By creating custom wall definitions you can have walls with more than one type of material. For instance you could have a wall with brick on the bottom and siding on the top as shown in this image.
This has been possible in versions prior to V2012 but there have always been problems. For instance corner and opening trims ended up on the outside of the brick rather than on the siding. But in 2012 this has been corrected so now the trim works like it should.
For this tutorial I'll be covering the Materials portion of the wall definitions. There are other aspects such as pen settings, visibility settings, texture, and so on that I won't get into at this time.
When defining a wall you start at the outermost material and work your way inward. In my example the outermost material is the brick course on top of the brick portion of the wall. The brick course overhangs the brick below by 1".
To get to the wall definitions area you select File-->Drawing Options-->Drawing Options-->Define Wall-->Edit. Lots of steps there. For an easier way just edit an existing wall and at the bottom left hand corner of the wall edit dialog select "Definition".
Since there was already a Brick wall defined I made a copy of it as a starting point. No need to start completely from scratch if you can use what is already there.
Select the existing Brick wall and then select Save As. Give your new wall a descriptive name. I used 2x4 Brick dn Siding up for this example. Then select Ok. A copy of the wall is created with your new name.
Since my brick cap has a 1" overhang I will need to move all of the materials in 1". So go through the list and add 1" to each of the Horizontal Start settings.
Now I want to have the top of the 4" brick cap at 36". So the first thing I need to do is set the exterior brick height to 32" high. 36"-4"=32". I will also need to set the Air Space to 32" as well.
Next I added the brick cap. Select the Add Material button. You will notice that SoftPlan adds a 5.5" Adobe Brick material to the inside of the wall. Edit the Adobe Brick and since I want the brick cap to be a different texture from the brick wall I changed the material to Brick B. Edit Brick B and give it Width 6", Height 4", Horizontal Start 0", and Vertical Start 32". This places the brick cap on top of the brick with a 1" overhang.
Next we need to add the siding. Select Add Material again. Once again we get an Adobe Brick on the inside of the wall. Edit this and change it to Siding A, Width 1", Height 61.125", Horizontal Start 5", and Vertical Start 36". The Height measurement was determined by my default wall heights of 8'1.125" and subtract the height of the brick wall with cap which is 36". This gives us the remaining height of 61.125". If your walls are set to 8'-0" then the Height would be 60".
Now we have our materials defined but we still have a few more settings to make. When you increase or decrease a wall height all of the materials stretch out proportionally. But since I want the brick cap to always remain at 36" no matter the wall height I need to set some materials to be Fixed. Any Material that is set to Fixed will not stretch or shrink when the wall height is adjusted. So set the Brick A, Air Space, and Brick B to be Fixed. I want the siding to stretch to the full height of the wall so I do not set the siding to Fixed.
When you look at a wall in your drawings what you are seeing is a cross section of that wall at a certain location. By default this is approximately at the center of the wall height. But the center of this wall is siding and I want to show the brick on the floor plan. Since the brick is 32" tall I changed the Display Height to be 31". Now the brick shows in plan.
Click OK to exit the wall editor and you are done.
By using this method you can create endless varieties of configurations. One of the more fun definitions I have created was to add glass as part of the wall. The client wanted to have a curved wall with curved glass in the wall. Since you can't do that with Windows I just made it part of the wall. When I curved the wall the glass curved with it.
Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com