Creating a Railing Under a Dormer Wing Wall

Reference Number: KB-00801
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I have placed a dormer in my plan and would like to draw railings directly beneath its walls. How can I do this?


A classic example of a situation where railings must be placed under a dormer's walls is a two-story entry open all the way to the dormer's ceiling with railings around the open space on the 2nd floor.

In Chief Architect, any wall designated as “Roof Cuts Wall at Bottom” can have a railing wall placed directly beneath it. The wing walls that make up automatic dormers have this option pre-selected, so you can place an auto dormer in your model, and then create railings directly beneath the dormer’s side or wing walls.

To create a railing under a dormer wall

  1. Open the plan in which you would like to place a railing under a dormer wall. In this example, a simple two-story 30' x 40' plan with a 12" in 12" pitch gable roof is used.

    • Ceiling Over This Room has been unchecked on the Structure panel of the second floor room's Room Specification dialog.

  2. Select Build> Roof> Auto Floating Dormer  from the menu, then click to place a dormer in your plan.

  3. Click the Select Objects  button, then click on the dormer to select it.

    • Click the Move edit handle that displays at the center of the front wall and drag the dormer to the desired position. In this example, its front wall is directly above the exterior bearing wall.

    • Use the edit handles on each wall to adjust the dormer's width as needed.

  4. Select Build> Railing and Deck> Straight Railing  from the menu, then click and drag to draw a railing wall.

    • You can draw the railing within the same space as a dormer side wall, or draw it nearby and then move it into position while holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard.

  5. When the area under the dormer is enclosed by railings as needed, click the Select Objects  button, then click inside the room created within the railings to select it and click the Open Object  edit button.

    • You may need to click the Next  button on your edit toolbar or press the Tab key to get the room selected

  6. On the General panel of the Room Specification dialog, select "Open Below" from the Room Type drop-down list.

    • On the Structure panel, confirm that Ceiling Over This Room is unchecked.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.

  7. Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow inside your plan towards the dormer and railings to see the results.

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