How to Create a Split Level Entry

Reference Number: KB-00587 Last Updated: 12-09-2014 08:27 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite 


I would like to create a split level entry to a house. How can I do that?


A split level entry consists of a ­landing with a floor height between the first floor and the basement. This kind of entry can be created by contolling the floor and ceiling heights in your plan.

Creating the space

  1. Click File> New Plan from the menu.

  2. Click Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall .

  3. Draw a rectangular, 30ft. by 40ft. structure.

  4. Click Build> Railing and Deck> Straight Railing .

  5. Draw a room at the front of the structure as shown below.

    Note: The dimensions for the railings are based off the interior measurements.

  6. Click Edit> Select Objects and select the new room.

  7. Click Open Object .

  8. Under the General panel of the Room Specification dialog, change the Room Type to Open Below.

  9. Click Build> Floor> Build Foundation... .

  10. In the Build Foundation dialog:

    • Select Walls with Footings under Foundation Type.

    • Under Stem Walls, set the Minimum Height to 100in. to give us a basement ceiling height of 96in.

  11. In the New Floor dialog, select Derive new foundation plan from 1st floor plan and click OK.

Drawing the stairs

From floor 0 you can now turn on Reference Floor Display by clicking Tools> Reference Floors> Reference Floor Display and continue with drawing the stairs.

  1. Click CAD> Boxes> Rectangular Polyline .

  2. Find the Center Snap indicator and draw a rectangle inside the area below the open below room we created earlier.

  3. Click Edit> Select Objects and select the polyline.

  4. Click the Convert Polyline edit button.

  5. In the Convert Polyline dialog, choose Landing and click OK.

    • In the Stair Landing dialog, turn off Auto Adjust Height When Connected to Stairs and Auto Adjust Thickness When Connected to Stairs.

    • Set the Top Height to -52 1/2in. and the Thickness to 12in.

  6. With the landing still selected, click the Break Line edit button and place a break in the Center of the top edge of the landing.

  7. Click Build> Stairs> Straight Stairs .

  8. Hold down the Alt or Option key and drag the first set of stairs from the landing down to the basement floor.

  9. Draw a second stair from the landing to the upper level. There is no need to hold the Alt or Option key for this stair section.

  10. Select the landing's bottom edge and click Open Object

    • In the Landing Specification dialog, check the No Railing on Selected Edge checkbox and click OK.

  11. Go up one floor and click 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera and draw a full camera pointing at the entry.

And that is all there is to it. You can place a door and adjust it's height and finish the rest of the plan.