Creating a Curved Barrel Ceiling

Reference Number: KB-00650
Last Modified: February 23, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I would like to create a barrel ceiling on the inside of my structure. How can I accomplish this?


You can easily create a custom curved ceiling such as for the portico for a structure using a manually drawn ceiling plane.

To create a curved or barrel ceiling

  1. Open the plan in which you would like to create a barrel ceiling.

  2. Click the Select Objects button, then click in an empty space of the room in which you would like to create a barrel ceiling and click the Open Object edit button.

  3. On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog, uncheck the box beside the Ceiling Over This Room, then click OK to close the dialog and apply your change.

  4. With the default flat ceiling removed from the room, you can now create a curved roof. Select Build> Roof> Ceiling Plane from the menu. Your cursor will turn into a cross-hair.

    • Click and drag along one of the exterior wall on which the straight sides of the barrel ceiling will rest to create a ceiling baseline.

    • Release the mouse button, move your cursor into the middle of the room and release the mouse button to set the ridge top of the ceiling plane.

    • The ceiling plane will display as a dashed, pink rectangle.

  5. Click the Select Objects tool, then click on the ceiling plane near one of its edges to select it and display its edit handles.

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

  7. When the ceiling plane is appropriately sized, select it and click the Open Object edit button to open the Ceiling Plane Specification dialog.

    • At the lower left corner of the General panel, place a check in the box beside Curved Roof, which will enable the options directly below it.

    • Click the radio button to the left of the Lock Inside Bottom Height to lock it, then set the Lock Pitch to 0.

    • Press the Tab key on your keyboard to apply this new value without closing the dialog box.

    • Return to the Curved Roof section and assign Angle at eave value (in degrees) between and 89°. would give you a flat ceiling and 90° degrees, a full 1/2 barrel. Notice that when you press the Tab key on your keyboard, the angle values update so that they are symmetrical.

    • If you are not sure what Angle at Eave you should use, specify 45°. This is a good starting point, and you can make adjustments to this value at any time.

    • Click the OK button to close the dialog and apply the specifications.

  8. To see your barrel ceiling in a 3D view, from the menu select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera and click and drag within the room under the barrel ceiling.