Library> Library Browser from the menu. 

    You can also use a resized soffit to create a floor in this space.

  2. Using the Select Objects  tool, select your Closed Box or soffit and use its edit handles to resize it so that it will encompass the crawl space area.

  3. Once it's the correct size in plan view, click on the Open Object  edit tool, lower its Height to 1/16" and set its Floor to Bottom Height appropriately for you crawl space.

  4. Go to the Materials panel and select an appropriate material for your crawl space floor to give it the look of dirt or a plastic vapor barrier.

  5. Once you have finished making changes to this object, click OK to apply them and exit out of its specification dialog.

  6. Take a Camera  view to see the results.

Adjusting the Camera

You may notice when you initially take a camera view that it actually displays in the room above the crawl space area, because of the default Height Above Floor value set for your camera.

  1. To lower the camera, select the Move Camera Down tool by going to 3D> Move Camera> Move Camera Down .

    Pressing the D key on your keyboard will move the camera downwards in a 3D view, along with U for Up, L for Left, R for Right, B for Backwards, and F for Forwards.

  2. Alternatively, you can also select Window> Tile Vertically   to see both your 2D floor plan view and 3D camera view. 

    • Once the two views are tiled, click within the 2D floor plan view and then click once more on the camera to select it.
    • With the camera selected, click the Open Object   edit tool to display the Camera Specification dialog and lower the Height Above Floor value so that it will correctly view the crawl space area. 

Additional customizations

  1. You can add additional Geometric Shapes and resize them to create dirt mounds, piers, and framing to further customize your crawl space area.

  2. Home Designer Pro users can turn on the display of Floor Framing and use the Delete Surface  tool in the Camera  view to remove the surface to view the Floor Framing of the first floor, if this framing has already been created in the plan.