AppliCad Globe Small Roof.Estimating



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Tutorials - Create the roof shape - Track Outline

These tutorials will introduce the method we use to create the roof shape, check that it is correct then create a quotation using your predefined rates. There are several methods of creating the roof outline - Track outline; from a template, from a recovered outline or by digitising an underlay or scanned image of a plan. This tutorial will deal with creating your roof tracking around the perimeter outline using dimensions on the plan or roof sketch.

Job Details

First we must define the details of this job - the site address, the order and job number etc.


Track Outline

Once this has been done, decide the most effective way to create the roof. Normally you would use the dimensions provided by the cutomer (architect or builder) on their drawing. These measurements are typically external wall measurements and the eave overhang will be added during the process. However, if you are doing a re-roof job, then you will probably be using actual external roof measurements.

You may also develop a roof shape from a template of a previously defined outline. For this example we will take the scenario that you are creating a roof from an architects plan.

Select the icon (picture) menu option Track Outline.

The following Track Outline dialog box is displayed. It is here that you insert the measurements of the perimeter of the walls (we are going to assume a 450mm eave overhang) by selecting the Up, Down, Left or Right buttons or by typing say4500 - for a wall line of 4500mm long. A line is inserted at that length and the screen automatically scaled to suit. The line will be designated 1 - 4500 indicating that it is line number 1, 4500mm long.

If you're working in feet/inches, then the distance will be inserted and displayed in feet.

It usually doesn't matter whether you're working up down, left or right around the roof or where the start point is. Now continue inserting the outline until you reach the second last line.

When you reach the second last line, select Close | Close Square from the options and the software automatically determines the remaining two lines to close out the roof shape perfectly square. The dimensions it figures out are exactly what is required and these measurements should match your plan. If they don't match your plan, then you made a mistake inserting the outline or the measurements on the plan are wrong. This is a very quick and important check of the information provided to you.

You may also simply type 'C' and the close square function will execute.

If the outline is correct then type 'F' or select Finish from the dialog box.

Roof Defaults

The Roof defaults dialog is then displayed which is where you set the category of roof material, the roof storey, the roof pitch, the eave overhang (offset), the verge overhang (the overhang on a gable end - gable offset), the eave height (at the gutter or fascia), the rafter spacing and the eave type. All this information is used to help construct the correct roof shape. Once the settings are input that suit the design of your roof, select OK.

The Roof Modifications dialog is then displayed - this is where you can set the wall line nearest a gable end, or change an individual overhang or set barge lines. For this exercise, we will just select Continue.

The roof is then constructed using the settings you input - 450 overhang, 27 degrees pitch.

If this is the final shape of the roof then you're now ready to go ahead and do the necessary checking to ensure that the roof shape is correct. more...

Modify Roof

You may also use the ModRoof options from the Icon Menu to add other features such as a gable end or a dutch gable.

This option brings up new secondary menu functions for modifying a roof or adding roof features.

Here you have an amazing selection of options that allow you to modify the basic hip and valley roof shape by adding all the architectual features - usuall with a single mouse click. In our example will turn the right hand end from a hip to a gable.

This option will prompt you to select the ridge line near the hip to modify. The prompts are in the prompts area at the bottom of the screen. You must get accustomed to keeping an eye on the prompt area. It will usually tell you what to do next.

By selecting the function with the left mouse button, then the ridge line the hip is instantly transformed into a gable end.

If this is the final shape of the roof then you're now ready to go ahead and do the necessary checking to ensure that the roof shape is correct. more...

This completes the initial tutorial on modelling your roof. To complete the quotation/estimate process, you must now check that the model is correct so that you can generate a quotation that you know is correct. After checking, you will then export the roof data to for processing of your quotation. There is a lot more to roof modelling than just a five hip roof. Now it's over to you to experiment with tools we have given you.


  • Further Help
  • If you try something and it doesn't work out, you can undo it and try something else.

    On the icon menu find the UNDO/REDO buttons. The left button is UNDO, the right button is REDO incase you undo too far. You can only use the UNDO and REDO buttons once a function is complete. You cannot UNDO when you are partly through an outline for example. In that case you would use Stepback from the Track Outline dialog box. You can UNDO right back to the start of a session. If you go back too far, select REDO to come back a step or two.


    A more detailed explanation of all the functions is available from the Tools | Manuals option. When you select this the following dialog is displayed:


    The manuals are in Adobe PDF format. You may have to set the path on your local hard drive for the PDF file viewer, Adobe Acrobat. If you wish, you can print the entire manual set. At the very least, we would suggest that you print the Quick Start Guide and the Icon Menu Explanation. Now you're all set.

    Have fun.

    These tutorials will get you started - if you have a further question, please drop us a line -


    Visit the AppliCad web site for more details about the full range of products for modelling roofs, estimating roofing materials.