I am trying to decide how far back to set my house from the property line. Is there a way to experiment with different setbacks using chief architect so I can visualize it?


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Yes, with a plan footprint to move around, but there are many ways to do what you are wanting to do.  Also, keep in mind that the plat and/or local codes or ordinances will dictate the actual setbacks.


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32 minutes ago, ytruhg said:

Thank you.


The town requires 30 feet. But due to the size of my house, I may want to push it back to 40 feet so it looks better but I dont want to give up too much of my backyard. 


X12 Premier 

Easiest way would be to make your terrain perimeter much larger than the lot size and put a fence on sides and back and road at front where you want to see it then dimension to those items so that you can move the items with the dimensions and visualize it better.

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15 minutes ago, lbuttery said:

another method is to create a separate plan for just the terrain


then make a 3D symbol of the house and save to the library

then add the symbol to the terrain plan

then play :)



Great technique as well.  Only caveat is that you will need to know your roof overhang sizes if you want to measure from the walls as the symbol comes in as looking at the roof from the top.  Of course you can change the 2d symbol of it but again you will need to know those overhangs to show.

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Here is a partial checklist of what I use to select/evaluate lots/building sites:


native trees
sun/shade patterns
customer traffic
drainage runoff
streets, gutters, sidewalks

Negative Considerations
impervious coverage limits
drainage retention requirements
tree ordinances
offensive traffic
artificial light
reflections (e.g., glass buildings, windows, metal roofs)
utility connection locations
restrictions, easements and encroachments
flood plain

Adjacent homes:
drainage runoff from
restricted views, light
quality of maintenance & use
privacy from their patios, windows, decks
noise from A/C compressors & pool equipment
noise, odors, reflections, headlights, unsightliness, etc. from garages & driveways.

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