Split Entry Making Me Crazy


Go to solution Solved by DavidJames,

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3 hours ago, DavidJames said:

Split levels have always been a headache in Chief for me as well. 

In your specific scenario, I think you need to adjust the heights for: 

Ceiling Height

Stem Wall Top



Not sure if this is what you were hoping to achieve, but this is the end result: 




SPLIT ENTRY - R1.plan 5.08 MB · 3 downloads

THANK YOU DAVID! I forgot the stem wall height setting - it was set to 0. DOH.



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3 hours ago, robdyck said:

Larry, it helps to define some rooms in addition to setting elevations...like the garage! This took literally seconds to adjust.

SPLIT ENTRY.plan 5.03 MB · 2 downloads

Thank you and probably true as long as the stem wall height is also set to the same value as the floor height - something I keep forgetting thinking that the floor height is what sets the floor height. ;)

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29 minutes ago, Michael_Gia said:

Thanks Michael, watched the video like 4 times as well as others but if you notice that older version has no field for stem wall height which probably adds some flexibility but also some confusion for us duller knives in the drawer. :P

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25 minutes ago, HumbleChief said:

but if you notice that older version has no field for stem wall height

True, so what I do is after I set my rough ceiling height (which messes up the stemwall height)


Then, I tab to the stemwall height and set it to “0” (which now messes up my ceiling height)


Then, I go back and re-enter my rough ceiling height, at which point Chief will automatically correct the stemwall height. 

Give it a try.



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  • 1 month later...

This is a perfect example of why I think Chief Architect needs to change the way it works with room modules being all interconnected.


Sure you could leave the home designer versions stay just like they are.


With Chief Architect Premier you could have the programmers re-write the software ware so that we can disconnect the room modules or in other words explode them. Then be able to edit individual elements like foundations, walls, roofs etc like other software can do because they don’t have a room module system like this in the first place.


They have separate 3 dimensional areas that are usually defined by a cad line system of some sort, not by solid interconnected elements like Chief does.


Ultimately if you could reconnect all your room modules again with a click and keep all your edited elements in place. That would be amazing.


This is just a dream and I don’t really think Chief Architect will ever be able to work like I am proposing in the future either.


Chief is good for single and multi story homes but when the level is split it becomes complicated just like this situation illustrates.


Thank you for the links and videos references and yes I would need to watch them a few times through to get to know how to do this modification correctly.


Anybody else up for the challenge ?

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I, for one, love the way Chief uses the room concept.

It is very easy to make Chief work as you describe by ignoring rooms (and therefore, ignoring any auto build).

Just define all your walls as No Room Definition.

There isn't much difference between a dumb wall and a cad line.

This allows you to then build things manually.

When you want to connect all your room modules again, delete the No Room Definition setting (make sure all the auto build setting are off).

I bet you futz around for about 20 minutes and then decide that manual is just not the way to go.

Learn how to use the room definitions and setting to do things automatically.

Leave it as is for me.

I wouldn't waste my time trying to design a building without all the auto smarts that Chief provides us with.

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Hi Glenn, don’t get me wrong, I like many things in Chief Architect and it is superior to other cad in lots of ways like cabinets and framing. It’s a very complete package for for home designing.


Other more commercial developed cad software tools are too focused on commercial buildings and interoperability and they are leaving a gap for home design focused software like Chief to develop more into.


I would like to see you post a video on your method of creating a split level home so we can all save time in the process.


I would also like to hear from you what improvements Chief Architect could make so that this process is more efficient and streamlined.


Like I said, I don’t expect Chief to change to how other software works but I do expect it to make simple split level homes much easier to create.


Hope you are doing well in Australia.


Current method link below.




Split level entry with a landing, link below.




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I haven't got time to do a video at the moment - too busy being retired!

The solution was given in the first reply by David.

My method would be almost identical, although there are not too many options.

First, in Absolute Elevations, set the Stem Wall Top.

Next the Floor.

Then the Ceiling.


I would also turn on auto foundations.

I think this setting is causing the walls to build down past the slab.


I am not sure what improvements could be made apart from a popup that says "do this first".

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As the OP I realize there's nothing inherently wrong with Chief's 'room based' paradigm but there are, mostly unwritten, rules that must be followed to get good results and those results are generally very good. In the OP I made the error of simply adjusting the floor height, thinking that that alone would adjust the floor height as in a video from a previous version showing the split level technique. Seemed logical at the time but it turns out the stem wall height must be altered as well in order to get the floor height adjusted properly.


If I had to program Chief's behavior in such matters I would have the floor height transfer its value directly to the stem wall height by default (as the training video showed) that way floor height could be changed by simply setting the floor height. The stem wall height could then be altered but at least the floor height would be set by setting the floor height. Now I know but it seemed really strange to me at the time that setting the floor height would not set the floor height.

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Thanks Glenn, I think you answered my question in your first reply ?


“Room Labels” are the answer because the room type will determine how the model will build. The room label will automatically add certain parameters into the room DBX for us. Just like “Open Below” does and so forth.


Would it be possible for the programmers to create extra room labels that create the conditions mentioned in the two linked articles above ?


“Split level Room” creates those parameters automatically without the confusion of following all those steps above. It can prompt us for a level to be inserted, either positive for shifting the room up or negative for setting the whole room down including the ceiling in this case.


”Split Level Entry” creates those parameters automatically as well, following the steps above to create this condition.


Something to think about for X15 ?


I and others like the “KISS” method or “Keep It Simple Stupid” lol.

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