Chief Architect X1




Build Framing Dialog

Automatic framing can be generated by selecting Build> Framing> Build Framing to open the Build Framing dialog. This dialog can also be accessed by double-clicking either the Framing Tools button or the Rafter tool.

The number of tabs in the dialog varies depending on how many floors are in your model. There is be a tab called "1st" for the first floor, "2nd" for the second floor, and so on.

Floor Tabs

The Build Framing dialog opens at the framing tab for the current floor, such as Foundation, 1st or 2nd. Each tab specifies framing for specific floors or assemblies. Switch between tabs to define all settings.

The floor framing information for a given floor is found on the Floor tab for the floor below it, because that is where the framing will display in floor plan view when it is generated. For example, the floor framing information for Floor 2 is found on the 1st tab, while the floor framing for Floor 1 is found on the Foundation tab.

To automatically generate the floor framing for Floor 1, a foundation on Floor 0 must be present. If a Floor 0 has not been built, the Build Floor Framing check box on the Foundation tab will not be available.

Each Floor tab is divided into two halves:

If there is living space above the floor corresponding to a particular Floor tab, the Build Floor Framing check box will be available. If there is no living space above the floor, the Build Ceiling Framing check box will be available instead.

Build Ceiling Framing - Check this box and ceiling framing is regenerated when the OK button is clicked.

Spacing - Enter a value for the spacing of joists. If the platform is a floor assembly, you can specify a rim joist with the check box.

Specify if the framing members lap or butt over a bearing wall. The lap is eight inches (200 mm) and centered over the support.

When the Framing Reference Marker is used and butt over support is checked, the joists are placed at reference spacing. If lap over support is checked, the surface where the joists lap is placed at the reference spacing locations, so that joists are placed on either side of the framing reference locations.

Use Framing Reference - This applies to ceiling framing only. The Framing Reference Marker is the starting point for framing layout. If a reference is placed, the center of the first joist is placed at this point and spacing goes from there. If joists are lapped, the surface is placed at this point.

If the check box is cleared, the program attempts to position ceiling joists so that they overlap rafters. Be sure to build the roof framing first if you are doing this.

A Framing Reference Marker is not usually used for both ceiling joists and nearby rafters that run the same way because one is placed on top of the other.

For floor joists, the starting point for a joist layout is always the Framing Reference Marker. See "Framing Reference Markers".

The Joist width field specifies the joist's actual thickness.

The Joist depth field specifies the joist's vertical depth, which affects the thickness of the floor or ceiling platform.

This is a default depth that can be overridden per room by specifying Floor Structure Thickness on the Structure tab of the Room Specification dialog. See "Structure Tab".

Type - Select the type of joist from the drop-down list. The list includes lumber, I-joist, glulam, engineered lumber, lvl, steel-I and steel box. Changing the type does not affect how framing is placed, but it does change its appearance in cross section and 3D views and in the Material List.

This is a default type that can be overridden per room by specifying Floor Structure Type on the Structure tab of the Room Specification dialog. See "Structure Tab".

Blocking / Bridging specifies how blocking is manually drawn after joists have been placed. A run of blocking displays as separate pieces cut by the joists, but is produced, moved and edited as a single object.

In Line produces blocking pieces that align with each other.

Stagger produces blocking that alternates on either side of the line you draw.

Cross produces cross bridging that looks like in line blocking in floor plan view, but shows as cross bridging in 3D views and the materials list.

Specify the floor joist Spacing.

Rim Joist - Check this to automatically produce a rim joist across the ends of the floor joists. If this is not checked, line blocking across the ends of the floor joists is usually drawn in later.

Specify if the framing members lap or butt over a bearing wall. The lap is eight inches (200 mm) and centered over the support.

When the Framing Reference Marker is used and butt over support is checked, the joists are placed at reference spacing. If lap over support is checked, the surface where the joists lap is placed at the reference spacing locations, so that joists are placed on either side of the framing reference locations.

Subfloor thickness - This is the thickness of the floor sheathing and applies to floor framing only.

The program adds the joist depth to the subfloor thickness to determine the default platform thickness in the Floor Defaults dialog. This is a default thickness that can be overridden by specifying it in the Structure tab of the Room Specification dialog.

When viewing framing, Subfloor Thickness may be represented by a gap. To remove this gap, change the value to zero and rebuild the framing. See "Structure Tab".

If the material Concrete is applied to the floor, platform thickness is specified in the Foundation Defaults dialog. See "Building a Foundation".

Wall Tab

The Wall, Openings, and Headers tabs are all referenced by the program to determine how walls are framed. The settings on these three tabs define how automatic framing generates and how wall framing is calculated for the Materials List.

You can still make changes to your plan once you have framed your model. If your changes affect framing, if a wall or ceiling were moved for instance, rebuild framing to update the model.

Build Wall Framing - Check this box to build wall framing for the entire model. Framing is only built in walls whose main layer materials type is framing. See "Wall Type Definitions".

Check Use wall framing material to use the stud thickness and spacing specified in the Define Material dialog of the framing material selected for each wall type. Uncheck this box to use the thickness and spacing values below for all wall types. See "Define Material Dialog".

Specify the Stud Thickness for all walls in the plan. As long as its material is set to a framing material type, stud depth is set by the wall's main layer thickness.

Specify the Stud Spacing for all walls in the plan. This spacing starts from the framing reference mark, if one is present.

Build Wall Framing Details from Exterior - Check this box to show wall framing details from the exterior.

Bridging - Specify how and where bridging is produced. Bridging displays as separate pieces divided by the studs, but is actually produced as a single object for each wall and can be moved and edited in a Wall Detail view as if it were a single object. See "Wall Framing Details".

Specify the Number of Top Plates. A single bottom plate is always provided.

Specify the Thickness of top and bottom plates.

Mitre Plate Ends - Select the check box to mitre the ends of the top and bottom plates and corners that are not right angles. If cleared, the top and bottom plates butt together.

Rotate End Studs - Select the check box to have the studs closest to the mitre end be rotated to the angle of the mitre cut. If it is cleared, the studs remain perpendicular to the angle of the walls.

Horizontal Frame Thru - Select the check box to specify the horizontal walls in floor plan view to frame through, butting vertical walls against them. Otherwise, walls that are vertical in floor plan view frame through.

Openings Tab

Specify the default amount to Add for Rough Opening to the nominal sizes of wall openings.

These settings define the default rough openings values on the General tabs of the Window and Door Specification dialogs, and can be overridden on an object-by-object basis. See "Door Specification Dialog" and "Window Specification Dialog".

The specification dialogs show these values differently in that they show the total amount added to the opening for both height and width. The width, if defaulted, is twice the Each Side value in the Build Framing dialog, and the height is the sum of the Top and Bottom values.

Top - Specify the space to allow from the top of the opening to the bottom of the header.

Bottom - Specify the space to allow from the bottom of the opening to the top of the sill plate.

Each Side - Specify the space to allow from each side of an opening to the side of the trimmer or stud nearest it.

Specify when to build more than one Trimmer, or supporting header, based on wall opening width.

Double Trimmer At - Openings as wide as this value have two trimmers on each side.

Triple Trimmer At - Openings as wide as this value have three trimmers.

Max Bay Trimmers - Trimmers for a bay or bow window may be suppressed by entering zero into Max Bay Trimmers. Enter "1" to have one trimmer on each side, and a greater number to have the number of trimmers determined by the Double Trimmer At and Triple Trimmer At values used above.

A bay window with a top lower than the top of the wall it is placed in usually contains a header spanning the entire bay. Trimmers are usually not needed for this header since the studs in the wall support it. The same is true for most bow windows.

Bay Component Thickness - Enter the dimensions for a thinner trimmer which is used if a standard trimmer does not fit. The default for this value is 3/4 inch or 20mm.

Space can be tight in a bay or bow window, and a desired component window size may not fit into the bay or bow if standard size trimmers are used. If this is the case, the trimmers are omitted and a metal bracket or other means of supporting the header is needed.

Bay window components default to a size that allows one standard trimmer when a bay is first created. When the bay as a whole is moved and resized, its components automatically resize to fit a standard trimmer. If you select the bay and use the key to select the individual component window on which you clicked, you can resize that component either by selecting it and dragging from a side handle, or by selecting it and clicking the Open Object edit button in order to modify it using the Window Specification dialog. You can resize it larger until there is only room for the thinner trimmer or for no trimmer at all. Once a component is resized in this way, it retains its size if at all possible while the overall bay is moved or resized. If the bay is resized in such a way that the component becomes too large to fit, the component resumes its default behavior, resizing as its containing bay window is resized.

Specify the construction of the window Sills, which refer to the framing below the window rather than the finished sill.

Thickness - Specify the thickness for the sill.

Double Sill - Check this box to specify a double sill for all windows.

Headers Tab

Chief Architect does not calculate loads or bearings. It is dependent upon user input and does not attempt any structural analysis. Always consult your local building authorities and contact a licensed engineer for structural calculations.

Specify the header depth dependent on the opening width. These values should be set so that the wider the opening, the deeper the header.

Precut - Select the check box to show precut headers in the Material List. Precut headers are shown only if the walls have been framed.

If this is unchecked, the Material List produces a total footage for all headers. When checked, each different length of precut header is listed separately. Note that the total number of headers is twice the number of openings if Count is set to 2.

Thickness - Specify header thickness.

Count - Enter the Count of boards required to make the header. Using this number, the program generates a count of header stock for you in the Material List.

When using stock as thin as 1-1/2 inches, headers are usually doubled or laminated, so the default number of boards making up a header in Count is 2.

Max Depth - If the top of the rough opening is closer to the top plate than the value in Max Depth, a solid header is produced to fill the entire area. This disables the building of short cripple studs between the top of the header top and bottom of the plate. The default of 12 1/16 inch works well for 6'8" headers in 8'0" walls.

Type - Specify the type of material used for headers.

Posts/Beams Tab

Posts and beams are drawn manually. They are not produced with the automatic framing.

Depth - Enter the vertical depth of beams in the plan.

Thickness - Enter the beam thickness, which appears as width in floor plan view.

Type -Select the type of beam from the drop-down list. The list includes lumber, I-joist, glulam, engineered lumber, lvl, steel-I and steel box. Changing the type can affect how the beam appears in cross section and 3D views and in the material list.

Under Joists/With Joists - A beam can be drawn under the joists or up in the floor platform with the joists. If the joist depths and subfloor thickness have been set in the Build Framing dialog, the beam height is properly positioned even if the joists have not yet been produced. If With Joists is specified the beams should be drawn before framing is automatically produced. Then the joists are broken and butted to the beam.

Outer Layer/Main Layer - When a beam is drawn along and over an exterior wall, its outer surface snaps to either the wall's outer layer or outer main layer, as specified here.

Posts are produced manually by clicking in floor plan view where a post is desired using the Post tool.

Dimension - A post is created initially square with each side having this dimension. It can be subsequently edited to have a rectangular shape with any dimensions.

Type - Select a type of post from the drop-down list. The list includes lumber, I-joist, glulam, engineered lumber, lvl, steel-I and steel box. Changing the type can affect how the post appears in cross section and 3D views and in the material list.

Top (from floor) - When a post is created on the lowest floor of a plan, a footing for it is automatically produced. The top of this footing is this distance below the bottom of the floor platform.

Width - Width of the automatically produced footing under a new post.

Height - Height of the automatically produced footing under a new post.

Square/Round - The new footing is created either square or round in floor plan view.

Roof Tab

Build Roof Framing - Check this box once roof planes have been built to build roof framing for the entire model.

Spacing - Specify the rafter spacing. This spacing is used when automatically producing rafters. It also sets the initial offset value for laying out rafters using the Multiple Copy edit button.

Use Framing Reference - Select the check box if you want to use a defined starting point for rafter layout.

Note: Use Framing Reference is useful when framing a gable roof, but not necessarily for a hip roof. When the Framing Reference is used, common rafters on either side of a hip rafter do not meet in the same place. If the Framing Reference is not used, the automatic framing utility starts common rafter spacing from each end of the horizontal ridges, which results in common rafters on either side of hip jacks meeting each other.

If Angled Dormer Hole is checked, a

gable roof dormer creates a five sided hole in a roof plane, with the two top edges formed by the valleys of the dormer. An angled double-header runs between the doubled rafters on one side to the ridge. On the opposite side, a shorter angled doubled header frames the other valley.

If the Angled Dormer Hole check box is cleared, a rectangular hole is framed to contain the dormer area, with its double headers placed where the peak of the dormer roof meets the main roof plane. Rafters are placed within this hole at the top along the valleys formed by the dormer roof sections. If the top cross headers do not fit within the roof plane, angled headers are produced regardless of the state of the check box.

Rafter Type - Select the type of rafter from the drop-down list. The list includes lumber, I-joist, glulam, engineered lumber, lvl, steel-I and steel box. This changes the type for rafters, but not for ridges or fascia. These can be changed manually after the roof framing is produced if desired.

Changing the type does not affect how the rafters are placed, but it does change how they appear in cross section and 3D views and the Materials List entries for this framing.

Blocking/Bridging - specifies how blocking is manually drawn after the rafters have been placed. Blocking is produced as a single object, but displays as separate pieces chopped up by the rafters, but it is moved and edited as if it were a single framing object.

Blocking is produced perpendicular to the roof plane, so blocking as seen in floor plan view represents the position of the top of the blocking.

In Line produces blocking pieces that align with each other.

Stagger produces blocking that alternates on either side of the line you draw.

Cross produces cross bridging that looks like in line blocking in floor plan view, but shows as cross bridging in 3D views and the materials list. Cross bridging is seldom used with rafters.

The Width and Depth for Rafter, Ridge, Fascia, Eave Fascia and Lookouts may all be set in the Roof tab.

Trusses Tab

The parameters set in this tab apply to any subsequently drawn trusses. They can be overridden for any selected group of trusses using the Truss Specification dialog. The program uses these values to model trusses for graphic representation only.

Chief Architect does not engineer trusses. Always consult an engineer or truss company to have your trusses professionally designed.

Top Chord - Specify the depth of the Top Chord.

Bottom Chord - Specify the depth of the Bottom Chord.

Webbing - Specify the depth of the Webbing.

For triangular trusses, check Require Kingpost to require a vertical member from the roof peak to the bottom chord.

If this is not checked, a vertical member may still be supplied, depending on what is needed to support the chords at or closer than the specified maximum spans.

Under Maximum Span, set the maximum length between junctions of the supporting webbing to the Top Chord and Bottom Chord. Changing these values may cause different truss configurations such as kingpost, queenpost, fink, howe, fan, double fink, or double howe to be represented. Experiment to see what type of trusses are possible.

These distances are measured horizontally for both rafters and joists. In some circumstances, especially with more complex trusses, making these spans equal may result in the webbing appearing more normal or standard. See "Trusses".

Roof and Floor/Ceiling - Specifies whether the settings apply to Roof trusses or Floor/Ceiling trusses.

Truss Spacing

To set the truss spacing, select any truss, framing object, or CAD object in floor plan view, then click the Multiple Copy edit button. The Multiple Copy dialog opens if the Multiple Copy edit button is clicked again. This dialog sets the truss spacing and spacing for CAD objects. The spacing for joists, rafters and wall studs are noted but cannot be set in this dialog. These spacings are set in the Build Framing dialog.

Materials Tab

The Material tab sets the default materials used for framing objects in 3D and render views. These material specifications are not used for material take-offs. Materials List information, is derived from the structure type of each framing object.

Changes made on the Materials tab of the Build Framing dialog only effect subsequently created framing, whether it is automatically generated or manually drawn.

The Materials tab of the Build Framing dialog is the same as the Materials tab on many other specification dialogs. See "Materials Tab".


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