Home Rooflines

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Custom Home Roof Design:  Custom Roofline Design

in Perspective

As background, the Autocad Granddad is creating Concept Home Drawing for a fine home remodel of major scope, including new roof design with options for roofline design. Traditional, Colonial home additions and custom home plans galore.  Initially, the focus of this custom home building design was on a front-face custom home plans design program more like a spectacular facelift.  Roof design upon roof design; roofline upon roofline . . . no one expected that ultimately roof design would take such an important role in transforming this traditional home Garrison Colonial into a modern style all its own.  Then we moved to the backside for more custom home remodeling major room addition plans involving kitchen remodeling and kitchen floor plans,  a family room addition (these days, living room designs are more and more morphing into family room designs), and a master bedroom addition.  (Much later on there will be a dining room redesign, a master bath remodeling of significant proportions once room use switches around and in lieu of choosing to remodel a small bathroom, and, possibly, two-story garage building plans for the far future with the potential for garage attic remodeling to further extend the upper floor living spaces.) 

This traditional colonial custom home design will entirely transform the look and workings of this custom home.  And time will run on with this project because it is in large part a do-it-yourself custom home renovation, where the Autocad Granddad draws concept, model, and builder home design ideas and home remodeling ideas wall-by-wall, room-by-room, and the owners slope in with their custom home renovation ideas and their labor.

This Colonial remodeling has other custom home building design plans featured throughout the website in

CONCEPT HOME DRAWING, Concept Home Plans Design Program First Additions


BUILDER HOME DRAWING, Detail Custom Home Drawing, Carpentry Plans,  Knee Brace

BUILDER HOME DRAWING, Cross-Section Custom Home Drawing, New Foundations For Custom Home Building, Footing & Pier

The owners have two problems with the home:

  1. Visually dull curbside appeal;

  2. Too small inside for them to enjoy the pleasures of custom ownership and with babies to come.

We are well underway on other renovations to this custom.  What's new is that the owners are now considering a garage addition, possibly with a master bedroom atop as a second floor.

You see, while we scrambled to finish before any real Winter shows up, we got to talking about the backside build out.  That's how this brace of second additions took life.

We wondered what curbside appeal there'd be as between a shed roof extension from the existing ridge backwards versus a gable end roof structure again from the existing ridge.  While we considered the shed roof originally because it appeared simplest, from a structural standpoint it would not turn out that way.  The existing roof structure would have to be beefed up to handle the extra load of another roof on top of it and across its whole length, even if we split the load spans with buildups from the existing backside partitions.  Additionally, those buildups would require as many large holes in the roof's backside as rafters strung.  That's a lot of holes. 

A gabled roof would, on the other hand, leave most of its bearing to the addition's new walls, and require no cut ins to the existing roof.

Shortly thereafter, the subject of two-story garage building plans came up.  Whereas, we had concluded that the shed roof on its own would not only add a grade or two of difficulty relative to the gable roof, we also concluded that the shed roof would not look as good as we approached the concept from the West.  The prospect of garage plans could make the appearance issue moot, because the garage elevation blocked any clear, visual shot at the shed roof.  The structural issues still withstand.

In working these thoughts through and well short of garage blueprints, garage attic remodeling into habitable space consistent with the rest of the concept, or any other concept addition and plans these are a few more concept home drawing to help the old geezer get a grip on concept improvement ideas.

Let's get the roof design rolling first.

Gable roof on the backside


The second pic looks better; shed roofs are the cheap and easy way to  roof a structure.  But.  The problem with this second pic is not its appearance, it's the slope of the backside gable.  It's under 4-in-12.  That means it is for all purposes to be dealt with as a flat roof more roofing materials, more framing, more expense for skylights if we add them.  The AG has concept-designed and built a roof or two with slopes under 4-in-12, and they all worked out just fine.  But if he has a preference for slopes, it's over 4-in-12 rather than under 4-in-12.

What to do?

Raise the backside roof's slope.

But how?

Go geez.  You go, guy.

Let's try twice more.  First, we'll lift the gable slope on the backside to the gable slope existing on the frontside (and the slope of the roof over the foyer addition).  This'll make the point that seems to elude a lot of folks when increasing length of a gabled roof as measured along its gable end


While keeping the same slope, and see the ridge rise



While holding the ridge elevation steady, and see the ridge sink.

Here are the results better than the AG expected.  A 2d front elevation on the left in hidden line shows the backside roof sloped as the other rooflines, and its new ridge rises about 3' over the existing ridge, forming a centered triangle on the existing ridge.  The foyer addition is foremost.  The triangle is the tippity-top of the new backside roofline at gable end, and the rectangle to its right is the addition's chimney chase which had to be lifted 3' to establish minimum safety clearances.  (The red lines on the right side are first passes at the niches.) 


To the right is a shaded image of the same rooflines now in 3d perspective from the left front corner.  This, too, looks much more appealing than forecast.  And from the interior, we now have an approximate maximum 8' of finished ceiling height with which to work (about 3' more than in the existing).

We'll round out this slope issue with a shed roof on the backside which roof is sloped as the frontside roof; therefore, the back roof's ridge is about 3' over the existing front ridge.

Here it is briefly in a shaded concept drawing.  The back roof runs over the entirety of the front roof (a clerestory opportunity) along its entirety.  (The AG clipped the width of the backside roof for no good reason he can think of.  More likely, the backside roof in this situation would run completely across the front roof's ridge length.)  This time, the existing chase top had to be raised about 3'.

In shaded 3d perspective, this shed roof override arrangement gets clearer.

Now comes the workout.  We'll form a two-car garage on the left side of this existing and new structure, using each of these rooflines.  The garage will be drawn at 20' on a side; whereas, later on there may be a need to widen this sucker to, say, 24' minimum to let a staircase.

In all cases, we will gable the garage with its ridge in-line to the existing structure.  Initially, the garage will be a single story, and we will set it back about 4' from the front face, about midway back, about 4' from the back face, and at the back face.  Counting the elevations to open this segment of the show, that's 10 pics.  Then, we'll do the same set of three with a two-story (, i.e., master bedroom over the stalls) garage.  That's 10 more pics.  All major slopes will be as existing.  (We'll pair the two rooflines to conserve on page loadtime.)

This is the front elevation in hidden line concept drawing of the one-story garage attached at left to each of the two rooflines in this study.  It doesn't matter in this view form exactly how far back the garage is from the front face; all the 3d pics to follow look like this in front elevation.


First off of the 3d perspectives all from the front left corner, all shaded the garage about 4' back from the front face, then midway, the 4' from the backside, and finally at the backside.


We're making a distinction as to where the garage affixes to the concept principally for popular demands and permissible passageways to the concept both now with the one-story garage, and next with the two-story structure wherein access to the existing home becomes even more complex as we would prefer such access at both floor levels.  Written in other words, we're prepping options for the floor plans work that is sure to follow elsewhere in this website.

Now let's see the front face elevations with the two-story addition to the left.  Again, from this view form, it doesn't matter how far back we're setting the garage.

Finally, it's off to the races with the four pics of the four positions of the two-story addition placed as above for the one-story addition.  Please note that the AG has not gone to the trouble of altering rooflines at the joining of the backside roof to the garage and master addition.  Such rooflines would need to be altered the more so as the addition moves backwards.  (Indeed, the geezer is not exactly 100% sure he can hang a roofline on the farthest back siting of 2-story addition to the backside gable, and he might be pushing it even with the one 4' from the back corner.)


Now, the old croak will leave it all up to his clients.  The preliminary conclusions here are that


If the backside build out has a shed roof over it, then the master-over-garage addition appears to be a nonissue for roofing.  


If the backside build out has a gable roof over it then the master-over-garage addition should be revisited closely before framing up the backside gable, in order to accomplish two ends; namely, one is to make sure the siting of the second addition permits adequate drainage from abutting roof areas, and two is to make sure the first addition's roof and substructure are adequately framed to take more load eventually.

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