Creating a Curved Barrel Roof

Reference Number: KB-00649
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I would like to quickly create a curved, or barrel roof on my structure. How can I accomplish this?  


You can quickly create a custom curved roof for your structure by drawing and then editing a roof plane.

To create a barrel roof

  1. Open the plan in which you would like to create a barrel roof or select File> New Plan from the menu. In this example a simple 20' x 30' building is used.

  2. Select Build> Roof> Roof Plane from the menu, then draw a single roof plane over your structure.

    • Click and drag along one of the exterior walls on which the roof will rest to create a roof baseline.

    • Release the mouse and click anywhere in the middle of the room to set the ridge top of the roof plane.

    • The roof plane will display as a dashed, green rectangle.

  3. Using the Select Objects tool, click one time on the roof plane near one of its edges to select it and display its edit handles.

    • Use the side edit handles to resize the plane so that it completely encompasses the area over which you would like the barrel roof.

    • Dimensions can also be used to accurately locate roof overhangs.

  4. When the roof plane is appropriately sized, select it and click on the Open Object edit button to open the Roof Plane Specification dialog. On the General panel:

    • Click the radio button beside Lock Baseline Height to lock this value.

    • Specify the Lock Pitch as 0".

    • The Ridge Top Height and Baseline Height should now be the same.

  5. In the Curved Roof section near the lower portion of the General panel, check the box beside Curved Roof.

    • The maximum Angle at value is 89° (or -89°), which produces a true half-barrel roof. To achieve this, specify a small Radius to roof surface value such as 1, then press the Tab key on the keyboard. The program will apply the smallest possible radius value for this roof.

    • To lessen the pitch of the curved roof at the eaves, increase the Radius to Roof Surface value.

    • When you are satisfied with the settings for your barrel roof, click the OK button to close the dialog and apply your settings.

    • You may find it helpful to adjust these settings more than once.

  6. To see the results, select 3D> Create Perspective View> Perspective Full Overview from the menu.