Placing a Gate in a Terrain Wall

Reference Number: KB-00874
Last Modified: July 17, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I have placed a terrain wall in my design, but can't seem to add a gate to it.  How do I do that?


While in many ways a Terrain Wall acts like a fence, and follows the contours of the terrain features, regions, and elevation lines that you have placed, however, it does not act like a fence in that you cannot place a gate directly into a Terrain Wall.

gate is placed within a terrain wall

In this tutorial we will walk through creating a Terrain wall and then placing a gate with columns on either side of it.

Creating a solid stone wall that follows your terrain is easy using the Terrain Wall tools.

To place a Terrain Wall

  1. First, launch your Chief Architect software and select File> Open Plan , browse to the location of the plan in which you want to add your stone wall and open it.

  2. Select Terrain> Terrain Wall and Curb> Straight Terrain Wall then click and drag in your plan to create two sections of your wall with a gap between them, we will place the gate in this gap later.

    In this example a gap of 9' (108") is used.

  3. Notice that, by default, concrete is used as the material for our terrain wall. To change this to a stone material, use the Select Objects tool to select the terrain wall and click on the Open Object edit tool to display its specification dialog.

  • On the Generalpanel, we will first increase the thickness of our terrain wall by changing itsWidth from the default value of 6" to 15".

  • Also, for the purposes of this example, we will lower its Heightfrom the default value of 60" down to 36".

  • Now, select the Materials panel and click on the Terrain Path then click the Select Material button to display the Select Material dialog.

  • You can click on the  to expand out the Materials or Manufacturer Catalogs and browse to the location of the type of material that you want to use. 

  • For the purposes of this example, we used the Cambria stone material located in the Manufacturer Catalogs in Eldorado Stone.

    To download the Eldorado Stone products and other bonus manufacturer content, select Library> Get Additional Content Online from the menu.


  • Once you have selected the appropriate material, click the OK button to close out of the Select Material dialog. 

  • Click OK again to apply the material and close out of the Terrain Path Specification dialog.

  • Repeat these steps for the other section of wall.

  • In this section of the tutorial, we will show you how to connect a section of fence to the terrain wall to place a gate.

    To place a gate in a Terrain Wall

    1. Select Build> Fencing> Straight Fencing and click and drag a fence segment in between the two Terrain walls.

    2. Select Build> Door> Hinged Door and click in the newly placed fence to place an opening in it.

    3. Using the Select Objects tool, select the door and click on the Open Object edit tool to display the Door Specification dialog.

    4. On the General panel, click the Library button to display the Select Library Object dialog and browse to Architectural>Fences & Railings> Gates.

      For the purposes of this example, we selected the Wrought Iron Gate (arched).

    5. Next, set the Width to be 65" so that a double gate is created and increase its Thickness to be 4" and click the OK button to apply these changes.

    6. Using the Select Objects tool, click on the fence segment and click on the Open Object edit button to display the Fencing Specification dialog.

    7. On the General panel, change the Thickness of the fencing to be 21".

      We want the thickness of the Fencing to be greater than that of the Terrain walls to allow for the appearance of larger square columns on either side of the gate. 

    8. On the Rail Style panel, uncheck Follow Terrain.

      Note: If the fence needs to follow the terrain, then a small gap will need to be placed between the fence and the terrain wall so that Chief Architect does not have the fence build on top of the Terrain Wall where they would connect.

    9. On the Newels/Balusters panel, increase the Newels/Posts Height to 48" and the Newels/Posts Width to 21" and notice that the preview image in the dialog updates to show this change. Also uncheck Use Defaults and Draw Newels and Draw Balusters/Panels.

    10. On the Rail Style panel select No Rail.

    11. On the Materials panel, set the Newel's materials to be the same as that which we used for the Terrain Walls, which was Cambria.

    12. Once you have completed these changes, click the OK button to apply them and close the Fencing Specification dialog.

    The image below demonstrates what the 2D Floor plan view of the terrain walls, fence and gate should look like.

    To place a cap on top of the Fencing columns as shown in the image of the gate, you can use the Closed Boxes Shape out of the Library Browser, apply the same stone material, and resize and place it appropriately over the columns.