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What is the best way to approach framing in Chief Architect?
In this tutorial, we will describe recommended framing practices in Chief Architect. Specifically, we will discuss:
- Setting up Framing Defaults
- Generating Automatic Framing
- Manually building and editing framing
- Changing Framing Defaults in an existing plan
To set up framing defaults
Before you begin drawing your plan, it is recommended that you set up your framing defaults to reflect the way you want the structure to be built. Changing these defaults after the structure is complete will cause problems, requiring you to re-do work and lower your productivity.
- Select Build> Framing> Build Framing from the menu or double-click the Framing Tools parent button to open the Build Framing dialog. The Build Framing dialog serves as both the default and the build dialog for automatic and manual framing.
- In the Framing Defaults dialog, visit each tab and specify the spacing, framing member size, framing member type, and other information.
- While all framing default settings are important to your structure, the floor framing will be the most time-consuming to change after your plan is complete.
- Do not check any Build boxes, such as the Build Wall Framing checkbox on the Wall tab, at this time. In an empty plan, they will have no effect; however it's important to be aware of these checkboxes and only use them when you actually want to generate new framing.
- When you have set up all framing defaults to your satisfaction, click the OK button to close the dialog and apply your default settings to the structure that you will be drawing.
Note: Floor and ceiling height, which determine wall heights, are set in the Floor Defaults dialog for each floor in your plan, and in the Room Specification dialog for individual rooms. Before drawing on each new floor, be sure to specify these values, as well.
To generate automatic framing
When you are confident that your plan is in its final state, it is a good time to generate framing. You can build framing at any time; however, if changes are made to the plan, neither automatic nor manual framing will update to reflect the changes.
- Select Build> Framing> Build Framing from the menu or double-click the Framing Tools parent button to open the Build Framing dialog.
- In the Framing Defaults dialog, visit each tab and verify that the default information is correct.
- For each type of framing that you would like to generate, check the appropriate Build box.
- Floor framing for a particular floor in your plan is accessed on the floor below. Floor 1 floor framing, for example, is built on the Foundation tab and is also displayed on Floor 0 in floor plan view.
- Ceiling framing for a particular floor in your plan is accessed on that floor.
- You can choose to generate all framing in your plan at once, or just a portion at a time, depending on your needs.
- When you have selected all framing types that you wish to build, click OK.
To build or edit framing manually
It is common to use a combination of both automatic and manual framing in a single Chief Architect plan.
- Floor, ceiling and roof framing members can be selected and edited in floor plan view as well as in 3D views.
- Automatic wall framing can be edited in Wall Detail views. Wall Details can be accessed from the Project Browser.
- Floor and roof trusses can be edited in the Truss Detail, which is a program-generated CAD Detail drawing. Before editing the truss shape, select Tools> Display Options to open the Layer Display Options dialog and unlock the Framing, Roof Trusses layer.
To change framing defaults in an existing plan
Sometimes, it is necessary to make structural changes to a plan that has already been drawn.
- Before making changes that will affect floor, ceiling and/or roof plane heights, it is recommended that you first delete your framing - including wall framing.
- Click On Edit> Delete Objects to open the Delete Objects dialog box.
- Click the radio button beside All Floors.
- Check the boxes beside Floor/Ceiling Framing, Roof Framing, Trusses and Wall Framing.
- Click OK to close the dialog and delete the specified framing objects in your plan.
- It is also necessary to either raise or delete the existing roof planes.
- To delete the roof, select Build> Roof> Delete Roof Planes from the menu.
- To raise the roof planes enough to accomodate your changes, Shift+select all roof planes and then click the Transform/Replicate Object edit button.
- In the Transform/Replicate Object dialog, check the box beside Move and specify the desired distance to raise or lower the roof planes along the Z Delta.
- Make the needed changes to your plan's structure.
- Begin on the lowest floor and work upwards towards the attic.
- Remember that changes made to the Framing and Floor Defaults will not affect any rooms that are not using the default values. For example, rooms with sunken floors should be examined individually and their heights adjusted as needed.
- When your structural changes are complete and you deleted your roof in step 1, above, you can rebuild your framing and, if necessary, your roof.