Creating an Arched Parapet Wall

Reference Number: KB-01958
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How do I create and generate framing for a parapet wall with an arch?


You can create an arched parapet wall by building a new 2nd floor, adjusting the materials, and modifying the front parapet wall. Begin by opening the plan in which you would like to create an arched parapet wall. In this example, a simple 30' x 40' rectangular structure is used.


To create parapet walls

  1. The roof area with the parapet wall needs to be created on its own floor, so select Build> Floor> Build New Floor from the menu.

    • In the New Floor dialog, choose "Derive new 2nd Floor plan from the 1st Floor plan" and click OK.

  2. On the Structure panel of the Floor 2 Defaults dialog, which opens next:

    • Set the Rough Ceiling (E) height to 36".

    • Remove the check marks from "Roof Over This Room" and "Ceiling Over This Room"

    • Click the Edit button for Floor Finish to open the Floor Finish Definition dialog.

      • Select the topmost layer, #1, and click the Library Material button.

      • Select an appropriate roofing material for the structure, such as asphalt or gravel and click OK.

      • If you want, you can specify additional layers in the Floor Finish Definition dialog for waterproofing materials.

      • When you are satisfied with the floor structure definition, click OK to close the Floor Finish Definition dialog and apply your changes.

  3. Next, go to the Moldings panel of the Floor 2 Defaults dialog and click on the Delete button to remove the base molding from the 2nd floor room.

  4. Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Overview  from the menu to see the results so far.

To add an arch to a parapet wall

  1. Select File> Close View to close out of the 3D view and return to floor plan view.

  2. Select Build> Wall> Room Divider  from the menu, then click and drag to draw two invisible Room Dividers perpendicular to the wall that will have the arched parapet.

    • These dividers will be used to define the start and end points of the parapet arch.

    • In Chief Architect X5 and prior, Invisible Walls will need to be used instead.

    • In this example, the dividers are positioned 8'-0" from the inside of the exterior walls.

  3. Click the Select Objects  button, click in the center room on the 2nd floor to select it, and click the Open Object  edit button. On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog:

    • Put a checkmark in "Roof Over This Room"

    • Make sure that "Ceiling Over This Room" remains un-checked.

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

  4. Select Build> Wall> Break Wall , then click along the wall that will have the arched parapet to place breaks at the intersections of the Room Dividers.

  5. Select Build> Roof> Roof Plane from the menu, then draw a roof plane that bears on the wall that will have the arched parapet.

  6. Select the roof plane and use the Rotate edit handle to rotate it 90° so that its pitch runs parallel to the wall that will have the arch rather than running towards the center of the structure.

  7. The roof plane should only extend over the wall section between the two Invisible Walls. Once it's rotated, use its square Resize handles to snap it to the Invisible Walls.

  8. Select the roof plane and click the Open Object  edit button. On the General panel of the Roof Plane Specification dialog:

    • Specify the Pitch as 0.

    • Check the box beside Curved Roof.

    • Set the Angle at Eave to 30°.

    • On the Options panel, under the "Roof Layers" heading, uncheck Use Room Ceiling Finish.

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

  9. Create a 3D> Create Perspective View> Perspective Full Overview  to see the results so far.

  10. Select Tools> Layer Settings> Display Options  from the menu to open the Layer Display Options dialog.

    • Scroll down the list of layers to find the "Roof" layers or use the Name Filter to filter by keyword.  

    • Turn off the display of the Roof Planes, Roofs, Gutters, and Roofs, Overhang Area layers by clicking to remove the checkmark in the Disp column.

    • Click OK to close the dialog.

  11. The structure should now look like this:


To build framing

*Does not apply to Chief Architect Interiors

  1. Select Build> Framing>Build Framing  from the menu. In the Build Framing dialog:

    • Select the 1st panel and check Build Floor Framing.

    • Select the Wall panel and check Build Wall Framing.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and build the specified framing. Click Yes on any Question dialogs that ask to turn on the display of the framing layers if you wish to see the framing in floor plan view. 

  2. Here is what the framing looks like in a 3D> Create perspective View> Perspective Framing Overview .

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