Beginners problemss roof and attic room


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Hi -

I have HD-Architect. This is my first attempt and I have been reading the forum and watching videos but can't figure out what is wrong with the back of the garage roof on the left side, and the obvious gable walls on the front/back not filling in.


I also am having trouble with the attic rooms in the second floor middle section. I want to have a ceiling at the 8' level under the roof.


This is a remodel project which started with a rectangular 1960's ranch with 12/3 pitch roof. I added a garage to the left side and a 1-1/2 storey addition in the middle (or at least I'm trying to.


I would like to learn what I am doing wrong so I can fix them myself. So far my experience has been good with HD-A especially compared to other popular home designer programs I have tried. I'm sure there are a myriad of other little things that I'll have to fixe too.



Another quick question. The default footings for the garage areas do not go as deep into the ground and the footings for the crawl space.  Is this normal?  Wouldn't all footings need to be the same level to the frost line? In my area this is 32" so to be safe I should probably use 36"?


I am attaching my file in case it will be of help.

Thanks in

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For the gable ends. Go to the 2nd floor in plan view. Notice the gable ends are shown as invisible.


Select them, and delete them. They will automatically rebuild correctly.


Is the roof in my image what you want -- including the extended overhang in front of the big garage? Auto roofs sometimes have a problem where 2 roof planes join in an unusual way.






Your local building inspector can tell you about the footings.



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Thanks for your help. I'm sorry to say I don't know what you mean by: "Go to the 2nd floor in plan view. Notice the gable ends are shown as invisible."

I think I understand what you mean, but I don't have the computer here that I am using for this to try out ideas. I'll check it out. Earlier they showed but then they stopped somewhere in my designing.


The roof over the two car garage section should have normal overhang of 12", not extended. It also is 12/3 pitch and is part of the existing roof on the house.  I believe the picture you show has a steeper pitch. I am trying to add the left garage, and the center 1-1/2 story section to the existing ranch style house. I see that the weird angle on the back right gable edge is not there.


I just left the footings as the default values the program had. I didn't know what was meant by Minimum Garage Height.  I guess they don't mean the garage itself, but the stem wall height? I can try different values ad see.


Thanks again for the help, I'm getting closer.

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There may not be a clean way to do the rear roof area on the added garage.


Here is one idea. Pitch is 8 in 12 on the garage and 2nd floor addition, 3 in 12 everywhere else.


I reduced the height of the added garage to bring down the scale a bit.








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You may not be able to meet egress requirements for a bedroom window, so here is an idea for an alternate plan.


Closets buffer the bathroom. Big window in front is not split by the closet wall. 


Rear bedroom gets an internal window overlooking the space at the rear of the house.


Your ceiling height of 60" is probably too low as well. Here it needs to be 7' for habitable space.


Still wondering about stairs???


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Thanks for all of the ideas. If you would show a picture of the floorplan so i can see where the stairs are, and what they displaced on the first floor, I'd appreciate it. I hadn't even tried to find a place for the stairs yet, so your idea was welcome.


I still want to figure out how to fix the roof line on the original drawing I posted. I spent a few hours again last night, but no luck.  I shouldn't have to redesign the whole house to get the rood correct.  There was no reason the roof shouldn't have worked correctly in a physical sense.  Even that extra front overhang shouldn't have been there. I'm trying to learn how to make the program work properly (or me to learn what settings cause the extra roof weirdness).


As far as the upper bedrooms, they are to be in the attic area with sloped walls at the edges and an 8' ceiling height except for the left walls which will have a slope. I was going to play with an 10/12 roof pitch as well, but that would make the usable space in the rooms smaller.

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I first tried the stair back by the dining table, but it seemed to intrude into the space too much.




On the roof, the auto roof function works very well but often fails to do what you expect when there is a non standard condition such as yours. There are ways of fooling the software to get it to do what you want (generally, not you specifically) but they can be very specific to the conditions. It's best if you decide on pitch, heights etc, then tackle making the roof build.


Using Pro, I can do manual roofs, making them do exactly what I want.


What you really have is a 2nd floor, not an attic. 


I'll also encourage you to visit your local code enforcement officials with a preliminary plan. They will advise you on what they will approve, and changes they might require to your plan.

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I have been studying your suggestions and ideas.  They will be a great help as I work on my design.  I will of course visit the local code enforcement officials when the time is right.


Did you change the second floor ceiling height to 96"?


You didn't say so directly, but are you indicating that in order to make the roof draw correct in my original plan, I would have to upgrade to the Pro version because the Architect 2016 version I have has limitations concerning roofs?

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I changed the ceiling to 84" which is code here -- your local may be different.


The Pro version has manual roofs, so you may draw roof planes yourself, or modify auto built roofs.


You can often trick the program into producing the roof you want. One way is by using invisible walls. For the extended overhang in front of the garage, you could draw a room divider just behind the garage door. This creates a room between it and the outside wall. Turn off Roof Over This Room for that space. Then adjust the roof overhang, pitch etc using the room divider. You can vary the location of that wall, and adjust the overhang to get that part of the roof to look correct.


For the back of the new garage, I was not sure how you expected it to look, so I cannot offer any suggestions.


It's best to get your walls and ceiling heights set before working on the roof, as even small changes in either can change the way the roof builds.


Once you have the plan done, and have decided on pitch and other variables, we will help get the roof as you want it. 

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