Instructions from Video:

In this lesson, we will insert 3 different types of dormers and then customize the dormer roof and walls. During this, we will show you some great tips along the way like using construction lines, Offset, Base Height, the view filter and inserting views. Great tools for your toolbelt to use when you need them.

To insert a dormer roof, there must be a main roof to sit under the dormer. The dormer roof not only inserts on the roof but it also cuts a hole in the main roof as well.

Inserting Dormers;

When you use the dormer roof command a dormer will attach to your cursor and you left click to place it. For accurate insertion of the dormers to a specific point, you can use construction lines. Lines that mark where you want to insert an object.

  1. Left click on the main roof to display the grips and arrows that mark the center point of each edge of the roof. We will use the grips to start a line from the center of the front roof edge.
  2. Select Tools>Layout>Line.
  3. Left click on the grip point to start drawing the line move your cursor perpendicularly away from the roof edge and left click to select the end of the line. Right click and select Finish.
  4. Left click on the line that you just drew and then right click and select Offset.

The offset command makes a copy of the line a set distance away from the original. Since we are inserting 3 dormers, we want 3 lines to mark where they sit.

  1. The Offset dialog box appears type the distance you want to space the dormers apart, in our example 10’, in the Offset Distance box and then click OK.
  2. Left click on one side of the original line and the new line will appear on that side 10’ away.
  3. With the original line still selected right click and select Offset
  4. Again type 10’ and click OK.
  5. Left click on the opposite side of the original line.

We now have the lines that represent where we want to place the dormers horizontally along the roof face. We need a line to indicate the vertical placement.

  1. Select Tools>Layout>Line.
  2. Left click on the exterior wall intersection to start drawing the line. Move your cursor perpendicularly away from the roof edge and using the commander type the distance you want the dormer back from the core of the exterior wall. For our example I will type 3’ moving my cursor away from the wall and then hit Enter.
  3. Move your cursor across the model, crossing over the 3 lines that were drawn and then left click to select the end of the line.
  4. Right click and select Finish.

Where the lines intersect, mark the midpoint of the dormer face of core wall, our insertion point.

  1. With a main roof and the construction lines in place, select Insert>Roofs>Dormer Roofs or select the Dormer Roof
  2. The Dormers dialog box will appear. This dialog box has variables to customize the dormer.
    1. Dormer Width. The distance from the left side of the dormer to the right side. For our example we will use 5’
    2. Dormer Roof. Click to access the catalog where you can select a roof type for the dormer roof. Click OK once you have selected the dormer roof.
    3. Gable Front. Check to create a gable front dormer. Uncheck this for our first example.
    4. Include Walls. Inserts three walls beneath dormer roof, creating a full dormer.
    5. Dormer Wall. If Include Walls is checked, you can click this button to select a wall type from the catalog. Click OK once you have selected the dormer wall.
    6. Support height above main roof. The height of the dormer’s front wall, not including the raked portion between the two roof slopes. You can use this option even if you are not inserting walls to control the position of the bottom of the dormer roof. Note that dormer walls extend only to the roof surface. I will be using 6’.
  3. Once all variables have been selected click OK.
  4. Using the construction lines as a guide, left click to insert the middle of the dormer along the outside face of the core of the wall to the end of the line. It is a continuous command, select to insert another dormer at the end of another construction line. When finished, right click, and select Finish.

We will repeat the dormer command to insert a third dormer.

  1. Select Insert>Roofs>Dormer Roofs or select the Dormer Roof
  2. The Dormers dialog box will appear. Select the same settings used for the last two dormers but this time check the Gable Front option so we can see a dormer as a gable end as well. Once all selections have been made, click OK.
  3. Left click to insert the dormer on the last remaining construction line. Right click and select Finish.
  4. Let us view the model with 3 dormers in 3D. Next, we will insert windows into the dormers.
  5. Select Insert>Windows or select the Windows icon.
  6. Select a window from the catalog and move your cursor onto the drawing screen.

What is important now is the head height of the window. Windows inserted in the walls are inserted much lower than what is needed for our dormers. Windows will insert at the default height in the Building locations information, if we need them inserted higher we need to change the Head Height that is published at the bottom of the screen. The default 6’8” is recorded their now we need the windows to be inserted at 16’ off the floor for our example.

  1. In the Head Height variable type 16’ and press the TAB key on the keyboard.
  2. Right click and select Center on Wall.
  3. Left click to place the window in the dormer walls and then right click and select Finish.

The dormer walls and roof are separate entities and we can manipulate them separately to customize the dormers. Next, we will change one of the dormers that is currently a hip front to a shed dormer and then modify the walls accordingly. Return to a 2D view.

  1. Left click to select one of the hip dormer’s roof. Arrows will appear along each edge. Currently the front and 2 sides are hips and the rear of a dormer is always automatically set to be a gable so it can connect into the main roof. Left click to turn the two side arrows green and ensure the front and back arrows are red. You can left click on an arrow to turn it to the alternate colour. Green indicates that it is ready to be edited. Once both arrows are green, right click and select Properties.
  2. In the Roofs dialog box, select the Roof Shape icon and then select Gable and then click OK.
  3. Since the back of the dormer was a gable and now the two sides are also gables, it will automatically make the roof one raked surface. Gable to gable connections make a shed roof. Converting this dormer to a shed will take some further manipulations, firstly the slope is too great and it is going past the ridge of the main roof.
  4. Select the front arrow and make it green and then select the other green arrows and make them red. We want only one green arrow, at the front of the dormer. With it selected, right click, and select Properties.
  5. Change the Slope Value to a lesser value so it does not rake up as high on the roof and then simply click OK. It updates the dormer roof.

As we have made these changes, the dormer walls have remained in the same position. They are independent from the roof and will not update their length, we need to do that for the dormer. To best illustrate and measure the length of wall that we now need we will insert a side elevation.

  1. Select Tools>Layout>Insert View.
  2. In the Insert View dialog box, select the Elevations tab and select the side elevation that best illustrates the shed dormer. Change the insertion option to Drawing and then click Insert.
  3. A copy of the image will attach to your cursor, left click to place it beside your model. This is a 2D illustration of the side elevation that we can view and measure. Looking at the illustration we can see where the walls end, and the dormer roof continues now that it is a shed.
  4. Select Tools>Measure.
  5. Left click at the top edge of the dormer wall. Hover your cursor over where the fascia meets the main roof. At the bottom of the screen the Total Distance will be recorded. That is the distance we must move back the dormer walls. Right click and select Finish.
  6. Dormer walls end at a Wall surface line drawn that sits in the same position as the edge of the hole in the main roof. We can see the line at the back of the dormer walls. If we hover the cursor over the line however it only see the roof since the roof is higher. We must turn off the ability to select of the roof to select the line that is below.
  7. Select View>View Filter>View Filter or select the View Filter icon.
  8. In the View Filter dialog box click on the Select icon beside Roofs. This will turn off the ability to select roof items. We can still see them, but our cursor will ignore them. Click OK.
  9. Now our cursor will see the Wall surface line. Left click on it to select it. Dimensions will appear, left click on a dimension that runs along the wall length.
  10. In the dialog box that appears type in the sum of the distance shown plus the distance you measured from the inserted view. Click OK.
  11. The wall lines move back but the hole in the roof remains where it is since it is a separate entity.
  12. Select View>View Filter>View Filter or select the View Filter icon.
  13. In the View Filter dialog box click on the Select icon beside Roofs. This will turn on the ability to select roof items again. Click OK.
  14. Left click on the overhang of the dormer roof. It will show that the back of the dormer is still at the same position. Hold down your left mouse button over the grip at the back edge and move it back to the Wall surface line and then release your mouse button.
  15. Left click on the main roof overhang and then right click and select Update Roof. The hole will move back to sit in the same position as the dormer and walls.
  16. Viewing the model in 3D we can see the walls and dormer roof in the correct position.

I hope that makes your work easier!