What is the best way to create these elements? For stucco pop-outs around a window I was thinking the beam tool but that logic says why not the column tool so is there a reason why one is better then the other? Or maybe a better way altogether? As for the parapet walls, is it better to create the int. wall, then the roof and then place the parapet wall on top of the roof? My question stems from rendering the structure. Is there a better way to achieve the ext. color on the inside of the parapet wall above the roof but be able to do a different color on the int. wall below the roof? Also, I have parapet walls that carry aesthetic value only. Is the solid element tool the best way to cut the structural wall from the parapet so that the aesthetic parapet rests on the roof or do I need to build 3 separate walls? I have tried to attach the model but 256 kb is the largest file size and mine is 449kb
By stucco pop-outs I assume you mean expressed frames/casings around the opening. The simplest way to do it is probably to place a thin wall in front of the opening with a matching empty opening. It has the advantage of being a single added element (plus opening) rather than an assembly of beams and columns.
Beams can work for sills and lintels but be careful with columns as they can have curious interactions with the walls (these may have been fixed in 10). If you want a moulded shape the beams and columns approach is the way to go.
Beyond these you could draw custom one-offs with slabs, etc. and save them as library parts. And beyond that would be programming parametric parts.
I'd recommend using the Addition operation of Solid Element Operations. Keep in mind that if you want different materials, you'll need to place the 'pop-outs' on a layer with a different intersection priority number than the walls. And be sure to check 'Use Their Own Attributes' before hiting Execute.