Building a Cape Cod Roof by Adjusting Ceiling Heights

Reference Number: KB-00772 Last Updated: 11-10-2014 02:57 PM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite



I want to create a Cape Cod style house, sometimes called a story and a half or attic loft.  How can I do this automatically?


There are a number of ways that a Cape Cod style house can be created automatically.  One way is by controlling ceiling heights. 

To build an automatic Cape Cod roof

  1. Open the Chief Architect plan in which you want to build a Cape Cod roof. Using the Straight Exterior Wall tool   draw the exterior perimeter walls of the first floor.

  2. Select Build> Floor> Build New Floor  from the menu to build a 2nd floor. 

    Note: In Chief Architect, living areas cannot be created on the Attic floor. To build a loft, you must do so on a numbered floor - in this example, Floor 2.

  3. When the New Floor dialog pops up, click on Derive new 2nd floor plan from the 1st floor plan.

  4.  When the Floor 2 Defaults dialog appears, under Relative Heights set the 2nd floor Rough Ceiling (E) height to the desired height.  In this example 24".

  5. On the second floor, click the Select Objects  tool, then multi-select the walls that you want to make a gable ends by clicking on one, then hold down your shift key and select each additional wall. Then click the Open Object  edit button.

  6. On the Roof panel of the Wall Specification dialog, check the box next to Full Gable Wall, then click OK to close the dialog and apply your change. 

  7.   Select Build> Roof > Build Roof  from the menu to open the Build Roof dialog. 

    • Check the box beside Build Roof Planes.
    • Specify the desired Pitch. (In this example 12" - Cape Cod roofs typically have pitches of 8:12 or greater)
    • Click OK to close the dialog and automatically generate a roof.

  8. Select Edit>Default Settings>Floor and under Relative Heights, change the Rough Ceiling (E) to the desired ceiling height. (In this example 97 1/8".)  Click OK.