The information in this article applies to:
I am an experienced Chief Architect software user and would like to design a structurally detailed seaside home on pilings. How can I do this?
Chief Architect is designed to allow you to quickly model conventionally framed structures. A structure on pilings, however, does not fall into the category of conventional framing, so when drawing such a plan, we need to use Chief’s framing tools creatively.
This article assumes that the reader is familiar with and comfortable using default settings, creating and using custom layers, and using the manual framing and CAD editing tools.
There are a number of distinct tasks involved in this project:
Before starting work on any drawing, it is important to set up the correct default settings – particularly for the structural aspects of the plan.
As you set up your defaults, you can also set up defaults for door styles and materials for roofing, casing, doors and other items. However, only structural defaults are discussed in this example.
To prepare to draw the structure
- Select Edit> Default Settings from the menu to open the Default Settings dialog.
- To expand a category in the tree list and view its subcategories, click the arrow to the left of its name.
- To open the defaults dialog for a line item, click on its name and then click the Edit button, or simply double-click on its name.
- In the Floor 1 Defaults dialog, on the Structure panel, under the Relative Heights heading, specify the desired Rough Ceiling height. In this example, 109 1/8″ is used.
- In the Foundation Defaults dialog, on the Foundation panel:
- Select Walls with Footings as the Foundation Type.
- Under the Stem Walls section, specify the Minimum Height as equal to the required top height of the pilings at the building site, plus the thickness of the concrete pad at the base of the pilings. In this example, 148″ is used.
- In the Framing Defaults dialog, on both the Foundation and 1st floor panels, under both the Subfloor for Floor and Ceiling Above Floor headings
- Select the radio button beside Lap.
- Specify the Spacing as 16″ O.C..
- Specify the Joist Width as 1 1/2″.
- Under the Subfloor for Floor heading on each panel, make sure Rim Joist is checked.
- While still in the Framing Defaults dialog:
- On the Beams panel, click on the Edit Floor Beam Defaults button. Specify the Depth as 11 1/4″, Width as 3″, the Type as Lumber and click OK.
- Under the Beam Options, select the radio button beside Under Joists and the Align Exterior with radio button beside Main Layer.
- On the Posts panel, click on the Edit Post Defaults button. Specify the Type as Lumber, set the Post Size Widths both as 12″.
Note: When a Round post is specified, Width 1 refers to its diameter and Width 2 is not available.
- Under the Post Footings heading, specify the Height