Message: The wall layers just defined have a thin surface layer which is defined as the main layer.

Reference Number: KB-00174 Last Updated: 12-18-2014 10:47 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


I received this warning message. What does it mean and how can I correct my plan so I no longer receive this warning?

"The wall layers just defined have a thin surface layer which is defined as the main layer. This may be correct, but is unusual."


The reason the this warning displayed is that you have set the Main Layer for the wall type to a thin surface layer.  Double check to make sure this is what you really intended to do.  If not, follow the instructions below to restore the Main Layer back to the Framing.

Recall that in most circumstances, the Main Layer should be specified as the structural layer of the wall, particularly when the wall is a framed type.

The Main Layer determines many things, including:

  • Floor and ceiling platforms and automati­cally built foundation walls normally build to the outer edge of the Main Layer.

  • At intersections, walls join at the interior surfaces of their Main Layers.

  • Exterior walls on different floors are aligned by the exterior edges of their Main Layers.

  • Roof baselines are placed at the outer edge of the Main Layer when roofs are automatically generated.

  • Roof base lines and gable/roof lines that are manually drawn snap to the edge of this layer.

  • When wall framing is generated, stud depth is based on the thickness of each wall’s Main Layer.

  • By default, walls resize about the exterior surface of their Main Layer when their wall type or Wall Type Definition is changed.

  • By default, Object Snaps  locate the exterior surface of a wall’s Main Layer.

Wall framing will only generate in a wall when a Framing material such as Fir Stud 16” OC or Metal Stud 24” OC is speci­fied for its framing layer. 

All of this information is reliant on the Main Layer, so creating your wall type definitions accurately before creating your floor plan and specifying the Main Layer correctly is very important.

To set the Main Layer

  1. Select Build> Wall> Define Wall Types . to display the Wall Type Definitions dialog.

  2. From the drop-down menu, select the Wall Type that you just modified which generated this warning.

  3. Use the Main Layer check boxes to restore the Main Layer back to the Framing (often the thickest) wall layer.

  4. Click OK.