Creating a CBS Wall Type

Reference Number: KB-00496
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural


I live in the southeastern United States and regularly build CBS (Concrete Block Stucco or Concrete Block Structure) structures. How do I model a CBS wall that is block on the bottom and has a tie beam on top?


A CBS wall is essentially two wall types placed on top of one another, a layered concrete block wall with a solid poured concrete tie beam across the top. By defining these two wall types and stacking them using the ponywall option, this type of wall can be accurately modeled.

There are various types of CBS walls, in this article we will construct a 5-layer wall consisting of an exterior stucco layer, concrete block, insulation, furring and drywall layer.

To create a new wall type for the bottom of the Pony Wall

  1. From the menu choose Build> Wall> Define Wall Types to display the Wall Type Definitions dialog.

  2. Click on the New button to create a new wall type.

    If you choose to modify a wall type that is already in use in your plan, all existing walls in the file that are using that wall type will update when you make changes to the wall type.

  3. In the field where the new name appears, erase the current name and type in CBS Wall Bottom as the new name for the wall.

  4. Click the Insert button until you have a total of five layers.

  5. Set these five layers as described below:

    • Toggle the Main Layer check boxes until just Layer 2 is checked.

    • Layer 1: assign a thickness of 1 1/8", define the material as Materials> Siding> Stucco> Beige Stucco, and set a Cross Hatch Fill Style.

    • Layer 2: assign a thickness of 8", define the material as Materials> Masonry & Stone> Blocks> Cinder Blocks> Grey-Blocks Running Bond, and set a Solid grey Fill Style.

    • Layer 3: assign a thickness of 2" and define the material as Materials> Insulation> Insulation  Rigid, and set a Solid blue Fill Style.

    • Layer 4: assign a thickness of 1", define the material as Materials> Framing> Fir Framing, and set a Solid tan Fill Style.

    • Layer 5: assign a thickness of 1/2" and define the material as Materials> Wallboard> Drywall.

    • Look in the lower left corner at the TOTAL value. It should be 12 5/8" thick. Take note of this number.

Now that we have defined our first wall type, we are ready to modify another wall type for the top of our pony wall.


To create a new wall type for the top of the Pony Wall

  1. While still in the Wall Type Definitions dialog, again select the New button.

  2. In the field where the wall type's name is display, erase the current name and type in CBS Wall Top as the new name for the wall.

  3. This single layered wall should be assigned thickness of 12 5/8" (the same as the total thickness of the CBS Wall Bottom), and defined with a material of Concrete.

  4. Click the OK button to apply these changes to your wall types.

To create new pony walls using these wall types

  1. From the menu, select choose Edit> Default Settings  to display the Default Settings dialog.

  2. Select the plus + sign next to Walls, highlight Pony Wall, and click on the Edit button to display the Pony Wall Defaults dialog.

    • For the Upper Wall field, use the drop down arrow and choose CBS Wall Top.

    • For the Lower Wall, click the drop down arrow and choose the entry for CBS Wall Bottom

    • In the Height of Lower Wall field, type in the height you would like the CBS Wall Bottom to be. 

    • In the Align Pony Wall section, select Inner Surface

  3. Once you click the OK button you will be able to draw your structure using the Pony Wall  tool and the wall types that you have customized.