Big Hammer Deck Design can show multiple side-by-side windows with various tabs for different views of the deck. To choose the number of windows in the workspace, select the Views ribbon and Arrange Windows 2 up, 4 up, or Tabbed.

  • 2 Up:  Displays two windows in the workspace; side-by-side.  The left-hand window defaults to Plan View; the right-hand window displays multiple view tabs, as well as a dropdown menu for choosing other views.
  • 4 Up: Displays four windows; one in each corner of the workspace.  Plan View, 3D View and Dimension View are each displayed in a separate window.  The lower right-hand window displays multiple view tabs, as well as a dropdown menu for choosing other views.
  • Tabbed:  Displays one window covering the entire workspace.  The window displays multiple view tabs, as well as a dropdown menu for choosing other views.

 A window can contain any of several tabs for working with different deck views:

  • Plan View

Displays the deck from the top. Selecting an option that requires Plan View (for example, Add a Stair) while in another view returns the view to Plan View automatically.

  • Joist Layout View

Displays joists, beams, posts, and optional drainage panel substructure.

  • Dimension View

Displays joists, beams, and posts with dimension lines.

  • Post View

Shows posts with dimension lines.

  • 3D View

Select 3D View and drag the mouse to change the viewing angle.

  • Layers
  • In 3D View, clicking the Layer button in the Home ribbon displays a menu which allows you to remove certain design elements (decking, railing, stairs, etc.) from the 3D View, which will allow you to visualize other elements of the design which may be blocked from view.
  • Bill of Materials

The Bill of Materials shows a SKU Usage List, Material List, and Material Usage List.

  • Home Visualization
    • To see the deck on a photograph of a house, import a photograph of a house (.jpg, .bmp, .gif, or .png) using the Add a Home Image option in the Home Visualization pane.  The photograph can also be imported from the Home Photo option in the Home ribbon.
    • Click the deck image in the Insert a Deck section of the Home Visualization pane.
    • Drag the deck into place.  To proportion the deck to match the house size, stretch it using the resize handles.

    • You can also bend and reshape the deck by activating Warp mode.
      • Activate warp mode by clicking this handle.

      • Drag a warp handle.

    • To add other items to the visualization, such as trees and shrubs,  scroll through the list in the Select Scenery section of the Home Visualization pane.

After any object is dragged and placed into the visualization, the object can be moved, resized, or removed from the scene. To modify an object in the scene, click it to display the options.

  • Railing Post View

Shows railing posts with railings and stairs.

Dragging and Dropping Tabs

You can relocate tabs by dragging and dropping them in the workspace.  Example:  Dragging the tab to the bottom position creates a new window for the tab.

  1. Place the mouse pointer on the tab that you want to move.
  2. While holding the left mouse button, drag the tab until the cross appears as shown below.

  3. Place the mouse pointer on the section of the cross that corresponds with where you want to place the tab (indicated by the red line).  A blue bar will be displayed to indicate where the new window will be added.

  4. Release the left mouse button and a new window will be displayed as shown below.



NOTE:  To restore the default view, choose one of the options (2-Up, 4-Up or Tabbed) from the Views ribbon.

Grid Options

Selecting Grid Options from the Home ribbon displays the Setup Units and Snap Mode dialog, which allows you to set the grid spacing for Plan View, and allows you to define how objects are placed on the grid.  When all desired changes have been made, click the OK button.

  • Use Grid Settings for Snap:  Objects will be moved in increments to correspond with grid spacing so that they are aligned with the gridlines.

  • XY Incremental Snap:  Objects will be moved in increments to correspond with values entered in the Deck and Stair fields and in the XY Increment Units specified in the dropdown menu.


If your deck project contains multiple deck structures, you can specify which deck(s) are displayed by using the Visibility option on the Views ribbon. This option is grayed out if your deck project only contains one deck structure. The All Decks option is the default value. This option displays all decks in the project within the active view. If you only want to see one particular deck in the active view, choose the Deck Number from the dropdown menu.  The Deck Number corresponds to the information displayed on the deck.

NOTE: Visibility is set on a per-view basis. If it has been set in Plan View, the same configuration will not be shown in other views (such as 3D View), and you will need to select the desired visibility option from the dropdown menu.