Newbie Questions


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I am very new  to HDP and have attempted to model our cottage that occasionally floods along the Mississippi River.  What we have is essentially an above ground basement with garage doors on each end to allow flood water to run through.  The concrete walls are 8 ft high with the cottage build above.  I have a few issues that I would appreciate some advice on.


First off I probably didn't model it correctly using an 8 ft. foundation wall because when I add terrain, it sets it at the top of the wall and I can't seem to get a slab floor to work in the lower level, again it sets it at the top of the foundation.


I also can not seem to make a stair well to the second (or third level in reality) and lastly the window in my dormer is opaque.


With all these issues, the model really does look pretty much like the real thing, except for finishes.  I'm sure everything can be attributed to "pilot error" but I would like use to software correctly.  Any help would be appreciated.   Hopefully I attached my  plan correctly. Thank You.





Home Designer Pro 2016


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Is the dormer supposed to extend past the main wall of the house? What you are seeing is an automatically built wall extending up from below. You can see this from the attic level.





It's always difficult to know how a model was built, and what is causing problems, so I'll suggest a way to draw it that I know works. I've attached a simple model of your house. Showing what I describe.


MFDChief 1.plan


Level 0 is for basements/foundations. You have an elevated living area -- like a garage apartment, so start your drawing on level 1.


Set your floor defaults first (ceiling height etc) then draw the walls. I used 96".


Build the next floor, making changes as needed in the Structure Dialog ( ceiling height etc). I used 109 1/8".


Build the next floor, making changes as needed in the Structure Dialog ( ceiling height etc). I used 36" for a ceiling height because that looked about right.Set your walls to full gable and build the roof.


Take a 3D view to make sure it looks correct.


Still on the top floor, uncheck Ceiling Over This Room, draw in the railing and set the area as Open Below. Draw in the walls.


Take a Doll House view and you should see the basic structure.


Go down one floor and draw in the walls. Make sure they align with the walls above if they are supposed to. Draw the stair. Make Best Fit. Create the stairwell with the stairwell tool.


Check the Doll House view to see that the stair built correctly.


Down one floor and build the stair there.


Once the roof shape is the way you want it, turn off Auto Rebuild Roofs and raise the ceiling height on the top floor.


Once all this looks correct, then add the deck, windows, doors, furniture and finishes.


You always want the structure correct first.


And finally, suggest you practice this once, that is, don't worry about dimensions (but do use correct ceiling heights), just draw like I did, something that looks similar. Take some section views to confirm everything looks as it should.



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For some reason I can't seem to duplicate the settings in the example you posted for me.  I printed off the room settings for each floor and try to set them like your example and it seems like a default resets them.  I have tried unchecking the defaults but no luck.  For example the 4' stem wall for the foundation will not stay set.  I draw walls on level 1 as foundation walls selected from the wall drop down.  (The 2nd floor wall type I messaged you about seems to be ok now)  I also do not seem to have the stair well tool or am not looking in the right place.  Attached is my lasted attempt.  Thanks for your help.




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All the rooms should be using default settings -- most (maybe all) of yours do not.


Open a new plan, set your defaults for floor 1, then draw the walls using the standard exterior wall tool.


You set the defaults via Edit>Default Settings>Floor. The only thing you need to change is ceiling height.


Select each wall and change the wall type to 8" concrete, or whatever is best for your plan. You can create a new wall type if needed.


Give this space a room type of Garage.


Build the 2nd floor, setting defaults as needed in the structure dialog. The only thing you need to change is ceiling height.


Build the 3rd floor. The only thing you need to change is ceiling height. I set it to 36", you need to set it so the roof builds at the correct elevation.


Build the roof after setting walls to gable, and changing the default pitch in the build roof dialog.


Your basic structure should be complete and correct. Take a cross section and doll house view to verify.


Now add rooms, railings, stairs etc.
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Thanks Eric,

Makes more sense to me now. I did reset my toolbars and found the stair well tool.

I got pretty handy with Sketchup and think I have been over thinking HDP. Like my profile says, I'm trying to learn a new trick.

Thanks again.


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How do you find HD Pro compared to Skechup for house designs?

There is a learning curve to both. I have been using Sketchup for about 4 years and think I watched every You Tube video made. I was used to the way it worked and still like some of its features better than HDP.

I made the switch because a builder friend of mine was using Chief Architect Preimer and I was impressed by it. Since I only model as a hobby, I couldn't justify the price of that so I opted for HDP 2016. My struggle in the above post was completely my impatience and not watching and learning from the videos. I then was still remembering how I would do something in Sketchup and getting frustrated. I slowed down and watched several of the videos and read the Knowledge Base and now feel more comfortable with the program. HDP does more things automatically,where in Sketchup I would pretty much build things from the ground up which takes more time.

All in all I really like HDP for house modeling but will continue to use Sketchup to model other things.

Hope that helps.


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