Roof Profiles

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SoftPlan provides a method of creating specially shaped roofs through the use of Roof Profiles. But trying to get the profiles to look right can be an exercise in frustration. This tutorial will show you how to make using Roof Profiles easy and fun without all the headaches.

A Roof Profile is simply a shape or collection of shapes that can be added to the edge of the roof. The roof then takes on the shape of that profile.

Start out by creating a 2D sketch of how the the final roof should look. In this sketch I am saying that I want a 9:12 pitch roof with a 16" overhang and a curved profile that extends 4' in from the edge of the fascia. I first drew the roof as a normal straight rafter roof then added the profile I wanted to the top.

Notice that the fascia measurement is drawn at 5 1/2" and the top of the fascia is 6" above the top plate. The 5 1/2" comes from the roof settings which is set to have a 5 1/2" fascia.

Normally the bottom of the fascia would be below the top of the wall plate but because of the profile shape it ends up 1/2" above the top plate.

After you have drawn out what you want the roof to look like the next step is to create the Roof Profile. In this case the Roof Profile would be the top arc that makes up the sheathing. Make a copy of the arc somewhere away from the drawing then convert it into a Roof Profile. Roof Profiles are created just like you would create a symbol. Select System Options-->System Library. Select Roof Profiles then One Step. Draw a box around the profile and give it a name then click OK.

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Once you have your Roof Profile it is time to set up your roof edges.

  1. Edit a roof edge and select Profile as the Roof Plane type.
  2. For Roof Name select the Roof Profile that you previously created.
  3. Enter in the Profile Height and Profile Width. From our sketch we can see that the Height would be 1'-8 13/32 and the Width would be 3'-8 11/16.
  4. Make sure that the Pitch and Overhang match your drawing. In this case the pitch would be 9" and the overhang is 1'-4".

Now comes the tricky part, determining how high to set the roof off the wall top plate. From our sketch we can see that we want the bottom of the fascia to be 1/2" above the top of the wall plate. I get that by subtracting the size of the 5 1/2" fascia from the 6" that the edge of the roof is above the wall plate.

Verify that your fascia depth is set to 5.5" and then give the TOP to Fascia setting a measurement of -.5". This will be a negative number because we are going above the top wall plate. The TOP to Fascia setting defines the distance from the Top of the wall to the bottom of the fascia. This would normally be a positive number but since we are setting the fascia to be above the top plate we have to use a negative number. It is important to get this set correctly so that your design will match how the roof will be built in the field. If you attempt to set the elevation of the roof by using the Heel Height or by looking at the rafter graphic in the Roof Settings your roof will not be at the proper height. When working with Profiles the graphic will most likely be incorrect other than to show where the soffit would be in relation to the top plate.

Once you have one edge set up you can use Edit-->Duplicate to copy your settings to the other roof edges. Using Duplicate on roof edges will often set the overhang to 0" so you may need to go back through the roof edges and give them the proper overhang.

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And this is the end result. Since we took the time to sketch everything out beforehand we end up with a smooth transition from the profile edge to the normal roof and we also have the roof at the proper height above the wall.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of

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