How to design a split-level house

This tip shows how to design a split-level house based on the “shop-house” example shown below and available in the file TheShopAroundTheCorner.sh3d (6.3 MB).
Similarly to the tip How to design a mezzanine, it also explains some important features about levels management in Sweet Home 3D.

The image on the right shows the same house with half transparent walls and rooms, to help you visualize the two different levels at the second floor of this house, due to the higher ceiling of the shop on the left side. Walls and rooms transparency can be changed with the Walls transparency setting available in the 3D modification pane displayed by the 3D View > Modify 3D view… menu item.

Drawing the first floor

Draw walls and rooms of the first floor at their default height (250 cm or 96 inches), without showing ceilings for the moment.
Then select the walls around the shop and the backshop to set their height at 330 cm with the modification pane displayed by the Plan > Modify walls menu item. The right part of the house remains 250 cm high as shown in the following screenshot.

Using two different heights of walls on the first floor implies that the floor above it will require 2 levels at different elevations.
Note that the height of the staircase in the hall is set to fit to 250 cm high levels like most staircases available in Sweet Home 3D free 3D models. Read this tip for more information about staircases.

Adding levels

Select Plan > Add level menu item to create a new level. Level 0 and Level 1 tabs now appear above the plan as show below. Level 0 contains what you draw until now in the default level and Level 1 is automatically selected and displayed in the plan. All the walls and objects of Level 0 with a height that goes beyond the elevation of Level 1 are visible in the new level and drawn in their default color. In our example it’s the case for the 330 cm high walls on the left and the staircase. All the walls of Level 0 with a height lower than the elevation of Level 1, like the ones pointed with some arrows below, are drawn in light grey to help you draw the level above.

Choose Plan > Modify level… menu item, or double click on Level 1 tab, to display the modification pane of the selected level.

You may notice that:

The default Height of a new level is 250 cm (or 96 inches) like default walls height. This height is only used as the elevation of the ceiling of a room (rooms drawn with Create rooms tool). The height of walls you draw may be equal, smaller or higher than the height of a level, and this height is set in the walls modification pane. The default Floor thickness of a new level is 12 cm. The default Elevation of a new level is 262 cm . The elevation of a level is the height of its floor on which furniture is placed. But the bottom of the walls of a level is at the elevation of that level minus its floor thickness to join nicely with walls at lower levels when you use

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