Creating Walls with a Block and Tie Beam (CBS)

Reference Number: KB-00496
Last Modified: July 30, 2021

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 pony wall option, this type of wall can be accurately modeled.

To create a CBS wall

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

  2. Create two new custom wall types - one for the lower block wall and one for the tie beam, or upper wall.

    • A predefined CBS wall type option is available in most all template files. You can Copy this wall type and name it CBS Lower Wall.

      Wall Type Definitions dialog where the CBS Lower Wall is being defined

      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. This is why it's recommended to create a copy of an existing wall type. 

    • You can also Copy a concrete wall type and name it CBS Upper Wall.

      Wall Type Definitions dialog with the CBS Upper Wall defined

    • Typically, these two wall types will have the same Total Thickness.

  3. Once these these new wall types are created, click OK to confirm the changes and close the dialog.

  4. Navigate to Edit> Default Settings , expand the Walls category, click on Pony Wall, then click Edit.

    Default Settings dialog with the Pony Wall option selected

  5. In the Pony Wall Defaults dialog that displays:

    Pony Wall Defaults dialog with the CBS Upper and Lower wall types specified

    • For the Wall Type field at the top, use the drop-down menu and choose the CBS Upper Wall.

    • For the Lower Wall Type field, use the drop-down menu and choose the CBS Lower Wall.

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

    • In the Align Pony Wall section, select Inner Surface.

    • Specify your desired display options.

  6. 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.