Creating a Cutout for Doors in Concrete Walls

Reference Number: KB-00965
Last Modified: February 8, 2022

The information in this article applies to:



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 doors framed rough opening. How can I do this in Chief Architect? 


You can specify the desired size of a doors 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, select Garage Door, then click the Edit button.

  3. On the Rough Opening* panel of the Garage Door Defaults dialog:

    *Applies to X14 and newer program versions. Rough opening properties for X13 and prior versions can be specified on the Framing panel, which is discussed in the next step.

    Garage Door Defaults on the Rough Opening panel

    • 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, 3" is used, which will accommodate two trimmers (Jack studs) on each side of the garage door.

  4. On the Framing panel of the Garage Door Defaults dialog:

    Garage Door Defaults on the Framing panel

    • Specify the Header TypeThicknessCount, Depth, and Spacing

      Keep Calculate from Width checked if you want the Header Depth determined by the width of the door. The Calculate from Width settings are located in the Framing Defaults.

      When Evenly Spaced is checked, the boards that comprise the header are evenly spaced within the wall's framing layer. Uncheck this box to specify the spacing of the header boards. This option is not available in X12 and prior program versions.

    • Check Box Header if you would like to create a box header above your exterior doors.

    • Specify the Header Placement. This options is not available in X12 and prior program versions.

    • Specify the Trimmer Count and the King Stud Count. The King Stud Count is not available in X13 and prior program versions.

    • Specify the Sill properties.

    • In X13 and prior program versions, make your changes to the Rough Opening and Add for Concrete Cutout.

      Note: For more information on the various options listed here, select the Help button at the bottom of the dialog to open your program's documentation.  

  5. Click OK to close the dialog, then click Done.

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

To edit framing around a door

Note: It's important to make sure a foundation is built before generating wall framing.

  1. If you have not done so already, go ahead and 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, then click OK.

      Check Build Wall Framing on the Wall panel of the Build Framing dialog

    • A message may ask if you want to display wall framing. Click Yes to turn on the associated framing layer(s) in floor plan view, or No to leave them turned off. Regardless of your choice, wall framing will be built.

  2. Click the Select Objects button, click on a door to select it, then click the Open Object  edit button. 

  3. On the Rough Opening* panel of the Door Specification dialog:

    *In X13 and prior program versions, select the Framing panel instead.

    Exterior Door Specification on the Rough Opening panel

    • In the Rough Opening section, add the Top value 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 we will use is 97 1/4" (96" door height plus 1 1/4" for the Top Rough Opening).

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

    Wall Detail showing wall framing for garage door

  5. Select one of the door trimmers and click the Open Object edit button. On the General panel of the Framing Specification (Trimmer) dialog:

    Trimmer Framing Specification to change the Length

    • 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 door in step 2, above.

      If you recall, we will be using a value of 97 1/4" for this example.

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

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

    Wall detail showing a trimmer with a greater length than the others

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

    Note: If adjusting a king stud, select it and use the edit handles to adjust the overall length as desired. The bottom plate may need its edge moved out of the way so that the bottom of the king stud can be shortened or extended.

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

  9. Select each of the bottom plates and resize each of them to your liking, making sure that they snap to the studs.

    King stud and trimmers lengthened to sit on concrete

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

    Perspective Framing Overview showing wall framing for a garage door

    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, then click OK.