Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating custom roof soffits, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Narrator] In this video, we'll look at a couple different ways that you can treat the soffit conditions of your roofs. So I've got several roofs here on screen and I'm going to zoom in here on the left and start with this first roof right here. Now when I select the roof, you'll see that I'm getting this kind of rake condition here at the end. This is controlled under Construction under Rafter Cut with the Rafter Cut option, and there's three choices there. Plumb cut, and then Two Cut Plumb and Square. The plumb cut you can see exactly what it does. It just continues the slope of the roof and then cuts it off perpendicular to the ground, and you have that sloping soffit condition underneath.
If you would rather shape it a little differently, maybe you want that to be a horizontal cut underneath, you can change to the Two Cut option. Now if you just choose Two Cut Plumb, and don't do anything else, it will just cut it off completely horizontal at the bottom, which looks a little bit odd. That's because that will enable a fascia depth property next and it'll default to zero. So I can change this zero now to some other number and then when I do, it will start to shape that in a little bit more expected kind of way.
So as I change the fascia depth, it will have an impact on the horizontal portion of the roof, and that's one way that you could deal with those soffit conditions to make them look a little bit more believable or a little bit more typical. Now, notice that it doesn't go all the way back to the vertical wall here and there's still a little angled cut underneath. One option would be to, you know, figure out the math to make that fascia depth exactly so the horizontal would come across and fill in the entire overhang.
That's not necessarily going to give you graphically exactly what you want, and you know, it requires the calculation and you might not want to change your fascia depth. So for a variety of reasons that might not be the best solution. Instead what we can do is actually fill in this triangular space underneath the roof using a soffit object. So let's go to our Roof plan and create a soffit object. So I'm going to zoom in on the second roof over here. I want to be able to see the walls down below so I will temporarily change the display of the view to Wireframe, and now that displays those lower walls.
On the Architecture tab, I'll click the dropdown for the Roof tool and I want to choose the Roof Soffit tool. This puts me in sketch mode and it defaults to the Pick Walls option like you will see in many other sketch modes. So I can select the wall here on the left and the wall on the right. Now you want to make sure it's on the outside face of the wall. So if it's not, you've got a little flip control here where you can flip it around to the other side. Next I want to use this tool right next to Pick Walls which is Pick Roof Edges.
That will allow me to just touch the roof and it will trace the roof all the way around. Now if you were doing a hip roof, you would leave that sketch and you'd have your soffit going all the way around the underside of the roof. But in this case because I'm doing a gable roof, I only want it on the left and right sides. So I'll click the Modify tool here to cancel the sketch commands, okay, so I'm no longer using the sketch tools here. And now I'll switch to the Trim and Extend to a Corner, and I want to clean up this sketch. Now this is actually in two pieces so that works in our favor here.
I'll select the vertical line that's on the left-hand wall and then make sure you're picking on the far left-hand side over here because remember with the Trim and Extend to a Corner tool, it keeps the part you click on. So here's the vertical again, and I want to click way over here to the left 'cause it's going to keep that little short segment. If I did it this way, it would keep the opposite piece, so I want to undo that. So I want to make sure that I'm clicking here, and then the little short piece here, and the little short piece. Now once I'm done, I've got those two long, thin rectangles, I'll click finish, and then let's go back to the South elevation and see what we got.
If we zoom in here, you can kind of see that it created this little extrusion that projected up by some thickness. Right here it's Generic 4" soffit, so this is four inches in thickness. And you know, of course, we have that on both sides. Now it's not positioned where we want it relative to the roof, so let's go to the Move command. I'll snap to this endpoint right here, and just move it down to this endpoint right here. Now that's close to what I want, but I still have that little gap there in that little triangular portion up at the top of the wall. The easiest way to solve that for this particular roof is to just thicken the soffit material.
So I'll go to Edit Type, Duplicate the soffit, and I think if I double the thickness, that ought to do the trick. So I'll call this Generic 8". I'll Edit the structure, and change the thickness to eight inches. Click Ok. Ok again. And now my soffit is more than thick enough to fill in that entire gap. The final step would be to go to Join Geometry, select the roof, and then select the soffit, and that will join those two objects together.
And if you look at it in 3D, it now looks something like that which is a pretty typical and common roof detail that you'll see. So that's another way that we can deal with our soffit conditions. Now that works pretty well, but if we go back to our South elevation and look at some of the other roofs we have here, it may not work so well here. You might get away with it here. But this one you'd have a little bit of a problem. Because here the overhang is such that the roof projects too far away from the building and so when you start your soffit here and project it up, it'll actually pass through the top surface of the roof and it will ruin the effect.
It won't look the way we want it to. So what we really need here is a triangular-shaped soffit. Now to create that, I'm going to start by sketching over the triangle shape that I need. So I'll do that on the Annotate tab with a Detail Line. I'll start right here at this endpoint, drag down to the following the slope of the roof, come back here to the wall, and then finish up right here. Cancel the command. Window select all three lines. It should say Thin Lines (3) over here, and I'll do Control + X to cut those to the clipboard.
Now what I'm going to do with those three sketch lines that I just put on my clipboard is make a profile family from them. So I'll go to the application menu here, the big R, highlight New, and go to Family. I'll scroll down and I'll locate the Profile template, and Open it up. Here I just do Control + V and click anywhere to begin pasting that triangle. Now you're still in a placement mode and you get the opportunity to move that triangle that you've just placed.
So we'll use our Move tool here, make sure the Constrain is unchecked, snap to the endpoint at the bottom of the triangle, and then snap that right to the intersection of these two reference planes, and then click Finish to complete the paste. Now we need to go to Save. Give this a name. I'll just call this Custom Soffit, and Save it. Up here, we can Load this into our current project and Close the family.
So it'll do both things in one step. And now we're back to our roof project and that profile family has been loaded in here. I'm going to go to the 3D view to complete this, and pan over here to that roof that needs that condition. I'll go to the Architecture tab, and on the Roof drop down, we have a Fascia command. Now the Fascia command will create geometry that sweeps along the edges of the roof. So when you click this, it will prompt you to select the edges of the roof, and you could make rake boards by clicking the sloping edges or fascia boards by clicking the horizontal edges, and notice you can pick either the top or the bottom edge.
So I'll pick the bottom edge here at the soffit. Now initially that will create a one by 12 fascia that runs along the bottom edge so it kind of looks like it's hanging off the bottom of the roof. So that's not really what I'm after, but let's go ahead and click the Modify tool to cancel. Select that one by 12, and then we'll come over to the Properties pallet and Edit the Type. We'll Duplicate this type, give it a new name, and I'll just call it Custom Soffit. There's a Profile setting right here.
If you click this dropdown, the profile that you just created a moment ago will appear on that list because we loaded it into this project. So we'll choose that off the list. Optionally you can apply a material, and then click Ok. That gives me this big, triangular piece of material here but it's pointing the wrong way. Well fortunately we have these little flip grips right here so all I have to do is click that and it will flip to the inside. And as a final step, I go to Join Geometry, select the roof, and then select that fascia, and that completes the effect.
Now that I've got that type, I could easily apply it to the other side of the roof as well. So the only downside of that technique is you need a custom profile for each condition, but in a project where you're using a lot of similar roofs with similar slopes, it should be pretty manageable. So that gives you a couple different ways to create your soffit conditions and begin fine-tuning the look and construction of the various roof elements within your projects.
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