Creating Walls with a Block and Tie Beam

Reference Number: KB-00495
Last Modified: February 8, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I live in the Southeastern United States and regularly build CBS structures. How do I model a CBS wall that is block on the bottom and has a tie beam on top?


A CBS, or concrete, block and stucco wall is actually two wall types placed on top of one another. The bottom section typically has a stucco exterior, then a layer of eight inch concrete block, followed by a thin framing stud, and finally a layer of half-inch sheetrock. Along the top of this block wall is tie beam composed of a continuous pour of concrete all the way around the top of the structure.  

A pony wall can be used to model both of these walls in the same wall section.  

To create a CBS wall

  1. First, open the Chief Architect plan in which you would like to add a CBS wall.

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

    • Create two new custom wall types - one for the lower block wall and one for the tie beam. Please see the Related Articles section below for more information on creating new wall types. 

    • Typically, these two wall types will have the same Total Thickness. 

    • A predefined CBS wall type option is also available in certain template files, to use as the lower block wall.

      In Chief Architect X6 and newer versions, you have the ability to add custom wall types to your User Catalog by clicking on the Add to Library edit button once the wall is selected. 

  3. Select Edit> Default Settings  from the menu, and in the Default Settings dialog: 

    Pony Wall option selected in the Default Settings dialog

    • Expand the Walls category.  

    • Click on Pony Wall in the list to select it, then click the Edit button. 

  4. In the Pony Wall Defaults dialog that displays: 

    Pony Wall Defaults dialog opened up to the Wall Types dialog panel

    • Click the Wall Type drop down menu and choose your CBS tie beam wall type from the list.  

    • Click the Lower Wall Type drop down menu and choose your CBS block wall type from the list.  

    • Specify the desired Height of the Lower Wall. 

    • Specify the alignment and display settings to your liking.

    • Click the OK button to close the Pony Wall Defaults dialog.  

    • Click the Done button in the Default Settings dialog to close this dialog as well.  

  5. Select Build> Wall> Straight Pony Wall  from the menu, then click and drag to create a custom CBS wall.

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