When you have a small space at home, why not create a loft? But, you say, I don’t know how to do that. Well, good thing we're here with this nifty guide to design a loft using the latest software from Chief Architect.
Their Pro Home Designer 2016 is perfect for a DIY enthusiast who wants to scale out floor plans, create 3D models to work from, and more.
Once you have the loft designed, you’ll be set to craft your dream game room, store your keepsakes or for whatever else you want.
This guide can save you time and money, in the long run, taking you step-by-step through the design process. Note: This guide assumes you already have to have your existing floor plan set up in the Home Designer software.
Step 1: Open Your Floor Plan
Open up your floor plan and click on the full camera. Click and drag to the point where you’re standing in the room that you want to convert into the loft.
Step 2: Tile Views
Next, tile views vertically so you can see both the floor plan and the 3D view. Simply click and drag the tile to make the floor plan larger. Note the far right wall on your floor plan (left tile); you’ll want to change it to an invisible wall.
Step 3: Create Invisible wall
To create the invisible wall, single click on that wall, which captures the entire line on the design. Then break it with the “Break Wall” tool. Next, open up just the part of the wall you want to open up, and single click on invisible, as shown below.
Now bring your camera into that larger space to see a little bit more in the small overall home.
Step 4: Create the railing
To create the loft space, go to the second story on your plan. Press the up arrow on the top menu and you will see a “2” appear. That means you’re on the second floor.
As it is currently all one room, use the railing tool and define one space for below. Click and drag a vertical line and horizontal line to form the railing. In the diagram below, the horizontal line is 7’-31/4”.
If you want to change the dimensions of the railing for your loft space at any time, just click on it and a blank box will pop up. Simply type your preferred dimension into the box. Talk about user-friendly!
Step 5: Alter Room Type & Add Doorway
Now, just single click in that new loft room and open its “Room Specification” box. Click the drop-down menu for “Room Type” and select “Open Below.” Press “OK” to save the choice.
Notice that your floor platform has been cut. You will want to create an opening in your railing; you will have to get up to the loft, after all.
On the floorplan, select the “Door” tool from the top Menu and then click over to the left Menu and click on “Doorway.” Drop the doorway into the appropriate wall (the left vertical one), and alter the size of the opening to your preferred width using your mouse.
Step 6: add ladder to reach loft
If you have a fair amount of space, you can place a staircase to go up to the doorway you just created. If it is a smaller area, as shown in this guide, a ladder would be a better choice. To insert your ladder, go back to down to the first floor, using the down arrow in the top Menu.
Next, go to the Library (the icon on the top Menu to the left of the blue question mark symbol), and find the ladder by simply typing the word into the search box. Select the ladder you want from the ones that appear in the search results.
Then simply drop the ladder right into the space. Got to love drag and drop capability. Don’t believe us that it’s really this easy to use the Home Designer software to design a loft? Check out the rave reviews on Amazon about it from users just like you!
Step 7: Accurately Position Ladder
Next, you’ll want to see visually where the opening is in the floor plan. Head up to “Tools” on the top ring menu, open the dropdown menu, and click on the “Reference Floor Display” for a better view of where it sits on the second floor. At this point, you want to rotate the ladder and move it over to the opening, where it will go in reality.
Head over to the 3D view on your design now and you will see the ladder is beneath the opening now. Click on the top of the ladder on the 3D side and make it higher so that it reaches the second-floor opening.
Feel free to close off the Library and Reference Display features at this time too; you won’t need them anymore.
Step 8: Modify Structural Elements
Now go back to the floor display, click on the second floor room you’ve created, and open that room up. As you have created a new room, you need to get rid of the structural elements that have defaulted into it via the software.
Click on Structure and then uncheck “Ceiling Over This Room.” This way the ceiling follows the roof plane for the full length.
Ahem, cough, you’re done! Yup, you just created a loft in your home. It’s that simple.
To design a loft space takes only a short time using the Pro Home Designer 2016 software.
Creating a custom loft for you man time (whatever that means, we don’t judge!) has never been easier. The 3D version beats the pencil and paper version every time, just in case you’re keeping score.
Once you create your loft, you may just want to design it as the ultimate man cave! If you find yourself running low on ideas, here are 8 DIY projects to inspire you.