Creating a Cutout for Doors in Concrete Walls

Reference Number: KB-00965
Last Modified: June 1, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


When I place doors into a concrete garage curb, stem wall, or pony wall I typically make the opening in the concrete larger than the door's framed rough opening. How can I do this in Chief Architect?

 Garage Cutout


You can specify the desired size of a door's concrete cutout and then modify the framing around the door manually in a few simple steps.

To specify the default concrete cutout size for doors

  1. Open the plan in which you'd like to specify the size of the concrete cutout for a door.

    • In this example, a simple rectangular garage structure with a stem wall foundation is used.

  2. Select Edit> Default Settings from the menu. In the Default Settings dialog, expand the Doors category, then select Garage Door and click the Edit button.

  3. On the Framing panel of the Garage Door Defaults dialog

    • In the Add for Concrete Cutout section, specify the amount to add to Each Side of the door opening when the upper part of the door is in a framed wall and the lower part is located in a concrete wall, stem wall, or garage curb.

    • Uncheck Show in Plan to suppress the display of the concrete cutout in floor plan view.

    • In this example, 4 1/2" is used, which will accommodate a king stud on each side of garage doors plus two trimmers on each side.

  4. Click OK to close the Garage Door Defaults dialog, then click Done to close the Default Settings dialog.

  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for any other door types that need to be modified in this way.

To edit a framing around a door

  1. If you have not done so already, generate wall framing in the plan.

    • Select Build> Framing> Build Framing  from the  menu, and on the Wall panel of the Build Framing dialog, check the box beside Build Wall Framing and click OK.

    • A Question message may ask if you want to display wall framing. Click Yes to turn on the "Framing, Walls" layer in floor plan view, or No to leave it turned off. Regardless of your choice, wall framing will be built.

  2. Click the Select Objects button, then click on the door to select it and click the Open Object  edit button. On the Framing panel of the Door Specification dialog:

    • In the Rough Opening section add the Top and Bottom values to the Height of the door and make a note of the total. This total is the length that the door trimmers need to be to reach from the header down through the concrete cutout to the floor.

    • In this example, the total for the hinged door is 83", and the total for the garage door is 99".

  3. Next, click on the wall that has a door with framing that you want to edit to select it and click the Open Wall Detail edit button.

  4. Select one of the hinged door's trimmers and click the Open Object edit button. On the General panel of the Framing Specification dialog:

    • Click the radio button beside Lock End to prevent the top edge of the selected trimmer from moving.

    • Specify the Length as the total noted for the hinged door in step 2, above.

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

  5. Notice that the selected trimmer is now longer than the others.

  6. Repeat step 5 to lengthen all of the trimmers as needed.

  7. Select Edit> Snap Settings from the menu and make sure that Object Snaps are enabled.

  8. Click on a king stud to select it, then use the edit handle located at its lower end to extend it until it snaps to the end of the trimmer next to it. The bottom plate may need its edge moved out of the way so that the bottom of the king stud can be extended down.

  9. Repeat step 8 to lengthen all of the king studs.

  10. Resize each of the bottom plates so they snap to the outsides of the king studs.

  11. Save your work, close the Wall Detail window, and create a Framing Overview to see the results.

    Note: If the foundation does not display in the framing overview, select Tools> Layer Settings> Display Options, put a check in the Disp column next to the Walls, Foundation layer, and then click OK.