Professional Landscape Design Software
Realtime Landscaping Architect Landscape Design Software

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Adding a House

In Realtime Landscaping Architect you can design a house that approximates the exterior of your client’s residence. Designing a house in Realtime Landscaping Architect is a very simple process, and works very differently than typical home design programs. Houses can be designed from scratch, or a pre-built house can be added to your landscape using the House Wizard.

To add a house:

1.   Click the Add House button found near the top of the screen under the Building tab.

2.   Draw the outline of the house by clicking the left mouse button to add points. Press the Backspace key to remove the last point added, and press the Esc key to cancel. If you would like to input the distance and angle manually, place at least one point and then press the Enter key.

3.   To finish drawing the house, place the last point on top of the first point. Alternately, right-click to place the last point; it will automatically connect to the first point.

The picture below is an example of a simple house created and viewed in the Plan view.

simple 3d house plan view

The picture below is the same house viewed during a Realtime Walkthrough. The roof has been automatically added.

simple 3d house perspective view

Tips:

      If your client wishes to have an exact view of their house, use Realtime Landscaping Photo (included) to create a 2D design over a photograph of their residence.

      It is easier to add a house in the Plan View, but houses can also be drawn in the Perspective view.

      The snap-grid makes accurate houses easy to draw; see Snap Settings for details.

      Doors, awnings, shutters, and windows can be added to your house from the appropriate objects under the Building tab. See Adding a Door and Adding a Window for more information.

      Multiple house objects can be used together to create more complex houses. For example, two house objects can be overlapped to achieve unique roof lines.

Gable Roofs

The default roof type is “hip”, but individual roof lines can be changed to “gable” if needed.

To convert from a hip to gable roof:

1.   Click the Edit Roof Type button found in the properties to enable roof editing mode.

2.   Click the house wall underneath the part of the roof you want to change. Clicking will toggle between hip and gable styles.

3.   After you are finished editing the roof, click the Edit Roof Type button to disable roof editing mode.

Below is a picture of a house with two of its rooflines “gabled”:

3d roof

Designing Multistory Houses

Multistory houses can be created by simply stacking a top floor over a bottom floor. To do this, create the bottom story as detailed above, and then use the Add House tool to create the upper story. When the upper story is complete, increase the Elevation property of the house until the top story sits on the bottom story. For most multistory houses, it is best to set the Roof Pitch property of the bottom story to a value of “0”. This technique was used to design the house in the image below:

two story house design

Tip: To better understand how multiple story houses are created, use the House Wizard to add a pre-built multiple story house. Next, click the Ungroup button to break the house into individual pieces. By moving the pieces you should have a good idea of how the house was put together.

In the Plan View, it is usually best for only the bottom story of the house to appear because that will be the house’s “footprint”. Therefore, the upper stories of the house can be hidden in the Plan View. The steps below can be used to cause any object to appear in only the Plan view or just in the Perspective view.

To prevent an object from appearing in the plan view:

1.   Click the desired object to select it. If more than one object needs to be selected, hold the Shift while clicking on additional items.

2.   Click Edit and Advanced Object Properties.

3.   Click the Render to Plan view check-box to uncheck it.

4.   Click the OK button.

For more information on other options in this dialog, see Advanced Object Properties.

Designing Roofs with a Single Slope

Roofs with a single sloping surface can be designed, which are often used when creating sheds, rectangular bay windows, carports, and more.

To design a roof with a single sloping surface:

1.   Click the house you wish to edit to select it.

2.   Click the Edit Roof Type button found in the properties to enter roof editing mode.

3.   Click each of the house walls below the roof you want to change, except for the wall that will have the lowest roof edge.

4.   When you are finished, click the Edit Roof Type button again to leave roof editing mode.

The bay window in the picture below was added as a separate house object, and the above steps were used to give it a single slanting roofline.

bay window design

Designing Carports

A carport can be designed by creating a roof without walls, which is also useful for creating covered patios, overhangs, and more.

To design a roof without walls:

1.   Click the Add House button and create a house normally.

2.   Move the Wall Height property to 1” or 0”.

3.   Move the Elevation property to the desired roof height.

Customizing the Plan View

Houses can appear as either a floor plan or a realistic top-down view of the structure in the Plan view. If you wish your house to be displayed as a floor plan, select the house and click on the Custom appearance in each view checkbox (found to the right of the screen). You will now see two tabs appear to the right of the screen: Plan and Perspective. The Plan and Perspective tabs allow you to customize how the selected house will appear in each view. For example, you could set a house to look like a floor plan sketched with colored pencils in the Plan view, but to look like a realistic house in the Perspective view. To make the house look realistic in the Perspective view, simply ensure that the Custom appearance in each view checkbox is not checked.

Doors, lights, windows, and awnings will appear as symbols in the Plan view when displaying the house as a floor plan.

The default style for a floor plan is a white interior with a black outline. The outline can be changed by clicking the Line Style… button that appears to the right of the screen when your house is selected. The background of the floor plan can be modified by selecting your house and clicking the right mouse button on the small picture next to Roof material (see image below). There are three available background types for floor plans: pictures, gradients, and solid colors. For example, if you wish your floor plan to look like it was sketched with colored pencils, click the right mouse button on the image next to Roof material, select Picture, and then choose the colored pencil style of your choice.

3d house design dialog

A floor plan’s line style, background, and transparency can be modified to provide a large combination of styles. In the image below, a floor plan is shown that uses a gradient background.

house design plan

A picture background has been selected for the floor plan below, and the picture selected is of a light blue colored pencil sketch. Other hand drawn background styles are also available, such as colored marker.

house floor plan design

Building Pads

A building pad can be created when placing a house on uneven terrain by flattening the terrain or using a patio as a building surface. For more information, see Area Grader and Adding a Patio.

See also:

House Properties
Selecting Objects
Editing Points
Adding a Door
Adding a Window
Editing Objects
Adding an Area Grader
Adding a Patio