Building a Cape Cod or a Story and a Half Roof


Reference Number: KB-00772
Last Modified: April 2, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors



QUESTION

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

Cape Cod house roof raised off first floor plates


ANSWER

There are a number of ways that a Cape Cod style house can be created automatically. We will discuss two of those options here in this article.


Building a Cape Cod roof by ignoring the top floor

  1. Open the Chief Architect plan in which you want to build a Cape Cod roof for.


  2. If a second floor hasn't been created yet, navigate to Build> Floor> Build New Floor and in the New Floor dialog that appears, click on Derive new 2nd floor plan from the 1st floor plan, then click OK


  3. In the Floor 2 Defaults dialog, specify your desired height values for the second floor and hit OK.

    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.

  4. From the menu, select Build> Roof> Build Roof  to open the Build Roof dialog. 


  5. On the Roof panel: 

    Ignore Top Floor is selected in the Build Roof dialog 

    • Check Build Roof Planes

    • Check Ignore Top (#) Floor

    • Specify the desired Pitch, Overhang values, and other information as needed. 

    • Click OK to build your roof. 


  6. Notice that the roof planes do not display on the top floor in floor plan view, but are instead displayed on the floor below. 


  7. To confirm that the roof planes you created rest on the floor below the top floor, create a 3D view by selecting 3D> Create Perspective View> Perspective Full Overview .


Building a Cape Cod roof by controlling ceiling heights

  1. Open the Chief Architect plan in which you want to build a Cape Cod roof for.


  2. Select Build> Floor> Build New Floor and in the New Floor dialog that appears, click on Derive new 2nd floor plan from the 1st floor plan, then click OK

    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. In the Floor 2 Defaults dialog that appears next, set the 2nd floor Rough Ceiling height to a fairly low value, then click OK.

    Floor 2 Defaults dialog with Rough Ceiling set to 24 inches

    In this example, 24" is used.


  4. From the menu, select Build> Roof> Build Roof  to open the Build Roof dialog.

    Build Roof dialog with Build Roof Planes checked, 12 entered for the Pitch, and 5 inches set for Eave and Gable Roof Overhang

    • Check Build Roof Planes.

      Do not use Auto Rebuild Roofs here as this will prevent step 5 below from working correctly.


    • Specify the desired Pitch, Overhang values, and other information as needed.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and automatically generate a roof.


  5. Next, select Edit> Default Settings and in the Default Settings dialog that displays, expand the Floors and Rooms section, expand the Floor Levels section, select 2nd Floor, then click Edit.

    In Chief Architect X10 and prior program versions, select Current Floor and then click Edit.

    Editing the Default Settings for Floor 2


  6. In the Floor 2 Defaults dialog that opens next, under the Relative Heights category, change the Rough Ceiling value back to the default of 97 1/8," then click OK.

    The roof is bearing on the 24" Floor 2 exterior walls, but the ceiling will now extend up to the ridge. If you decide to rebuild the roof, you will lose your Cape Cod Roof Style so be sure to set the higher ceiling default aside as one of your final tasks.


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