Changing Wall and Ceiling Heights

Reference Number: KB-00579
Last Modified: February 1, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How do I change the height of the walls in my plan?


Wall height is determined by the distance between the floor and ceiling of a given room; in order to raise or lower the height of the walls within a room, the ceiling or floor of that room must be adjusted accordingly. The Relative Heights - Rough Ceiling value is the height to the wall top plate. Ceiling and floor elevations can be specified for an entire floor as well as for individual rooms.

In some special situations the default wall top/bottom heights of walls can be manually adjusted, when creating a stepped foundation for example, however, more commonly you may need a short or half-height wall. 

Before making these changes, it's important to understand the floor and ceiling elevation values and how they relate to one another.

  • Absolute
  • Relative

To set the height of an entire floor

In most situations the floor or ceiling platform(s) should be adjusted in order to specify the height of all walls throughout the entire floor.

  1. Make sure you are on the floor you want to modify, then under the Edit menu, select Default Settings .

  2. Expand the Floors and Rooms category, expand Floor Levels, then select the desired floor and press Edit.

    Default Settings dialog box with 1st floor selected under Floor Levels

    In Chief Architect X9 and X10, select Current Floor, then click Edit.

  3. Set the ceiling or floor elevations as needed.

    Floor 1 Defaults with Ceiling, Rough Ceiling and Finished Ceiling values

  4. Click OK to apply the changes.

To change the height of a single room

In some cases only a single room needs to be adjusted, such as a raised entry room or a sunken living room.

  1. In plan view, using the Select Objects tool, select the room you wish to edit and click Open Object  edit button to open the Room Specification dialog for that room.

  2. Click on the Structure panel and enter a new floor or ceiling height.

    Room Specification dialog with Structure panel open

    If a wrench icon with a check next to it is displayed for any given setting, the value is taking on what's set within the Default Settings. If this value is modified and you'd like to reset it back to what is set within the Default Settings, click on it once and notice that a check will display and the value will change accordingly.

  3. Click OK to apply the changes.

To change the height of a single wall

You can change the height of a single wall in your plan by editing it in a 3D view, a cross section view, or an elevation view. Changing the height can be done most accurately in a cross section/elevation view. 

  1. Select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation Cross Section/Elevation from the menu, then click and drag an elevation camera arrow directly at the wall in question. 

  2. In the elevation view, click on the wall near its top edge.

    • Notice the edit handles that display on the wall - one at each corner and one at the midpoint of the top edge. 

    • If you click near any other edge of the wall to select it, an edit handle will display near the midpoint of that edge instead. 

      If you select the room instead of the individual wall, you can press the Tab key on the keyboard or press the Select Next Object edit button on the Edit Toolbar to cycle to the next object. You can change this behavior to select the wall instead of the room first by modifying the setting on the Architectural panel of Preferences.

  3. Click on the edit handle at the midpoint of the top edge, then drag the top edge upward or downward to change its height. 

    Wall being resized in an elevation view

    You can also click on the temporary dimension to specify the exact height.

  4. To restore the default top and/or bottom heights, use the Select Objects Select Objects tool to select the wall and click the Open Object Open Object edit button to open the Wall Specification dialog. On the Structure panel, check the boxes beside Default Wall Top Height and/or Default Wall Bottom Height, then click OK.

To create a partial height wall

You can use the Half-Wall tool to create partial height walls.

  1. Select Build> Wall> Straight Half-Wall Straight Half Wall or Curved Half-Wall Curved Half Wall from the menu, then click and drag to draw a half-height wall just as you would draw any other type of wall.

  2. Using the Select Objects Select Objects tool, select the half wall and click on the Open Object Open Object edit button to display the Railing Specification dialog.

  3. On the Newels/Balusters panel, specify the Height.

  4.  On the Wall Cap panel, you can change the Wall Cap Profile, Height, and Width.

  5. Click OK to apply the change and close the dialog. 

    You can specify the default height for all Half-Walls in the Half-Wall Defaults dialog.

To reset wall heights

If you are having trouble setting individual room heights, or if the top/bottom edges of walls have been manually adjusted and you want to reset them, go to Edit> Reset to Defaults.

On the Reset to Defaults dialog, you can set the Reset Scope to either the current floor or All Floors, and then specify the Default(s) you want to reset to:

  • Selecting Floor Heights and/or Ceiling Heights will set all rooms within the selected scope to revert to the default value as specified in the Floor Defaults.

  • Selecting Wall Top Heights and/or Wall Bottom Heights will reset all walls to revert to their original top and bottom height in the event that they had been manually manipulated in a camera view.