Control Your Design

Home Design Studio Complete makes it easy to control your working environment. From setting the plan scale and units of measure to defining your ceiling heights on any floor of your design, all these tools are available in the Design Menu.

Punch! Home Design Software even lets you import a scanned image into the background of your design. Once scanned and loaded into your design file, you can trace it to create a Home Design Studio Complete floor plan. You can even set the scale of the new drawing to the scale of the image. When you are done tracing, you can save the new file without the background bitmap image. Find or sketch your favorite floor plan design. Using a scanner, digital camera, or with the help of a scanning service, scan the plan and save it in one of the most popular formats. The designer or owner of most home plans holds the copyright to them. Make sure you have permission before you copy a plan.


Setting the Working Elevation

Before you draw, be sure to set your working elevation. All entities are drawn in relation to this elevation. There are two methods for setting the working elevation: the Working Elevation field and the Design menu.


While nothing is selected in the design window, enter the working elevation you want in the Working Elevation field then press Return.


Subsequently-drawn entities are added to the design based on the new working elevation. Choose Design > Set Working Elevation and enter the necessary elevation in the corresponding field, and then click OK.

Tip: You can also Right-click the design window and choose Set

Working Elevation, then types the necessary elevation in the corresponding field and click OK.

Setting the Scale

The scale is the ratio between the real-world size of objects and items in your drawing and their size when printed. The default drawing scale is 1/4" = 1', meaning that 1/4" on your drawing plan equals one foot in real-world size (or 1:50 for metric meaning 1 cm = 0.5 m). You can customize scale settings at any time to suit your needs, as well as print your drawing to scale.


To set the drawing scale

1 Choose Design > Plan Scale. A dialog appears.

2 Select the scale setting you want, then click OK. The new scale is applied to your plan drawing.

Setting the Unit of Measurement

You can set units of measurement by selecting either English or Metric measurements. You can also set the default measurement units for new files and options to be applied when any previously-drawn design is opened. Below are the settings that are available from the Preferences dialog. These settings control the default measurements used for new drawing files. To edit the measurement settings for the current drawing only, choose Design > Unit of Measure.

English measurement


Angle Format defines the number of decimal points you want to use.

Precision defines how precise you want the measurements to be.

Readout Format defines the format you want. You can choose to display the dimensions using fractions or decimals. When the “Open existing drawings using these settings” checkbox is selected, these defaults apply to any previously-drawn design when the file is opened.

Note: This is only available in the Preferences window.

Metric Measurement


Angle Format specifies the number of decimal points you want to use.

Readout Format specifies the format you want. When the “Open existing drawings using these settings” checkbox is selected, these defaults apply to any previously-drawn design when the file is opened.

Note: This is only available in the Preferences window.

To set default measurement units

1 Choose Home Design Studio Complete > Preferences (or press Command-Comma (,)). The Preferences dialog appears.

2 Click the Measurements tab and choose the measurement units you want and adjust the available settings as needed, then click Save.

To set current plan measurement units

1 Choose Design > Unit of Measure. A dialog appears.

2 Choose the measurement units you want and adjust the available settings as needed, then click OK.

True North Angle

The true north angle determines the direction of the North Pole, relative to your position.


To establish true north

1 Choose Design > True North Angle. A dialog appears.

2 Enter the True North Angle you want or drag the dial to set the angle and then click OK.

Work on Floor


You can control which floor you are working on from the Design menu or using the Floors pop-up menu in the toolbar. Use the Floors pop-up menu to switch back and forth between the floors in your home plan. The active working floor has a checkmark next to it.

Tip: You can also click Design menu > Work on Floor then click the floor you want to work on. For information on adding or editing floors, see “Working with Floors”.

Work on Plan

By default, Home Design Studio Complete opens in 2D Full View with the Floor Plan active. You can activate another plan a few different ways, to accommodate you as you work.

To change the working plan

■ In the toolbar, click the Plan tab you want to work on.

(alternatively) Swipe three fingers on the trackpad to scroll through the plan tabs.

(alternatively) Choose Design > Work on Plan, then choose the plan you want from the submenu.

(alternatively) Use one of the shortcut keys:

■ Press Command-1 for the Foundation plan.

■ Press Command-2 for the Floor plan.

■ Press Command-3 for the Electrical plan.

■ Press Command-4 for the Plumbing plan.

■ Press Command-5 for the Roof plan.

■ Press Command-6 for the HVAC plan.

■ Press Command-7 for the Deck plan.

■ Press Command-8 for the Landscape plan.

■ Press Command-9 for the Detail plan.

■ Press Command-0 for the Framing plan.

Defining Lot Properties

The Lot Properties dialog allows you to control not only the size of your Lot but how it is rendered in 3D. You can access the lot properties from the Design menu.


Lot Properties settings define the Width and Depth of your Lot. Enter values in the corresponding fields to define the size of the Lot. If you’re editing a design that includes topography lines and you want them to resize based on your lot size, select the “Scale existing topography lines on resize” checkbox. If you want the topography lines to remain the same size, deselect the checkbox. Type the size of the Patch Resolution you want. A lower value results in a more accurate 3D rendering of your topography, but may also impact performance. Drag the Topography Generation Quality slider to increase or decrease the topography generation quality. Higher generation quality reduces rendering speed.

To edit lot properties

1 Click Design > Set Lot Properties. A dialog appears.

2 Edit the settings as needed and then click OK.

Calculate Area

Home Design Studio Complete’s QuickStart automatically calculates the square footage for each room of your design, as you add them. The application also updates the square footage as you change the walls in your design. You can calculate the square footage for each floor at any time. This feature makes it easy to figure how much hardwood you’ll need to cover the first floor, for instance, or simply estimate your overall home size.


Note: The square footage calculation is based on the walls' interior area (surface to surface).

To calculate floor square footage

■ Choose Design > Calculate Active Floor Area. The total square footage for the current floor is calculated and appears in the Status Bar.

Floor Plan Image Trace

Using Floor Plan Trace, you can scan a set of drawings, for example, that you want to draw in the application. After you have scanned the plan you want to trace and saved it, you are ready to import it into Home Design. You can import a floor plan image to any of the available floor levels. To be sure all floors line up correctly, scan all plans at the same size and match the scale identically (see the following section). Note: You can import a plan to trace in any of the following file formats; BMP, JPG, PSD, PNG, TGA, WMF, EMF, WBMP, or PTX.

This section describes the following common tasks:

■ Import a Floor Plan Image

■ Match the Drawing Scale

■ Show/Hide an Imported Floor Plan

Import a Floor Plan Image

Floor plan images are imported through the Design menu. After the image is imported, you can adjust the scale and then trace the image using the wall tools. After that, you can continue to design by adding electrical and plumbing components, landscaping, and much more. There are some sample Plan tracings available too


■ For more information on adjusting the scale, see Match the Drawing Scale.

■ To trace walls, see “Drawing Walls”.

■ To add electrical features, see “Electrical Plan Tab”.

■ To place landscape plants, see “To add plants”.

To import a floor plan image

1 Choose Design > Load Floor Plan Trace Image. A dialog appears.

2 Select the file you want to open and then click Open. The floor plan loads and appears at the center of the design window.

Match the Drawing Scale

If the floor plan is not the correct size, you can scale it in Home Design Studio Complete. This process involves creating a measurement in Punch! based on a known segment, wall length, or distance in your plan drawing, and then resizing the plan to match the measurement. To do this, you need to know at least one segment length or distance you can base your measurement on. Be sure to use the same scale when preparing to trace multiple floors. Note: If you need the imported image to be larger, the percent you enter will be greater than 100%. Conversely, if you need the image to be smaller, the percent will be less than 100%.


For more information on how to use the Dimension Tools, see “Dimensioning”.

To match the drawing scale

1 Import the floor plan image you want, as described in the section “Import a Floor Plan Image”.

2 Find a wall section or segment in the plan that has a known length. This is the reference point for your measurement.

3 Use one of the Dimension Tools to measure the distance of the wall section or segment in the plan by positioning the dimension parallel to the segment and extend it to match the known length on the image.

Note: It is best to measure along a longer wall to minimize the margin of error when scaling.

4 Choose Design > Resize Floor Plan Trace Image and enter values in the Horizontal Scale and Vertical Scale fields to equal amounts, to change the scale of the entire drawing in proportion, and then click OK. Continue to adjust the percentage of dimension values until the image scale matches the dimension you have set.

Show/Hide an Imported Floor Plan

There may be times when it is easier to work on your floor plan if the tracing image is not visible. It is easy to switch the Floor Plan Trace image on and off.

To control the floor plan trace image visibility

■ Choose Design > Show Floor Plan Trace Image to show the image.

To hide the image, choose Design > Hide Floor Plan Trace Image.

To remove the floor place trace image

■ Choose Design > Remove Floor Plan Trace Image.