Need help with Flat Roof


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Hi all,


So we've come a long way in our house design and our architect has been great.  We've got a great set of prints but he's a little older school and doesn't have the 3d modeling yet.  I transposed the drawings into Home Designer Suite 2015 but have been foiled trying to get the roof right.  I've studied the threads and keep getting stuck.  I removed the porch pillars because they weren't coming out right either.  We are also eliminating the adobe slump accents in the house due to cost.


I have a two level parapet system with a flat roof that I'd like to model appropriately so I can start to play with colors and finishes.  I have attached both my transposed Home Designer file as well as the appropriate architectural drawings I am trying to mirror.


Any ideas?  Am I stuck by my version?





House Plan Transposed 2.plan


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Have you searched for parapet? There are articles in the KB (link below).




It helps if we know what title (Suite, Pro etc) and version (2014, 2015 etc) you are using. You can add this info to your signature by clicking on your user name at the top right of the page, click My Settings, then Signature on the left. 



Resources for self help:


The built in Help System (always a good place to start)




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Here is a You Tube video of me working on your file, I still think you should find and read about parapet walls in the Knowledge Base Help articles on the Home Designer website as well, like Eric suggested.



PS: This video excludes the annoying football audio of yesterday's You Tube video (my bad)

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I have a two level parapet system with a flat roof that I'd like to model appropriately so I can start to play with colors and finishes.


Hi Mike, I think nearly every single plan I've done has had a flat roof, so I've gotten the hang of modelling them.  I don't know what software/version you're using, but I've been able to do them equally well in Arch 2015 and Pro 2016.  There are articles in the Knowledge Base (search for "parapet roof"), but here are the basic steps:

  1. You won't actually be modelling the roof with the default roof function.  Add a blank second floor on top of your main level.
  2. Add half walls (railings) around the perimeter on the 2nd floor.  These are your parapet walls.
  3. Change the properties for the "room" on the 2nd floor to have no roof / ceiling overhead.  Often I just set it to the Balcony room type and it does all this for me.
  4. Make the parapet walls the same thickness as the exterior walls on the 1st floor, and align them to the walls below with the Align Below function.
  5. Set the height of the parapet walls as desired.
  6. Apply appropriate materials as desired to the roof surface, parapet walls, and caps.

Here's a design I'm working on for an apt with 2 flat / parapet roofs:



Hope that helps!  :)

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Awesome guys!  Thanks for the help.  I apologize for not getting back sooner.  My computer took an unexpected dive!


I did play with Parapet instructions but the uniqueness of the two levels was getting me.  I don't think I constructed the supporting walls right.


I like the ideas Eric but I don't think that's the route we are going.  There are some specific reasons for the two planes and the flat roofs.  We are looking for a strong Solar option that can be low profile.  Also trying to keep clean lines without too many elevation changes which d rive up cost.  I like how you've got it looking.


I thought I had mentioned in my first post that it was Home Designer Suite 2015.  I'll have to add that to my signature.


DavidJPotter.  Were you able to save the file so I can compare my end-state?



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It's been cold and snowy up here so I've been inside with not much to do. 


I'd like to encourage you to think about the placement of the refrigerator. It's way outside the standard kitchen work triangle, along way from the sink and cooktop. 




I can't share because I don't have Suite (only the trial), but I will provide some hints.


Because this is a model to be used for visual and not structural planning, I'll suggest you draw using interior walls only. Everything will align easily.


Make the first floor correct before building the 2nd floor/parapet walls. Get your walls in place and in the correct position.


Set the first floor ceiling height in defaults to the highest ceiling height in the house.


Once the first floor is good, build the 2nd. Set the ceiling height to the highest parapet, and turn off Roof Over This Room.


Now using the half wall tool, trace over the walls that were just built, aligning them with the wall below.


Turn on Reference Display (F9) and trace over the walls where the interior parapet walls go. 


Make sure to also outline with the wall tool any rooms where the ceiling height is higher.


Make sure all walls are aligned with the one below.


You have created a bunch of rooms on the second floor. You will need to lower the floor in some of them, which will push the ceiling on the first floor down. If the value in the Floor © field is 138, just add a -12 on the end to subtract 12", or whatever the amount needs to be, so the field would be 138"-12. Press TAB, and the field will update and in this case show 126".


Now go around and adjust the height of the half (parapet) walls as David showed.


Using Section Views may help with getting your heights correct. Suite will not allow you to vary the floor structure (roof in your case) thickness, but you could make the finish floor thicker to make up the difference if needed.


You may have corners where 2 walls of different height meet, that don't fill in correctly. You can use the Soffit tool to fill these in as needed.


Once everything looks good, paint with stucco.




Post back with questions and the plan file if you get stuck.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks,  I think I got it working about as well as I can.  Final product isn't great but it works.


LawB10, in the OP are two attachments with the blue prints with elevations and the project file.





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