Defining a New Wall Type

Reference Number: KB-02944
Last Modified: June 13, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How can I create new wall types?


Chief Architect has a variety of wall types that you can readily use in any of your plans. You also have the ability to create your own custom wall types.

To create a new wall type

  1. Open the Chief Architect plan in which you would like to create a new wall type.

  2. Navigate to Build> Wall> Define Wall Types .

    • Additionally, this dialog can be accessed by clicking the Define button on the Wall Types panel of the Wall Specification dialog or in the Wall Defaults dialog.

      Wall Type Definitions dialog with a Siding-6 wall type chosen

  3. In the Wall Type Definitions dialog: 

    • Click the New button at the top of the dialog.

    • Replace the wall type name with a short, descriptive, and unique name for the new wall type.

      Depending on the new wall type you wish to create, you may be able to save time by selecting a similar preexisting wall type from the drop-down list at the top of the Wall Type Definitions dialog. A preview diagram of the selected wall type appears in the dialog. With the similar wall type selected, click the Copy button at the top of the dialog. You may wish to rename this copy.

  4. To the right of the Wall Layers listing, click the Insert Above or Insert Below button to add a new layer to your wall. This new layer is placed above or below the currently selected wall layer respectively.

    You can select a wall layer and click Move Up or Move Down to rearrange the wall layers, or you can click the Delete button to remove a layer entirely.

    Make sure that all framing or structural layers of your wall are in the Main Layers section of your wall dialog.

    While placing other layers in the Main layers section is possible and may be preferable in certain rare situations, in most cases you will encounter problems with wall connections and framing.

  5. Place your cursor in the Thickness field beside layer 1, which is the outermost wall layer. 

    • Replace the existing value with the thickness that you need. 

    • You can also specify the desired Fill Style for a wall layer by selecting that wall layer and clicking its Fill column. 

  6. You can click on the selected wall's Pattern or Texture column to open the Select Material dialog: 

    • Browse through your materials to find a material that meets your needs. 

    • Click on the desired material to select it. 

    • Click OK to close the dialog and return to the Wall Type Definitions dialog.

    • A preview of the material selected for a wall layer's Pattern and Texture is displayed in the appropriate columns for that wall layer. 

  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each layer of the wall so that the necessary thickness and materials are assigned to each layer. 

  8. Under Wall Settings at the bottom of the dialog, in the drop-down menu to the right of Build Platform to Exterior of Layer, select the wall layer whose exterior you would like the program to build the floor platform to. 

  9. Repeat this process for Dimension to Exterior of Layer and Foundation to Exterior Layer to choose which layer you want dimension lines to locate and which layer you would like the foundation built to respectively.

  10. You can also modify the Line Color, Line Weight, and Line Style of your wall type under Selected Wall Layer Line. Check the box beside each option to reset that option to its layer's setting. 

  11. When you have completed your new wall type definition, click OK to close the dialog and return to any previous dialog you came from. 

To replace an existing wall with your new wall type

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings  from the menu. 

  2. In the Default Settings dialog:

    Select the General Wall and click Edit

    • Click the arrow next to Walls to expand this category. 

    • Select General Wall and click the Edit button. 

  3. In the General Wall Defaults dialog that displays, select the desired part of your wall that you would like to Resize About when an existing wall is replaced by your new wall type. 

    Adjust your General Wall Defaults, then click OK

    • For example, if you select Outer Surface, the outer surface of the affected wall will remain in the same location regardless of layer differences in the original and new wall types.  

    • After you make your selection, click OK to close this dialog, then click Done.

  4. Select the walls you want to change by holding the Shift key on your keyboard and then clicking on each wall. This will group select those walls. 

  5. Once selected, click the Open Object  edit tool. 

  6. On the Wall Types panel of the Wall Specification dialog that opens, click the drop-down arrow for Wall Type and choose your new wall type from the menu.

  7. Click OK and all selected walls will now be changed to your new wall type. 

To make the new wall type the default wall type

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings from the menu. 

  2. In the Default Settings dialog, click the arrow next to Walls to expand this category. 

  3. Select Exterior Wall, Interior Wall, or the type of wall you wish to change the default wall type for, and click Edit

  4. On the Wall Types panel in the Exterior Wall DefaultsInterior Wall Defaults, or other wall defaults dialog, use the drop-down menu to choose the new wall type.

  5. Click OK and any new walls that you create will now take on this change.