Controlling Wall, Floor, and Ceiling Heights

Reference Number: KB-00579
Last Modified: July 8, 2021

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 adjustments, it's important to understand the difference between Absolute Elevation and Relative Height values.

Note: For more information on understanding Absolute Elevation and Relative Height values, please refer to your program's Documentation

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 navigate to Edit> Default Settings .

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

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

  3. In the Floor Defaults dialog that displays, specify your desired ceiling and/or floor values, then click OK.

    1st floor Defaults dialog

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. Using the Select Objects tool, select the room you wish to edit, then click the Open Object  edit button.

  2. On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog that displays, enter your desired ceiling or floor value, then click OK.

    Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog

    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.

To create a partial height wall

You can use the Half-Wall tools 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.

  2. Using the Select Objects Select Objects tool, select the half-wall and click on the Open Object Open Object edit button.

  3. On the Newels/Balusters panel of the Railing Specification dialog that displays, specify the Height.

    You can specify the default height for all half-walls in the Half-Wall Defaults dialog located in the Default Settings.

  4. On the Wall Cap panel, you can modify the properties of the cap that is generated on top of the half-wall.

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

To change the height of a single wall

In most instances, modifying a wall's height manually is not necessary. Often times, issues involving a wall's height is a side effect of a much larger problem. Please review the settings relating to your rooms, walls, and roofs before resorting to the steps listed below.

  1. Select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation Cross Section/Elevation from the menu, then click and drag an elevation camera arrow directly towards the wall you'd like to modify manually.

  2. In the elevation view, click on the wall near its top edge and notice the edit handles that display on the wall - one at each corner and one at the midpoint of the top edge.

    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.

  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 line that displays along the wall and enter an exact value, if you wish.

  4. To restore the default top and/or bottom heights for a wall that was adjusted manually, use the Select Objects Select Objects tool to select the wall, click the Open Object Open Object edit button, and on the Structure panel of the Wall Specification dialog that displays, check the Default Wall Top Height and/or Default Wall Bottom Height boxes, then click OK.

    Structure panel of the Wall Specification dialog

To reset heights

If you are having trouble setting individual room heights, or if the top/bottom edges of walls have been manually adjusted and you'd like to reset them, use the Reset to Defaults tool.

  1. Navigate to Edit> Reset to Defaults from the menu.

  2. In the Reset to Defaults dialog that displays, set the Reset Scope to either the current floor or All Floors, then specify the Default(s) you want to reset.

    Reset to Defaults dialog

    • 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 they were manually manipulated.

  3. Click OK.