chiefuserchad

Mulitple floor heights and framing methods

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I have a very odd existing structure to draw and I can't seem to figure out how to get it correct in chief. There are 3 different floor heights which normally wouldn't pose too much of a problem, but there are also two floor joists framing methods.

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Flerchinger Existing.plan

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The differing floor heights will be affected by way of Edit - Default Settings per floor and certain room specification dialog-Structure Tab settings. It may take a while to convince Chief of what you want to do, you just have to be sure of your settings and persist until you get what you want. When you have the model under control you then build roofs and when the model is relationally correct, only then would you build auto framing. Once auto-framed the manual editing of framing would then begin.

 

DJP

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Everytime I tell it to change the floor level, it changes my stem walls heights and when I try to correct the stem wall it changes the floor height. I'm just going in circles. On one area of the plan I need the floor level to be framed on top of ponywalls that are higher than the stem walls, so effectively the exterior walls are framed lower (down to the stem wall). Any ideas? The pictures I've included should show you what I'm talking about.

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This would be one of the rare instances I would turn off auto everything. You will need to manually set all those floor heights, then go to the foundation level and manually draw those walls in, then add the strip footings below those walls. or open the wall dbx and add the footings via that method. You will most likely need to manually frame the entire structure as well. Once you turn Auto something back on, the defaults will kick in and change what you have completed.

 

Good luck. Won't be an easy model.

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Hello all,

 

I feel your pain.  Hours wasted working on every house with varying floor and ceiling heights. And in the process how do you know you didn't affect some other floor or ceiling ht? You never do and the larger the project the worse it gets.

 

iT'S A COMPLETELY ABSURD SYSTEM. 

 

Until we have INDIVIDUAL WALL CONTROL OF TOP AND BOTTOM AS WALL AS FOOTING HEIGHTS, CHIEF CAN'T BE CALLED A TRUE ARCHITECTURAL PROGRAM. 

 

I'm sorry, I've been using this program for 13 years, it's great in some areas but this is the worst and weakest part of the program and it needs to be re-formulated.

 

Scrap all the auto garbage.. Just let us draw walls and floors where we need them to be.  With all the thousands of man hours and dbx boxes wasted turning on and off auto everything it's out of control, just scrap it.  

 

It should be this simple, Floor height is this, wall height is this. footing height is this.  Oh, it's off in cross section, I'll just change the wall bottom height to make it work...not what magic combination of check boxes do I need to make this work. It's totally out of control, the whole program is an auto work around.

 

Scrap all the auto and you would have a program what everyone could learn in a year because it would follow building practices, not be a life-long endeavor of learning how to work around some ideal building situation. 

 

Sorry I just spent 2 hrs fighting multiple floor and ceiling heights, I should have just created a cad detail and manipulated it manually, but I'm stubborn as we all are or we wouldn't have put up with it for this long. 

 

The whole industry would use this program if it wasn't so unstable.  You can't base things on floor heights, they will always affect something else which you have to chase around or find out about later.  We need to be able to build something and have it remain there until manually changed.

 

Thanks for allowing me to rant. 

 

Cheers! 

Barry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iT'S A COMPLETELY ABSURD SYSTEM. 

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The whole industry would use this program if it wasn't so unstable.  

 

Use something else then? I do not find it unstable at all.

 

DJP

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I have a very odd existing structure to draw and I can't seem to figure out how to get it correct in chief. There are 3 different floor heights which normally wouldn't pose too much of a problem, but there are also two floor joists framing methods.

 

This is a great question.  You have discovered a big weakness in the CA wall framing/floor framing dynamics.

 

I did take a look at it......  I could not solve the question.  I wish someone from CA would chime in to confirm that this is a very difficult framing model...  or maybe they can chime in and show us how to do it.

 

Joey's method sounds way too cumbersome.

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There are people that keep the auto framing turned on?  Do you turn it off after adding manual joists / changing joist direction?

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Most of what i've done is all manual. I did auto frame it and then I was just going to go back and adjust the sets of joists to be at the correct height but when I change the heights of one floor it messes up everything below that I did. Am i just drawing this house in the wrong order? I do agree with Zowie that sometimes it feels like you do have to find the magical combination of dbx checks and unchecks just to get it to do what you want.

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Persisting and getting it right with the workable correct settings is not "Magic". One can figure out the proper settings by study and practice. Once you are certain how to get a result, it is competence not chance or guessing that gets it done.

 

DJP

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Once you have the basic floor layout, start at the top floor and adjust individual floors/rooms to the heights you want.  Then go down a floor and adjust that floor and rooms. 

 

I know this sounds backwards, but that's the way Chief works.  A floor above sets the ceiling below based on the structure thickness.  Do not build the Foundation until you have everything above set correctly.

 

I have done several projects with complex floor heights.  The lowest floor height above effects the the entire ceiling height of any room even partially below it.  Once you understand that it becomes easier to work with such projects.

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I quickly got the floor heights adjusted. Where I you I would ignore the auto shifting of the stem walls. Once the floor heights are set then you can manually set the stem walls to whatever height you require. I never worry about any framing until I have the model and roofs stable and relationally correct.

 

Chief being a purely mechanical device cannot be expected to behave otherwise than it is. It is your job to control its parts and objects to a result. I tend to ignore what it does automatically because it cannot do otherwise.

 

DJP

 

PS: Joe was writing the post above while I was studying your plan, I think Joe's post along with mine give you the understanding you need

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I'm resurrecting this thread because I've just wasted WAY too much time dealing with ceilings and floors and stem walls going up and down and changing other floors. This whole structure tab is really the pits, and it USED to be better before Chief turned the whole process of setting floor & ceiling heights into a bunch of jello. There is no way to easily understand the priority of ceiling and floor heights. This whole thing could be fixed EASILY by letting us set the floor height of a room and then letting us LOCK it at that height. Nothing changes until we unlock it. It can't be that hard to program. Personally, I don't think Chief has a higher priority for development. 

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could be fixed EASILY by letting us set the floor height of a room and then letting us LOCK it at that height. Nothing changes until we unlock it

 

Richard:

 

good luck on this

 

I've been asking for over a decade

in the past the request was not received well by CA

 

Lew

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I watch this video every once in a while. 

 

I don't mean to belittle your complaint/question but it's just a procedural thing you have to understand with Chief and how it handles floor levels. 

 

Programs like Archicad handle floor levels by making you build slabs after the walls are drawn and then having you cut those slabs into smaller slabs which can be easily lowered or raised, BUT, then you have the messy job of going around and adjusting wall heights, ceilings and roofs. 

Then once you get that straight you still have to contend with trimming, floor material, wall finishes etc...  

Trust me, you don't want that. Just learn Chief's floor level paradigm. It's much more efficient in the end, albeit counter-intuitive. 

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7 hours ago, Richard_Morrison said:

Personally, I don't think Chief has a higher priority for development. 

Agree. Been fighting the floor structure dbx for many, many years.

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34 minutes ago, michaelgia said:

I watch this video every once in a while. 

 

I don't mean to belittle your complaint/question but it's just a procedural thing you have to understand with Chief and how it handles floor levels. 

 

Programs like Archicad handle floor levels by making you build slabs after the walls are drawn and then having you cut those slabs into smaller slabs which can be easily lowered or raised, BUT, then you have the messy job of going around and adjusting wall heights, ceilings and roofs. 

Then once you get that straight you still have to contend with trimming, floor material, wall finishes etc...  

Trust me, you don't want that. Just learn Chief's floor level paradigm. It's much more efficient in the end, albeit counter-intuitive. 

That's a great video explaining how Chief actually works, not how one would assume that Chief should work, but how it actually works. In this case I think the term counter-intuitive just barely touches on the paradigm Chief has chosen. Absurd might be a better term and even that is being kind.

 

"Once in the basement ignore this setting (@8:15) it doesn't matter shouldn't even be here, just ignore it." REALLY? Then why the #@#$% is it there? Really, why is it there? Just because it's been there for years it should stay? Crap. If it's not useful it should not be there - period

 

"In a basement changing the ceiling height raises and lowers the concrete floor." (9:12) Good to know but who in their right mind would or could ever guess this is the case? And why isn't that made clear in that godforsaken confusing beyond imagination dbx?

 

And why does this confusing floor/ceiling paradigm and dbx make its way into each and every version of Chief. Is it EVER going to change? How much ranting has to be done to get it to change? Sigh.

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36 minutes ago, michaelgia said:

I watch this video every once in a while. 

 

I don't mean to belittle your complaint/question but it's just a procedural thing you have to understand with Chief and how it handles floor levels. 

 

Programs like Archicad handle floor levels by making you build slabs after the walls are drawn and then having you cut those slabs into smaller slabs which can be easily lowered or raised, BUT, then you have the messy job of going around and adjusting wall heights, ceilings and roofs. 

Then once you get that straight you still have to contend with trimming, floor material, wall finishes etc...  

Trust me, you don't want that. Just learn Chief's floor level paradigm. It's much more efficient in the end, albeit counter-intuitive. 

 

I watched the video.  I am not sure if I agree with everything Dan said.  Good tip on resizing a basement. Changing a ceiling height on LEVEL ZERO moves floor down in lieu of moving ceiling above up.

 

However he talked about controlling floor heights via the ceiling below,  I think most of us  work from top down.....  the floor sets the ceiling below,  the ceiling below should not be used to set the floor above.  I think this has been discussed before.

 

One more observation,  he was working with a relatively simple model....   it gets more complicated when the walls from floor to floor do not necessarily line up. All of Dan's walls lined up making the model easier to manipulate. The reason most power users will build from top down is for this very reason......  if walls are not neatly lined up,  working from top down is the way to go.

 

IOW,  the floor will control height of ceiling below,  the ceiling below should not control height of floor above.  As Dan would say,  "that is the way the program works"

 

I relate to the issue that  Richard "The Curmudgeion" had,  been there done that,  hopefully he was able to work it out.  But I do not think locking floors is the answer.......  oh boy......  I can imagine the frustration this would bring....  especially when walls do not line up.

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, dshall said:

 

I watched the video.  I am not sure if I agree with everything Dan said.  Good tip on resizing a basement. Changing a ceiling height on LEVEL ZERO moves floor down in lieu of moving ceiling above up.

 

However he talked about controlling floor heights via the ceiling below,  I think most of us  work from top down.....  the floor sets the ceiling below,  the ceiling below should not be used to set the floor above.  I think this has been discussed before.

 

One more observation,  he was working with a relatively simple model....   it gets more complicated when the walls from floor to floor do not necessarily line up. All of Dan's walls lined up making the model easier to manipulate. The reason most power users will build from top down is for this very reason......  if walls are not neatly lined up,  working from top down is the way to go.

 

IOW,  the floor will control height of ceiling below,  the ceiling below should not control height of floor above.  As Dan would say,  "that is the way the program works"

 

I relate to the issue that  Richard "The Curmudgeion" had,  been there done that,  hopefully he was able to work it out.  But I do not think locking floors is the answer.......  oh boy......  I can imagine the frustration this would bring....  especially when walls do not line up.

Great post and I think makes the point about how confusing the whole floor dbx is. Dan has one method that seems clear, 'power users' have another that seems clear as well. So which do you use and why? And when? Has Chief created the most flexible and useful floor dbx tool in the industry in that many users can use many methods? Or is it a confusing mess that needs cleaning up and changing? I really don't know the answer to that question but it seems some simple changes would make things easier for everyone, except perhaps for those few 'power users' out there.

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The problem is non-builder programmers have this code and simply don't know which parts of it should be unchangeable (removed from user access).. So they make every option available, including DANGEROUS ones. I have often seen posts where a power user will say "Not sure why that option is even there".

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10 minutes ago, HumbleChief said:

........

 

"Once in the basement ignore this setting (@8:15) it doesn't matter shouldn't even be here, just ignore it." REALLY? Then why the #@#$% is it there? Really, why is it there? Just because it's been there for years it should stay? Crap. If it's not useful it should not be there - period

 

"In a basement changing the ceiling height raises and lowers the concrete floor." (9:12) Good to know but who in their right mind would or could ever guess this is the case? And why isn't that made clear in that godforsaken confusing beyond imagination dbx?..........

 

I am so glad MichaelGia brought this up via the video.  I absolutely would prefer that level zero go down or up relative to level 1's 0.0 elevation.  If the basement could effect the elevation of level 1 that is typically at 0.0,  the *&%$^&%  would really hit the fan.

 

Larry,   I know I will never convince you that the way they have it set up is probably the best of all the poison's they could choose,  but I do know that I do manipulate the floor of basement relative to floor 1 and I certainly would not want that elevation change of the basement to change my level 1 elevation of 0.0.  I want level one to always be at 0.0 unless I manipulate it.

 

Thank you MichaelGia for bringing this up and sharing the video.

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1 hour ago, michaelgia said:

 BUT, then you have the messy job of going around and adjusting wall heights, ceilings and roofs. 

Then once you get that straight you still have to contend with trimming, floor material, wall finishes etc...  

Trust me, you don't want that. Just learn Chief's floor level paradigm. It's much more efficient in the end, albeit counter-intuitive. 

 

Better to spend 2 hours on something and be sure than 1 hour and be in doubt. The automation is simply not worth the risk and anguish. Floor Levels are a NON issue in other programs.

 

THE fact that No one at Chief has ever clarified working with complex levels is very telling. There should be a sticky thread at the top of this forum with multiple asterix..

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Look at the attached picture.  This is probably the clearest example of why the floor above should control the ceiling below.

 

If you want to raise or lower floor 2A, don't you think it is easier to control floor 2A elevation from the floor versus the ceiling below?  There are 2 ceiling heights below,  so how do you control the height of floor 2A?

 

I doubt I will get it,  but I hope someone says "yeah,  I get it,  the floor should control the ceiling below"

 

BTW,  there are  other issues with how the structure will frame that bothers me....  but I am trying to keep the example simple to understand.

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 7.56.25 AM.png

 

 

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2 hours ago, dshall said:

Larry,   I know I will never convince you that the way they have it set up is probably the best of all the poison's they could choose....

Not true at all - I can be convinced very easily but I need to first understand the logic and it simply escapes me at times. I can now see that changing the ceiling height of a basement should change the floor height of the basement and not 0,0 of the floor height above but why isn't that explained clearly - anywhere? Why do you not change the floor height of the basement floor instead of changing the ceiling height in order to to change the floor height?

 

Let me repeat, you change the ceiling height in order to change the floor height - that's just crazy on its face.

 

Why isn't there a clear tutorial on how this structure dbx works and why? I am not convinced it is that horrible but I am convinced it is horribly implemented and confusingly presented.

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3 minutes ago, dshall said:

Look at the attached picture.  This is probably the clearest example of why the floor above should control the ceiling below.

 

If you want to raise or lower floor 2A, don't you think it is easier to control floor 2A elevation from the floor versus the ceiling below?  There are 2 ceiling heights below,  so how do you control the height of floor 2A?

 

I doubt I will get it,  but I hope someone says "yeah,  I get it,  the floor should control the ceiling below"

 

BTW,  there are  other issues with how the structure will frame that bothers me....  but I am trying to keep the example simple to understand.

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 7.56.25 AM.png

 

 

Good post, your example is very clear.

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