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Defining a New Wall Type

Reference Number: KB-00716 Last Updated: 03-26-2014 10:36 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


QUESTION

How do I create new wall types?

ANSWER

Chief Architect comes with a selection of wall types that are ready to be used in any plan. In addition, you can create your own custom wall types.



To create a new wall type

  1. Open the Chief Architect plan in which you would like to create a new wall type.


  2. From the menu choose Build> Wall> Define Wall Types  to open the Wall Type Definitions dialog.

    • The Wall Type Definitions dialog can also be accessed by clicking the Define button on the Wall Types panel of the Wall Specification dialog or in the various Wall Defaults dialog.




  3. In the Wall Type Definitions dialog: 

    • Click the New button at the top of the dialog.

    • Replace the wall type name with a short, descriptive and unique name for the new wall type.

      Depending on the new wall type you wish to create, you may be able to save time by selecting a wall type from the drop-down list at the top of the dialog that resembles the wall type you would like to create. A preview diagram of the selected wall type appears at the bottom of the dialog. With a similar wall type selected, click the Copy button at the top right of the dialog.
  4. At the lower left, click the Insert button to add as many layers to the wall type as you will need.  

    If you create too many, you can always click the
    Delete button to remove one or more at any time. 

    Make sure that the Main Layer radio button is selected for the framing layer of the wall. If the wall is not a framed type, choose the structural layer.

    While selecting another layer is possible and may be preferable in certain rare situations, in most cases you will encounter problems with wall connections and framing.



  5. Place your cursor in the Layer Thickness text field beside layer 1, which is the exterior wall layer.

    • Delete the existing value and replace it with the thickness that you need.

    • On the right side of the dialog, specify the desired Fill Style and Fill Color for the currently selected wall layer.

    • A preview of the material applied to the currently selected wall layer displays at the upper right corner of the dialog.

    • Click the Library Material button to the right of the material preview to select a new material for this wall layer.


  6. In the Select Library Object dialog:

    • Browse the Materials library category to find a material that meets your needs.

    • Click on the desired material to select it.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and return to the Wall Type Definitions dialog.


  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each layer of the wall so that the necessary thickness and material is assigned to each layer.

    • If you need to add a layer, click the Insert button at the bottom left corner of the dialog.

    • If you need to delete a layer, select it and click the Delete button at the bottom left.


  8. In the diagram at the bottom of the dialog, click on the wall layer that you would like the program to build the ­floor platform to.

    • On the left side of the diagram, an arrow indicates which layer surface is selected.

    • Check the box beside Build platform to this layer above the arrow.


  9. Next, click on the wall layer in the diagram that you would like dimension lines to locate.

    • An arrow on the left side of the diagram indicates which layer surface is selected.

    • Check the box beside Dimension to this layer, above the arrow.


  10. You can also specify Line Color, Style and Weight for this particular wall type. Uncheck the box beside each to activate these options.


  11. When you are satisfied with the new wall type definition, click OK to close the dialog and return to the Wall Specification dialog, where your new wall type is selected. Click OK to close this dialog as well.


To replace an existing wall with your new wall type

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings  from the menu.


  2. In the Default Settings dialog:

    • Click the  beside Wall to expand this category.

    • Select General Wall from the list then click the Edit button.


  3. In the General Wall Defaults dialog, specify the desired part of your wall that you would like to Resize About when the existing wall is replaced by your new wall type. 

     

    • For example, if you select the Outer Surface option, the outer surface of the affected wall will remain in the same location regardless of the differences in the layers of the original and new wall types. 

    • After you make your selection, click OK to close this dialog, then click Done to close the Default Settings dialog.


  4. Select the walls you want to change by holding the Shift Key on your keyboard and then clicking each wall. This will group select the walls.


  5. Once selected, click the Open Object tool on the Edit toolbar to open the Wall Specification Dialog.


  6. On the Wall Types panel click the drop down arrow for Wall Type and choose your modified wall type from the menu.


  7. Click OK All selected walls are now changed to your new wall type. 


To add your  new wall types to the User Catalog in the Library Browser

  1. Select the wall that is now your new wall type, then click on the Add to Library  button in the Edit Menu at the bottom of your screen.  You will now see your new wall type name in the Library Browser under User Catalog and you can use this wall type in any plan from now on.

    The option to add wall types to your User Catalog is only available in Chief Architect X6 and newer.