Adding a Bay, Bow or Box Window

Reference Number: KB-00508
Last Modified: February 13, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


What are the different ways to create a bay, bow or box window?

exterior view of tiered deck with bay window


Bay, bow and box windows can be created either automatically or manually. This article will describe how to automatically create a bay, bow and box window and how to manually create a bay or bow window.

To create a bay, box, or bow window automatically

  1. From the menu, select Build> Window> Bay Window , Box Window  or Bow Window .

  2. Once you have made your selection, click once on a wall in which you would like to add the window. A window of the type you selected will be created at that location.

Note: A component window within a bay, box or bow window can be resized like any other standard window. To select a component window, click at the location of the component in question, then click the Select Next Object  edit button or press the Tab key on your keyboard.

  • Only the bay or box window component that was clicked on is selected using this method. If you need to select a different component, click on it and repeat the process.

  • In a bow window, all components are identical, so only one component can be selected. Changing this component changes them all.

Automatic Bay, Bow and Box windows cannot be copied/pasted individually.  You can, however, copy the wall containing the bay, bow or box window, which can be helpful when used in conjunction with Edit> Paste Hold Position for buildings that have these windows placed directly on top of one another.

To create a bay, bow or box window manually

Bay, bow and box windows can also be created manually using walls and standard windows.

  1. To create a bay/box/bow window, draw three or more additional walls to the size specification that you would like the window to be.

  2. From the menu, choose Build> Wall> Exterior Wall  and draw the walls for the bay/box/bow window in a clockwise manner.

    Exterior walls of a bay window

  3. Once the additional walls are in place, you will be able to add windows by selecting Build> Window> Window  from the menu, and clicking in the wall where you would like to place the window.

After you have placed a window in each wall, you will want to make the bay/box/bow window accessible from the rest of the structure. The easiest way to do this is to make the wall that currently exists between the window and the interior of the home invisible. Naturally, you will not want to make the entire wall invisible, but you will want to make the small segment that separates the box window from the rest of the room invisible.

To mark the wall section invisible

  1. From the menu select Build> Wall> Break Wall .

    You will be able to click on the wall segment and break it. It is be best to place a wall break on either side of the three wall bump out.

    Breaking interior wall of the bay window

  2. Once the wall segment has been separated from the rest of the wall, click the Select Objects  button and double-click on the wall segment to open the Wall Specification dialog.

    • On the General panel, place a check in the box beside Invisible and click OK to close the dialog and apply the change.

    Setting the interior wall to invisible on the bay window

  3. Take note of the fact that the three walls of the bay window, and the invisible wall combine to form a complete room. If you again click on the Select Objects  tool, and then double click in the middle of the bay window room, the Room Specification dialog will display, and the values for Floor Height and Ceiling can be changed to alter the height of the bay window as necessary.

To create the bumpout

  1. Using the Straight Exterior Wall  tool, create a small bumpout, as shown in the image below.

    Creating a bumpout on the building

  2. Select the small bumpout "room" and click on the Open Object edit tool to display the Room Specification dialog.

  3. On the Structure panel, increase the Floor Height to 24" and lower the Finished Ceiling Height to 78 1/2".

    Changing finished ceiling height in the room specification dialog

    You may also want to specify the Ceiling Finish and Floor Finish materials for the bumpout room.

  4. Next, go to the Moldings panel, uncheck Use Floor Default, then click Delete to remove the Base Molding, and click OK to close the dialog and apply these changes.

To suppress casing and labels

  1. Select Build> Door> Doorway , then click and place a doorway in the inner portion of the bumpout.

  2. Select the Doorway and click on the Open Object edit tool to display its Specification dialog, and on the Casing panel, uncheck Use Interior Casing.

  3. On the Label panel, check Suppress Label, then click OK.

  4. Increase the size of the doorway so that it extends the length of the bumpout.

    Doorway extended the length of the bumpout

  5. Select Build> Window> Window and click in front of the bumpout wall to place a window.

  6. Finally, take a 3D Camera view to see the results. Adjust the height of the window in 3D view as needed by clicking on the window and using the edit handles to reposition it.