Creating a Storage Loft in a Larger Room

Reference Number: KB-03012
Last Modified: February 5, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier


I have a large area that needs to have smaller office spaces within that have ceilings shorter than the main area. How do I create these shorter areas, while being able to create storage space above?

commercial airplane hangar with office ceiling used for storage


Smaller, shorter rooms with storage above can be created within a larger room by using a second floor. For example if the larger room is going to have 18' ceilings and the smaller rooms will have 9' ceilings then you would create the first floor with a 9' ceiling height and the second floor could be 9' minus the thickness of the ceiling structure of the smaller rooms.

To create the first floor

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings  from the menu.

  2. Select Floors and Rooms> Floor Levels> 1st Floor and then click the Edit button.

    Set the default ceiling heights for your first floor in Default Settings

  3. In the Floor 1 Defaults, specify the desired Ceiling height.

    For this example, 109 1/8" is used.

    Change the ceiling height for first floor defaults as necessary.

  4. Click OK and Done to close the dialogs.  

  5. Select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall  and then click and drag to draw out the exterior walls.

    For this article, a 45' x 45' structure is drawn.

  6. Select Build> Wall> Straight Interior Wall  and then click and drag to draw the interior walls of the space.

    For this article, two 12 'x 12' rooms are drawn.

    Small first floor rooms inside a larger structure

To create the second floor

  1. Select Build> Floor> Build New Floor  from the menu.

  2. In the 2nd Floor Defaults dialog, specify the Rough Ceiling height as well as the Floor Structure for the storage space above the smaller rooms.

    Build a new floor and set the 2nd floor defaults.

  3. Click OK when done to apply the changes and close the dialog.

  4. Click Tools> Floor/Reference Display> Reference Display  to turn on the Reference display so that you can see the placement of the walls on Floor 1 while working on Floor 2.

    Use the reference display to line up the railings with the first floor walls.

  5. Select Build> Railing and Deck> Straight Railing  and click and drag to draw a railing on top of the 1st floor interior walls along the storage area perimeter.

  6. Select Tools> Floor/Reference Display> Reference Display  to turn off the reference floor display.

    The second floor storage area surrounded by railings

    There should be two rooms on the second floor which include the smaller storage area above the interior rooms, and the big room over the larger area.

  7. Using the Select Objects  tool, select the larger room on Floor 2, then click the Open Object  edit button.

  8. On the General panel of the Room Specification dialog, use the drop-down menu beside Room Type to select Open Below, then click OK.

  9. Take a Perspective Full Camera  view to see the results.

    Full Camera view showing a storage loft