Plan Build Order


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I have been thru many of the videos, getting started and advanced and can feel reasonably comfortable with the application.  I The one thing I have never come across is the preferred or best practice in building the overall plan.  Looks like it is best to start with setting defaults and preferences then the overall floorplan but what should be next and then after that, etc.  Framing, foundation, roof system, etc.?  What is the best practice order of the build?

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@solver I am a private individual with trained drafting skills.  I designed the entire plan using Home Designer Pro then felt I really needed the extra capabilities of Chief Architect to more easily build out the plan layers, plan layouts and include manufacturer specific details I wanted to show.  I am transitioning that plan, from scratch, into CA Premier X14.

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1 hour ago, beransom said:

What is the best practice order of the build?

You mean, after you've finalized the design with your client?  Assuming you're not just drawing plans for the fun of it?

At which point you probably already have a developed 3D model.

Now is the time to go back in and set your defaults and preferences if they havent already been taken care of during the design process.


So now you should have all of your floor levels, floor structure, roof structure/pitch/overhang, and ceiling structures, etc...


Next I proceed just like I would build the house.

Using Saved Plan Views with unique default sets, layer sets, dimension and text defaults specific for each Saved Plan View.

1) Site Plan View:  set the building on the lot with the proper setbacks (basically page 1 of your construction documents/Layout)

2) Elevation Views: Front, Rear, Left and Right (although I hold off on these until I finish steps 3 and 4 (pages 2, 3, 4, and 5 of Layout)

3) Foundation Plan View: footings, columns, and bases for support walls on a Foundation Saved Plan View. (page 6 of layout)

4) Finished Floor Plan Views: Basement, Main Floor, 2nd Floor etc.  (Single Saved Plan View that can be used for each floor) (Page 7, 8, 9 on Layout)

5) Roof Plan View

6) Electrical Plan View 

7) Plumbing and ventilation 

8) Section Views for Stairwells or any view that might shed light on changes in floor platforms or landings that are not obvious from the floor plans. 

9) Schedule for Doors, Windows, Cabinets(maybe) or specialized mouldings.

10) Cad Details that can't be properly illustrated in floor plans, elevations or section views.

11) Wall/Floor composition page. 

12) Basically follow the layout of one of the many sample plans on Chief's site.  They are well done and include more than my little list.


I purposely left out framing because I leave that up to the drawings provided by my floor and roof framing supplier.  They have engineer approved assembly plans provided with the delivery of their floor system and roofing trusses.  This isn't something you want to just wing with a Chief plan.  It's fine for some decorative detail like a little roof over a doorway or some feature of a deck but not for anything structural.  Leave that up to the pros.  Aside from pretty framing diagrams to impress your grandma they are pretty useless in my opinion.


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@Michael_Giathat is what I was looking for!  Thank you.  I am the client and the designer so that makes that piece a little easier.  These plans are for the house I plan on having built in the spring.  I will be participating in the build handling all trim carpentry, flooring, insulation, painting, electrical and plumbing fixtures, etc. Thank you also for the advice on the framing.  I would have made that mistake.  I do plan on setting all the defaults and preference ahead of time, so I don't have to go back.  I developed the entire plan in HD Pro but quickly found its limitations and am now working in CA Premier X14.

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There is the new APPLE IPHONE 14 that came out this year....


and there is the new 


CHIEF ARCHITECT X14 that came out this year....


I am not a conspiracy theorist but is it possible that CHIEF ARCHITECT actually owns APPLE?


Those guys at CA headquarters are really sharp.....  I wouldn't put it past them......  

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10 hours ago, beransom said:

What is the best practice order of the build?


someone asked a couple of weeks ago and I posted my cheat Sheet in this thread....


Add Michael's list below this one and you should have a good start.........



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22 hours ago, Michael_Gia said:

 Aside from pretty framing diagrams to impress your grandma they are pretty useless in my opinion.

There are a few situations that I find the framing valuable.

1. Deck framing

2. Tall wall framing to give to an engineer. One cannot tell from an elevation where the wall ends and where the truss begins. This is especially true for complex roof lines

3. Stair openings. There are other ways to do it but I like the floor framing as it shows on the floor below

4. Manual framing adjustments. It's nice to modify existing framing

5. Conventional floors. Some oeople still want to build with 2x10. A small sunroom addition is a good example. All I have to do is specify the beam everything else is auto done.

6. Other people on here use "live"details. I would assume they rely on the framing

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