Creating a Stepped Molding Profile

Reference Number: KB-00899
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


I would like to create and customize a sauna room. What is an easy way to create the stepped benches that go around the room?


Customizing a sauna room in Chief Architect is easy to accomplish by creating custom molding profiles and applying them within your plan.

In this example, we will create a molding profile that will form of a series of stepped benches when applied to the interior of a sauna room.


To create the Molding Profile

  1. First, launch Chief Architect and Open the plan in which you would like to customize your sauna room.

  2. Select CAD> CAD Detail Management  to display the CAD Detail Management dialog box.

    • If you have no other CAD Details in this plan, the CAD Detail list will be empty as in the image above. 

    • Click the New button to open the Create New CAD Detail dialog and, in the space provided next to New Detail Name, call this new detail "Custom Stepped Molding Profile."  
  3. Our custom molding profile will have a straight vertical section on the left side of the profile, which is the part of the profile that attaches to the wall.

    We have drawn a closed profile to meet this criteria that is 6' tall and 6' wide, but remember that these dimensions can be changed after you have applied the molding profile.

  4. Using the Select Objects  tool, select the closed polyline and click the Add to Library  edit button to add this stepped molding profile to the User Catalog in the Library Browser.

    • In version X3, it will be added to My Library.

    • In version X2, it will be added to User Libraries.

    • In version X1 and prior, you can choose an unlocked library location in the Add to Library dialog.

  5. Rename the stepped molding profile using a short, descriptive name like Custom Stepped Molding Profile and move it to a folder where it best meets your organizational style.   


  6. Select File> Close to close the currently open CAD Detail window and return to floor plan view.

To use the stepped bench profile in a room

  1.  Using the Select Objects tool, click in the Sauna room to select it.

    • Use the Zoom tools to zoom in on the room if you need to.

    • When selected, the room will be highlighted in grey. 

  2. With the room selected, click the Make Room Molding Polyline  edit button. In the Make Room Molding Polyline dialog:

    • Choose Blank Molding from the drop-down list.

    • Leave the Height set at 0" so that the stepped benches rest on the floor.

  3. Click OK to close the dialog and create a Molding Polyline that follows the interior surfaces of the Sauna room's walls.
  4. With the Room Molding Polyline still selected, click the Open Object  edit button. On the Moldings panel of the Molding Polyline Specification dialog, click the Add New button. 

  5. In the Select Library Object dialog, browse to the "Custom Stepped Molding Profile" that you created and click OK to apply that profile to the Molding Polyline.

  6. When you return to the Molding Polyline Specification dialog:

    • Specify the desired Height and Width of the stepped profile. Do not specify a width greater than the width of the room that the steps will be placed in. If benches will face one another, the width should be less than half the width of the room.

    • Select the To Bottom radio button and make sure that the Vertical Offset is 0".
    • Make sure Extrude Inside Polyline is checked so that the profile faces to the inside of the room.   
  7. Click on the Materials panel and select the Molding component in the list that is displayed.  

    • Click on the Library Material button and choose a material for the stepped molding profile in the Select Library Object dialog. 

    • When you are finished, click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.

Not all walls in a Sauna will necessarily have a set of benches. The stepped profile can easily be removed from any edge of the Molding Polyline.

To remove the stepped bench profile from a wall section

  1. In floor plan view, click on the edge of the Molding Polyline that you do not want to have the stepped profile.

  2. The edge will extend along the entire length of the wall it is against. To break the edge into two separate segments:

    • Click the Break Line  edit tool.

    • Click on the line segment at the point where you would like to divide it. A corner edit handle is added at that point.

  3. Click on the line segment that you would like to remove the stepped bench profile from, then click the Open Object  edit button.

  4. On the General panel of the Molding Polyline Specification dialog, check No Molding on Selected Edge, then click OK.

    • Note that the Molding Polyline's Height value is measured from 0. If the polyline is placed on Floor 0, as in this example, the Height value will be negative.

  5. The stepped bench profile will no longer extend into this area in floor plan view. 

    • In this example, No Molding on Selected Edge is checked for the horizontal edge in front of the door, and the vertical edge to its right.

Now that we have created the seating in our sauna area using a custom stepped molding profile, it is time to set the appropriate materials for the rest of the sauna room.  

To finish the Sauna room

  1. Use the Select Objects tool to select the room, then click the Open Object edit button to display the Room Specification dialog. 

  2. Unless you want base molding placed along all walls of this room, go to the Moldings panel and remove the Base Molding from the room:

    • Uncheck Default at the top left corner.

    • Select the Base Molding from the Molding drop-down list.

    • Click the Delete button.

    • In version X2 and prior, the Base Molding can be removed by deleting the Height value - including the (D) - and typing 0.

  3. Now select the Materials panel and choose appropriate materials for your Ceiling Covering, Floor Covering, and Walls

  4. Click OK once you have finished assigning materials in this dialog box to apply the changes.

  5. Add lighting, furnishings, and accessories from the library.

  6. Create a 3D Camera view to see the results.