Controlling Door and Window Framing

Reference Number: KB-00985
Last Modified: February 13, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier


The project that I'm working on has custom doors and windows of varying sizes, including a number of mulled units. How do I control the framing for these wall openings?


There are a variety of ways to control how doors and windows are framed in Chief Architect. You can model the wall framing required for nearly any wall opening:

  • Using door, window and framing defaults  

  • Using specifications for individual doors and windows

  • By manually editing wall framing

Chief Architect Interiors does not include the Framing tools.

To set door and window framing defaults

Door and window framing defaults are set in two places: on the General panel of the Door and Window Defaults dialogs and on the Openings and Headers panels of the Framing Defaults dialog.

As with other default settings, it is wise to set your door and window framing defaults to the values that will be used most often as early as possible in the design process.

  1. First, open the plan in which you would like to control door and window framing, or start a New Plan .

  2. Use the menu to go to Edit> Default Settings  to display the Default Settings dialog. 

  3. Expand the Doors category, select Exterior Door, and click the Edit button to open the Exterior Door Defaults dialog.

     Default settings for exterior doors

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

     Exterior door default framing settings

    • Specify the Header Type, Thickness, Count and Depth.

      • 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 discussed later.

    • Specify the Count of Trimmers

    • Specify the Rough Opening.

      • Specify the desired values for Each Side, Top, and Bottom.

    • Click OK to apply your settings and return to the Default Settings dialog.

  5. In the Default Settings dialog, select Framing from the list and click the Edit button.

  6. On the Openings panel, you can specify up to four different sizes of headers for wall openings of different widths.

     Framing defaults for openings.

  7. When you are finished, click OK to close the Framing Defaults dialog, and then click Done to close the Default Settings dialog.


To specify the framing for an individual door or window

You can specify unique values for the rough openings of individual doors and windows in their specification dialogs. It's best to do this before wall framing is built; if these values are changed after wall framing is generated, you will need to generate wall framing again unless you have selected the Automatic Wall Framing option.

  1. Select a door or window and click the Open Object  edit button.

  2. On the Framing panel of the Door or Window Specification dialog, the Rough Opening section is located in the same place as it is in the default dialogs.

    In prior versions these settings will be found on the General panel.

  3. Remove the checkmark from any of the Default boxes and type in any desired values.

  4. If the selected object is a mulled unit composed of multiple windows and/or doors that have been blocked together, you can also specify whether the unit is framed using a single opening or separate openings for each door or window on the Options panel.

     Mulled unit specification options

    • In the Mulled Units section, uncheck Single Wall Hole to produce separately framed openings for each door and/or window in the mulled unit.

    • Leave Single Wall Hole checked to produce a single framed opening for the entire unit.

To build and edit door and window framing

By far, the easiest way to create wall framing is to check Build Wall Framing on the Wall panel of the Build Framing dialog. Studs, plates, sills, headers, trimmers and cripples will be automatically generated for all framed walls in your entire plan.

Once generated, you can easily edit these framing members if needed. Plates, sills, headers, trimmers and cripples can be selected in 3D views, cross section/elevation views and in Wall Details, while studs can be selected and edited in any view.

To dimension to rough openings

  1. Use the menu to browse to Edit> Default Settings  to display the Default Settings dialog.

  2. Select Dimension and double click on Dimensions to open the Saved Dimension Defaults dialog, then select Edit.

  3. On the Locate Objects panel, under the Openings section, put a check in Rough Opening and click OK.

    Rough opening in locate objects under dimention defaults

The settings on the Locate Objects panel affect dimension lines drawn after the changes are made. Dimension lines that were drawn prior to these settings being changed will not be affected.

Note: If you need to dimension a Wall Framing elevation you should also put a checkmark in the framing section for sides or centers in this dialog.