I want to create a full return on wall over garage but Home Designer Architectural has no manual roof tool.


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I actually have two issues. First, I've created a wall dormer on both sides of a gable roof, and want to add a full return so there is a separation between the fist and second floors. Without this the dormer looks massive. Here is what I have so far - the arrows show where I want the full return.


I've found instructions on how to do this, but can't figure out how to do it with Home Designer Architectural (not Pro). 

The dormer took some doing to figure out, but it's now looking good except for a little triangular blank spot at the base of each:



How do I fix that?


Thanks in advance.


28x30 starting 6.19.21.plan

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  • trogers changed the title to I want to create a full return on wall over garage but Home Designer Architectural has no manual roof tool.


*** I see you said Architectural ***



Answers often depend on which title (Suite, Pro etc) and version (2018, 2019 etc) you are using.


You can help everyone by adding that info to your signature (see below for how to turn them on) by clicking on your user name at the top right of the page, click Account Settings, then Signature on the left.


Doing so makes it always available, and keeps others from having to hunt for it.


And, turn on signature display too.






Many questions have been asked and answered. The Home Designer website is a good place to start your search.


Here is a video about searching the forum: https://youtu.be/dDT6wbrrVRM



Resources for self help:


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




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Hey Eric,

Thanks for the tips on my signature which I've updated. I have viewed a few of your videos which are great!

When I tried using the dormer tool, I could not manage to create a wall dormer. They were always set back from the first floor wall. Is there a way to use the dormer tool to create a wall dormer (where the wall from below extends up to the face of the dormer?


I'm pretty sure my file included the dormers, one on each side of the house. But just in case, I've attached the updated file again. 

Thanks all!


28x30 starting 6.19.21-2.plan

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In the photo I see a dormer that seems to be set back from the face of the building. Not sure what the cross section is about?

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I take it back, using the dormer tool worked this time.

I'm not sure why it wasn't working previously. I'm new to the program, lots to learn!





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12 minutes ago, trogers said:

that seems to be set back from the face of the building


That's a plan view, not a cross section, and shows the front wall of the dormer over the front wall of the house.

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What I did might have looked OK, but when you look inside you find that the floor is level with the bottom of the window. I actually wanted the roof on each side to extend down to the top plate of the first floor. I ended up creating a new layout following parts of the video called "Drawing a Shed Dormer Manually" (https://www.homedesignersoftware.com/support/article/KB-00367/drawing-a-shed-dormer-manually.html). But then switching over to using the dormer tool based on "Creating an Automatic Dormer" (https://www.chiefarchitect.com/support/article/KB-00648/creating-an-automatic-dormer.html). 

It looks good on the outside, but I'm unable to turn the attic space into living space without messing up the design. There is also a knee wall which I can't remove. 

Here's what I want on the outside:


And here's what I'm dealing with:


Once I get the dormer working properly, I want to replicated it on the other side of the house. My attempts to copy and past the dormer failed. The warning said "Cannot build walls for this dormer here because existing walls are in the way. It needs to be moved to another position." 

I've attached the file.


28x30 starting 6.21.21-2b.plan

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I figured it all out and it looks great on the outside. But on the inside the angled walls are eating up usable space. I know that I could box them in, but it seems like such a waste of space. So I'd like to draw it out with what I would call a fake shed dormer. 


This is what I have now:


You can see with this interior shot that it's a pain to deal with. 



This is what I'd like to do.



Or maybe like this:



The arrows show where I'd like to apply an overhanging roof to the face of the building. It would look like there is a shed dormer, but it's just a building with a low pitched roof. To make it a little more complicated, the overhang would extend around the two other sides. In the end it would look similar to the original design, but the "shed dormer" walls are the same walls as the lower section. 

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I realize that there is one other option which is to have the lowest part of the gable roof be 4 or 5' off the floor (the floor currently sits on the tops of the first floor walls). I just can't figure out how to make the walls shorter front and back? I'd like to try having the wall be 5' off the floor, with a 12" pitch roof, and then add the wide shed dormer. 

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A "fake" dormer with "fake" roof trim around the exterior walls of the 2nd floor, using HD Architectural:

In this example, the default roof pitch is set to 11".

1) Create a full height 2nd story room, with the east/west walls set as a gable.

2) Use the room divider wall to draw 4 new invisible walls around the 2nd floor of the house.  Make sure all the walls are connected, to form a "room".  Open each wall, and set it's distance from the exterior siding to 12" ( so that they are all equal distance).  Set the east/west walls as a gable.

3) Open the dialog box for the new "room".
     Designate it as "open below".   On the structure tab...set ceiling height to 0", uncheck "ceiling over this room", put a check in the box   "use soffit surface".

4) Open the exterior sided front wall.  On the roof tab, set the pitch to 4.75".  Put a check in "upper pitch", set the upper pitch to 11", set "in from baseline" to 140".   Do this for the back wall, also.

If you followed the directions, you should have what is shown in the pic.
If your settings are different from mine, then you will need to adjust them to get the desired results.




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You changed the dimensions of the building, from what you originally said.

I think the cladding issue might be a software bug, because my older program does not do that.  The newer version does show that issue.  Best choice is probably to cover it up with a custom backsplash.


As for your strange looking roof...well, you didn't follow the directions exactly.  PLUS, you need to adjust some of the upper pitch settings, because you changed some dimensions.

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I think there must be a difference between the 2018 and 2020 versions. 


I eliminated the upper roof pitch, and adjusted the "fake roof" pitch to 11 (somehow that ended up at 8 in my previous version), and finally with the "fake dormer" tweaked the roof pitch to 5 11/16" to get the two sets of roofs to meet at the top. 




I do have a weird thing happening with the framing view. You can see the ridge pole extending all the way to the outside edge, but with the main body of the house there are two 2x's on each side of the ridgepole which extend up an inch or so. 



You can see that there is about a 1/8" difference in hight of the ridge pole of the shed. If the program would allow me to adjust to the 32nds, I might be able to make that match perfectly.


And from below the rafters are maybe 2x10's at the top, but then are cut back to what looks like 2x6's?



If I change the pitch to 5, so the shed drops down a bit from the ridge, the ridge pole situation is fixed, but then the shed rafters have that weird cut still?



These are minor details, but if I go through with the project will need to be tweaked.


Other than that, it looks really nice and now on the inside I have full use of the space. Thanks!!



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