Modifying Garage Floor and Stem Wall Heights

Reference Number: KB-01845
Last Modified: October 26, 2023

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


When I changed an area in my plan to be a garage, I noticed the floor height changed. How do I adjust this floor height to my liking?

House structure with stem walls


With the Auto Rebuild Foundation feature enabled, an area that is specified to have a Room Type of "Garage" will cause changes to the way the foundation is built under that room. However, you can always specify your desired values for the Stem Wall, Floor, and Floor to SWT (Stem Wall Top) fields by accessing the Structure panel within the Room Specification dialog.

To adjust the floor and stem wall heights of a garage

  1. First, launch Home Designer and select New Plan to create a new plan using the Default Style template.

  2. In the new plan file, select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall , then click and drag out the walls to create a basic structure with an attached garage. In the image below, the garage area is the smaller room located on the right.

    36 x 36 main house with 24 x 24 attached room

    Once the main building and garage room have been created, the foundation is automatically created with the default stem wall and footing heights.

    To adjust your default foundation properties, navigate to Edit> Default Settings, select the Foundation category, then click Edit. The options available in the Foundation Defaults may vary between products.

  3. Use the Select Objects tool to select the room that will become the garage on Floor 1, then click the Open Object edit button. On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog that displays, notice the values that are set.

    Room Specification showing defaults for floor and ceiling heights

  4. Select the General panel, then use the Room Type drop-down menu to select Garage.

    Selecting Garage for the Room Type

  5. Return to the Structure panel after specifying the room as a garage to notice the changes.

    Room Specification dialog - Structure panel - new values for Stem Wall Top, Floor, Stem Wall and Floor to SWT

  6. Adjust the Stem Wall value to meet your frost depth needs.

    In this example, this is set to 36".

    Note: A Question dialog may appear stating: "This operation modifies a wall or room on the foundation. With Auto Rebuild Foundation turned on, your changes will be lost. Would you like to turn off Auto Rebuild Foundation and continue with this operation. Click Yes to proceed with the change or No to cancel the stem wall change.

    Adjust the Stem Wall value to your liking

  7. Next, change either the Floor or Floor To SWT to raise or lower your slab floor platform.

    In this example, this is set to the default value of 12".

  8. Click OK, then create a Perspective Full Overview view to see the results.

Now that you understand this procedure, you can take the knowledge you have gained and apply it to your own designs.