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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 16th Jul 2005 at 7:12 AM
Default Tips for balancing roof/wall proportions including adjustable height mansard roof
These are some building techniques I worked out on my own, and while I suspect many of the other builders here are already using similar methods, I wanted to share in case it is new for anyone. [I originally posted this as ts2 and I apologize that it is grossly overwritten for this audience.]

. . .

I often find that the steep pitches of rooves overpower one-storey houses. I wanted to share the technique I use to give balance to a house.

1. Add a 1/4-height wall above the first floor to balance the roof and wall proportions.

To do this:
- press control+shift+c to open the command box
- type "boolprop constrainfloorelevation false"
- go to the top of the 2nd floor (or the top of whatever set of walls you want to alter) and add a floor. It doesn't matter what you use for flooring because we will delete this later.
- using any of the connecting stair, add a staircase. The base of the stair will depress your floor 4 clicks, or 1/4 wall height.
- go into the terrain tools and pick the leveling tool. Starting from the bottom of the connecting stairs, flatten out all of the floor. Your walls should now be a uniform 3/4 height. (You can now delete the staircase by control clicking it.)
- Repeat the combination of stairs plus levelling two more times. Your wall will now be 1/4 height.
- Open the command box and type "boolprop constrainfloorelevation false."
- Add a new roof.
- Go back and delete your temporary floor. (Unless you have columns supporting your roof. If you do, hang on to that floor. We'll need it in a minute.)

You will now have a roof overtop of a 1.25 height wall, and the house should seem better proportioned compared to the roof. If you experiment with this, you may find you want a 1/2 or 3/4 wall, depending on the size of your building.

2. Lining up columns with a roof over extra walls
Keep in mind that this means your roof sits 1.25 to 1.75 walls above the ground--but columns are only 1 wall high. A problem if you have covered patios supported by columns. But we can fix that, too.

- Place your columns. Add a tile of temporary floor above each one.
- Select the column foundation tool.
- While holding down the shift key, draw a square of foundation above each column. Wow! You have a piece of foundation up in the air.
- This part is going to sound familiar: open a control box, then type "boolprop constrainfloorelevation false"
- Start the terrain leveling tool on a tile of the temporary floor you created while we were making the extra walls up above, and drag it over to the top of you foundation. Ta daaa! You have a little structural pillar above your decorative columns now, that is the same height as your extra supporting wall.
- Now the clean up part: delete your temporary floor tiles. Open control box, and type "boolprop constrainfloorelevation false."

If you look at the backyard view in the pictures on this lot: xxxx*
(or if you download the lot), you can see I used this technique to even out the columns. I'm happy with how the look came out and think that, overall, it looks fairly "plausible" to me.

Now, sometimes, the roof is just too high, even with an extra partial wall. In that case, we can make a manual mansard roof.

- Use the shed hipped roof tool to add a roof all along the edges of the building for a depth of 1 tile. This makes the highest point of the roof 1/4 wall high.
- Next, using the method described above, build walls inside roof border, and used [boolprop constrainfloorelevation false] and the connecting stairs tool to lower the new walls to 1/4 height.
- Now, add a layer of flooring above those walls, that now matched the top height of my roof border. This floor will form the flat part of your mansard roof, and it is a royal pain to change later, so pick a colour and style that matches your roof.
- Finally go back and delete those structural walls which were only there to help lay the floor. The result?--a mansard roof that is only 1/4 wall high.

You can of course set your roof height to 1/2 wall or 3/4 wall as well.

Don't forget to go back and turnoff the constrainfloorelevation!

You can see this technique on several houses I have uploaded right now:

San Simonio Mission House $34K 3BR Spanish

Nikai Hako House $54K 4BR Japanese Neo-Traditional

Sankai Hako House $90K 4BR Japanese Neo-Traditional

In the Sankai Hako House, this allowed me to create a third-floor party penthouse suite encased in glass, including using R.Giles' tranparent glass tiles for the top of the manual mansard roof.

I hope these tips help you add some variety to the rooves in your neighborhood!


[*Not sure whether posting links accords with forum rules, so I have removed the links. Loverat?]
Field Researcher
#2 Old 19th Jul 2005 at 10:50 PM
I am going to try this.... if it works, I will love you forever.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#3 Old 20th Jul 2005 at 11:08 AM
Hey, tabbysgranhag, it would be great to be loved forever! lol

If you run into any difficulties, please drop me a note here or in a PM, and we'll figure things out.

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