any sample plans for Home Designer Suite ver 10 ?


Recommended Posts

I am just getting started on this old version because I can only afford my old  Win XP Pro desktop.

My understanding is the ver 10 is the last version to run on the XP desktop.


I have been studying the program for a few days and I only have six sample floor plans

to explore.    Is there a user swap plan library  for home designer users that I might be

able to obtain some smaller and more simple floorplans to work with ?


BTW, for the older version .... was the Home Designer Suite equal to the PRO version of today?

( ie the top of the line at the time ?)


Maybe someone created a file area where users exchanged plans like the Sketchup warehouse ? ? ?



As far as that goes,  maybe I should check into which plan files will be compatible and interchangeable

between which versions of home designer ?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Templates folder suggestion as there are an additional eighteen plans in that folder but for some reason

ten of them  will not load into the program.   Curiously  there are plans with names like "Traditional"  and each one has

another corresponding "Traditional-M" plan.  Also "Colonial and Colonial-M"  etc.     Oh well.   I realize I am using a five

year old version and will not receive any official support  from the company  but I thought it would be good enough to invest

a lot of time into learning  in the event I found a position where I could justify purchasing a new computer and current version

of the program on a higher level.


If anyone knows and can comment....    Is there a group files area anywhere where Home Designer files were uploaded for sharing ?


Also,  what are the rules of file compatibility between different versions of Home Designer both in terms of age and entry level

to Pro level ? ? ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Version 10 is now 7-8 yrs old and I have been running it just fine on Windows7 for as long as I've had Win7.  The Pro Version is not the Suite Version , the Names then are the same as now.  You will only be able to open files made in Version 10 or Older.


The files with a M are the Metric Templates Files  , but they should still open regardless , are you getting error messages?


There are 60 plans in my Templates Folder ....maybe a diff. between Pro and Suite ?


I am not aware of any Site other than this one where Files can be Shared


I think this will be the last yr to upgrade V.10 and still get a rebate , though currently it is only $30 on Suite.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was just the app software I would upgrade but I have to buy a new computer and printer etc and I have some other legacy programs that only run

under Win XP or earlier and not the latest operating systems.    I just cannot afford the industry planned obsolescence scheme.


QUOTE:  "I am not aware of any Site other than this one where Files can be Shared"


Is there a file folder somewhere on this site with a repository of plans files ?     I only saw a photo gallery of JPG images

Where ?


Thanks much for the help.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll suggest again, if you have a project to model, start working on it -- that's the way you will learn.


Sample plans will show what was done, not how it was done.


Maybe find a plan, or picture you like and attempt to reproduce it.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No this Forum is the only area that Files maybe transferred/up loaded but since you and I only have version 10 , you and I (and Jo-ann actually) are likely the only ones who could share Files as we can't use Files from any newer versions. Which is why Jo_Ann and I also run the Trial Versions (to open newer plans) 2015 still works on XP I think from what Jo_Ann said , She is in the same boat as idea if Sales would sell you the 2015 version now 2016 is out , but it couldn't hurt to ask and explain the situation perhaps. The Newer Versions longer come with the Sample Plans BTW


PM me your email and I will zip what Samples I have for you but Eric is right , you will learn way more by "doing", and attempting stuff , it's why I like helping others here on the Forum it forces me to learn things especially when I don't have a Project of my own to work on. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with what Eric said, BUT...viewing sample plans can be very helpful (to see how they did something).  Also, I've noticed that many of the samples have errors, perhaps on purpose, to motivate the user to learn how to fix them?


The trial download of HD2015 runs fine on my XP, but the trial HD2016 won't even launch.

If you are wanting to upgrade to HD2015, I think you might find it on Amazon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I have a project and I think I have taken it as far as Home Designer will take me.   There is a large movement currently call the Tiny House

which are actually usually built on trailers but I have some rural property where I wanted to build the smallest possible cabin.  One caveat...

Wife says no way in hell she is climbing on a ladder and if she has to descend stairs for bathroom in middle of night the stairs better be normal.

SO.... Within a 16' by 16' footprint I have created  2 story cabin with full bath ( shower not tub ) kitchen, bedroom upstairs and family room.

The major obstacle was getting the stairs over the shower with enough head clearance to stand up and bathe.   I had to use all the cross section

tricks to see how the stair bottoms were impacting shower stall space.   I think I succeeded and will probably build this cabin.  It is intended

to look like old Farmhouse and I will add screen porch in back and large open porch in front under shed roofs both.   I did not include the porches

because I dont think Home Designer can handle them.    Also for some reason.... my full exterior camera view stopped allowing me to spin it

around and tilt to get custom views right after I added bath fixtures from the library.  This now prevents me from getting the custom cross section

shots of the interior to see how adjustments affect the space utilization.   Further,  an absolute requirement is to have a door at the top or

the bottom of the stairwell to close off air movement from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor.   I am showing doors at the top and bottom so I could

see which was most efficient in terms of space expense and it is obvious the 2nd floor stairway door has to be removed in favor of keeping

the downstairs stairway door but some might choose differently because all the downstairs "living " space is at a super premium.


I assume in the pro versions or Chief Architect I could actually know the inches of clearance from floor to ceiling in stairways and closets etc.

That would be nice.    My main point of reference in this design was knowing the height of the tops of the windows.  That tells me

the 2nd floor room is just barely habitable.     I'll try to upload the plan if anyone else is interested in looking at it.

One last thing,  in order to see the shower,  the stairs/landings display has to be turned off.

16x16 cabin stairs-on 09F.plan





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm interested in small/tiny houses, and you have done a good job of squeezing everything into this one.


I noticed your second floor has no room definitions, and the floor seems to be missing.. I deleted it and rebuilt it, drawing in the walls and got room definitions. 


The stairwell seems to be defined in an unusual way too.


If I were building, I would make the exterior walls taller. You will gain much needed headroom upstairs at little additional cost.


You don't need a landing at the top of the stairs -- just the room floor.


How about a door at the landing instead of the foot of the stairs. You could gain a couple of steps on the lower flight, moving the top back towards the center of the bedroom.


As for measuring things, do you have the tape measure tool? You may use it in a cross section.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric. Wow wow wow.   Terriffic ideas.  I never would have spotted the opportunity for a pocket door at the landing.

The wall height is a two edged sword as it pushes the 2nd floor up and increases the length of the stairway..... UNLESS

something like 10 foot hi exterior walls were used but the 2nd floor height was kept at 8ft.  That creates what I think are called "knee walls".

Is that what you are talking about re adding wall height ?

I dont know how to do that in Home Designer but I am going to explore and see.  Do you know if it can be done ?


I also fell into the trap of adding more steps before the 1st landing but I soon discovered that I might bump my head against the

roof when standing on the landing. ( but raising the roof 2ft with 2 ft knee walls would solve that problem.)


The full bath on 2nd flr is entirely doable with a raised roof due to 2 ft knee walls.   


I would like to try to keep the full bath downstairs also since the shower should now fit more easily under the stairway.

On the other hand the shower space under the stairs could be used for HVAC or water heater space and give me back

the coat closet by the front door.


As additional note, there is much discussion in the minimal house / small house movement that a single sink should be shared

between kitchen and bathroom activities and I am trying to find the most convenient layout for this to occur and I think the emphasis

on convenience should be with with the kitchen activities.   ie.   easier to brush teeth in kitchen than wash pots pans in the bathroom.


Early on I really didnt think I could fit everything into a 16 x 16 footprint but this is coming out surprisingly better than expected.

Thanks very much for your ideas and suggestions etc.


PS also thanks for showing me the front and back porch can be added under shed roofs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Creating knee walls is what I was suggesting. When you build the 2nd floor, set the ceiling height to 24", or whatever you choose. Then uncheck Ceiling Over This Room in the 2nd floor.


All my images above show this.


Also, in a Doll House view of the second floor, you should see the stairs leading down. Your plan does not.




Keep us updated on your progress, and come back with any questions.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott , you didn't reply to my last PM , but I have put the Files on my OneDrive Account instead of emailing and I tried sending you an email with the Link to them, let me know if it doesn't work.


Nice Small house BTW , I'd be tempted to have 9ft on the 1st floor so it "feels" bigger and use a 42-48" knee wall on the second (14' studs or 3 1/2 sheets ply) so you can use all the space up there and push furniture like chest of drawer out to the walls anywhere, and not bump your head on the ceiling every time you sit up in bed of's not like you have height restrictions like a mobile Small house might.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Solver and Kbird I have run into  a brick wall in several different areas and I need to go back and figure out how I

got to where I am and why.    The stairs function seems to want to limit us to  perhaps code legal parameters

but I wish there were a simple manual override switch so we could just force in the parameters we want.


I realize now I mistakenly forgot to start a new thread for this 16 x 16 minimalist project and I will probably

do that tonight so as to not confuse with the sample plans inquiry.


The original objective was to build within 16 x 16 footprint and I did not think about the possibility of stretching

the structure skyward but indeed,  I may play around later with even pushing it to 3 stories.  But first

I want to max out the 16x16 with 8 foot walls as a quaint but surprising little Farm House and then try

2 ft knee walls and then 4 ft knee walls to see the effect on the 2nd floor and stairway clearances etc.


Indeed,  if a 2nd floor is used merely for sleeping maybe we dont really need to stand straight up in

a lot of area.  Kinda like a sleeping loft I guess.


Also I must choose among temptations as in addition to using various knee wall height options,  I could

just as easy (?) expand the structure to 16x20.   Ah the age old "tradeoffs" contemplations.


For those following how difficult it is to shoehorn traditional stairs into a 16x16 .....   I thought of another

way to gain headroom height with program constrained rise over run stair parameters.    The first

floor landing height might be increased by another stair riser or two by  fitting the front porch shed roof

midway up the roof on the regular dwelling.  That way if I have for example four steps in front of the

landing on the 1st floor,  I can cut a hole in the original structures roof to gain headroom at the landing

since it would then be covered with the front porch shed style roof.


In any case, I plan to start construction in January of 2016.


BTW, Mick  that 9 foot bigger feeling will bite you in the butt in trying to make the

stairway work.  Funny thing... those unintended consequences.


Originally said about airplanes... but any designed structure is a "collection of compromises"


Thanks to modern technology and Chief Architect,  I'll just have to try out all the possibilities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just want to add a small comment because I've been through the exercise of trying to squeeze the most useability out of the least footprint.


Don't discount the use of dormers on the upper floor; they can provide additional floor space and head room to increase option flexibility.


Good luck. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elovia, funny you should mention dormers.    I was joking with my wife that  if we had to crawl into and out of bed hunched over on the 2nd floor because of low roof height.......


I told her that I would create one dormer space we could stand up straight in that was dedicated to putting on and taking off pants.  

That is an activity that just about demands that you be able to stand up straight.



Eric, no I have not seen it but I will of course follow your generous link to the Homesteaders Cabin.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Start a new thread if you like -- I have some more to post and will wait for the new thread.


I added a dormer to your plan yesterday and was going to post, but as you said, where do you draw the line on making things bigger?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now