Aligning Walls Between Floors in Chief Architect

Reference Number: KB-00332
Last Modified: March 31, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I have a multiple-floor structure, and I would like to know how to align the walls of the structure from one floor to another and then check to make sure the alignment is satisfactory.


Checking wall alignment between floors is easily done using the Reference Display and the Align With Wall Above/Align With Wall Below edit tools.

To turn on the Reference Display

  1. Select Tools> Reference Floors> Change Floor/Reference from the menu.  

  2. In the Change Floor/Reference dialog:  


    • Click the desired Current Floor on the left side to select it. This floor will be the active floor in floor plan view and can be edited.  

    • In the right selection window, click to select the desired Reference Floor.  Objects on this floor will display as uneditable red lines on the Current Floor when the Reference Display is toggled on.

    • When you are satisfied with your selections, click the OK button to close the dialog.  

  3. Select Tools> Reference Floors> Reference Floor Display  from the menu to display the Reference Floor chosen in step 3, above.

    You can control which objects are included in the Reference Display by selecting Tools> Reference Floors> Reference Floor Display Options from the menu. 

    To learn more, see the article on Displaying the Reference Floor linked at the bottom of this article. 

To align regular walls on different floors

  1. Click the Select Objects  button, then click on a wall to select it.

  2. Use the Move edit handle that displays at the location on the wall where you clicked to move the wall into position over a wall shown in the Reference Display.  

    • Do not worry about exact placement at this time.  Just make sure that the lines representing the two walls overlap in floor plan view.

  3. Click on the Align With Wall Above  or Align With Wall Below  edit button.

    By default, walls on different floors are aligned by the outer edges of their Main Layers when using the Align edit tools.  In most circumstances, the Main Layer should be specified as the structural layer of the wall, particularly when the wall is a framed type.

    If you do not want the walls to align based on the outer edges of their Main Layers, instead of using the edit tools, use the Reference Display as a guide and manually move the walls to the position you want them to be, relative to the floor above or below.

To align curved walls between floors

Curved walls are aligned between floors using the same technique to align straight walls.

  1. If the centers and radii of the walls are within a few inches of each other, the Align  With Wall Above and Align With Wall Below  edit buttons are enabled for the selected wall.

  2. The selected curved wall will take on the radius and center of the referenced wall when the walls are aligned.

To align Pony Walls between floors

When aligning a pony wall with either the wall above or below:

  1. Align With Wall Above will always align the upper pony wall with the wall above, as specified in the upper pony wall's Wall Type Definition.

  2. Align With Wall Below will always align the lower pony wall with the wall below, as specified in the lower pony wall's Wall Type Definition.

To align Foundation walls between floors

  1. The Foundation to Exterior of Layer setting in the Wall Type Definitions dialog controls how a wall of a given type aligns with foundation walls directly below on Floor 0.

    By default, Foundation to Exterior of Layer is specified for the Main Layer of most wall types. An exception to this rule are the brick wall types, which have Foundation to Exterior of Layer defined as the exterior brick layer as shown in the image below.