Creating a Custom Fireplace and Chimney


Reference Number: KB-00744
Last Modified: March 7, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


QUESTION

I would like to create a custom fireplace with an insert, hearth and mantel.  How can I do this?



ANSWER

Creative combinations of different objects such as fixtures, soffits, walls and wall openings allow you to create a wide variety of fireplace and chimney designs. 


To build a chase for a fireplace insert

  1. Select Build> Wall> Straight Interior Wall from the menu and draw three walls to form the chase for your fireplace and chimney. Don't worry about the exact placement of the walls right now - they can be moved into position accurately in a moment.


  2. Select CAD> Dimensions> Interior Dimension from the menu and drag an Interior Dimension line across the room - beginning at one wall and dragging straight through the side walls of the chase.


  3. Select the left side wall of the chase. Use the Move edit handle that appears at the point on the wall where you clicked and drag the wall the correct distance from the left side of the room.



  4. If you have trouble getting the exact distance that you want, click on the wall to select it, then click on the Temporary Dimension that displays between that wall and the next, enter in the exact value you want, and press Enter on the keyboard to move the wall to that exact distance.


  5. Repeat this process with the wall on the right side of the chase and the wall forming the front of the chase.



To place an insert into the chase

  1. Select Build> Window> Window  from the menu and click on the front wall of your chase to place a window at that location.

    This window will be used to create a wall opening an insert can be modeled in.

    If the program warns you that you are placing a window in an interior wall, click OK.


  2. Click on the window to select it, then click the Center Object  edit button and click inside the chase 'room' area.  This will center the opening exactly between the two side walls.



  3. With the window still selected, click the Open Object  edit button. In the Window Specification dialog:

    • On the General panel, click the Window Type drop-down arrow and select Fixed Glass from the list.  If you already know the size and height you want the opening to be, you can also specify it here.  

    • On the Casing panel, click the radio button beside Use Exterior Casing and specify a Width of 0". Uncheck Sill for both Interior and Exterior Casing.

    • On the Lites panel, specify 1 for both Lites Across and Lites Vertical.

    • On the Materials panel, click on the word Glass, click the Select Material button, then browse and select a Fire material from the Library.

      You can choose the other materials now if you like or wait until later.  They can, of course, be changed at any time.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  4. Select View> Library Browser  from the menu to open the Library Browser window.

    • Browse to the Fireplace Accessories category and open the Fireplace Accessories folder. 



    • Depending on your program, there may be several fireplace screens available. Click on one to select it, and then click once in your floor plan to place the selected screen in your plan.


  5. With the fireplace screen still selected, click the Move  edit handle and drag the screen so that it is directly in front of the window forming the insert opening.





  6. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Elevation  from the menu and click and drag a camera view in the direction of the window and screen, keeping the camera arrow perpendicular to the front wall. In this elevation view:

    • Click on the frame of the window to select it and resize the opening as desired using the edit handles that display.

    • Click on the fireplace screen to select it, and move and resize it using the edit handles so that it fits inside the frame of the window.

    • When you are satified with the appearance of the frame and screen, select File> Close or click the   button at the top right of the view window to close the camera view and return to floor plan view.

       

      The Elevation tool is not available in Home Designer Interiors. The Full Camera tool, which is available in all programs, can be used instead.

  7. In floor plan view, select Window> Zoom  from the menu, then click and drag a rectangular marquee around the fireplace insert chase, including the screen in the selection.


  8. Click on the fireplace screen to select it, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard, or Command key if you are working on a Mac computer, and drag the screen into the center of the window using the Move  edit handle.  If the screen snaps to the outside edge of the window opening, click the Open Object  edit button and increase the Depth, or thickness, of the screen to 6 inches.  Then click OK and try again. 



     

If you have trouble selecting the fireplace screen, selecting nearby objects such as the wall or window instead, click the Select Next Object edit button or press the Tab key on your keyboard, until the screen is selected.


To add a hearth

Many custom objects can be designed using the Soffit  tool, which is a child of the Cabinet Tools .

  1. Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit from the menu, then click once in the plan to create a soffit.


  2. Select the soffit to display its edit handles and use those handles to move the soffit into position in front of the fireplace and then resize it as needed.





  3. With the soffit still selected, click the Open Object  edit button. In the Soffit Specification dialog:

    • On the General panel, specify the desired Height of the hearth, which should be near the bottom of the insert opening.

    • Specify the Floor to Bottom distance as 0", since this hearth should rest on the floor.

    • On the Materials panel, click on the word Soffit, then click the Select Material button and browse the Materials library to find an appropriate material for the hearth. Remember that this material can be changed at any time.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes. 


  4.  You can create a cap for your hearth using a second, thinner soffit placed on top of the first if you so desire. 

      

 

As cabinets feature front items such as drawers, doors and panels, the Full Height Cabinet tool, which is another child of the Cabinet Tools, can be used to create customized mantels and square columns beneath.

To add a mantel with columns

  1. Select Build> Cabinet> Full Height Cabinet from the menu, then click to create a full height cabinet in front of the fireplace.


  2. Click on the full height cabinet to select it then click the Open Object  edit button. In the Full Height Cabinet Specification dialog:

    • On the General panel, specify the Depth of your mantel.

      The Height, Width and Floor to Bottom distance can be set using the edit handles in an Elevation  view.

    • On the Front panel, click on the bottom door of the cabinet in the preview image and click on the Delete button to remove this face item. Then click on the remaining door and specify it as a Panel in the Item Type drop-down list.

    • On the Door/Drawer panel, select None from the Door Handle and Drawer Handle drop-down lists.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  3. With the full height cabinet still selected, use the Move  edit handle to move it into position over the hearth.

    If you encounter any move restrictions while moving the mantel into place, press the Ctrl key on your keyboard to override these restrictions.


  4. Square, paneled columns can be created using the same steps as above.


  5. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Elevation  from the menu and click and drag a camera view in the direction of the fireplace. Use the edit handles to adjust the size and position of the mantel and columns as needed.  

Note: Full Height and Wall Cabinets display molding along the top edge in some Home Style Templates, but not in all.

The Default, American Casual and Urban Chic/Contemporary templates do not place molding on cabinetry.
 

To create a chimney

  1. Select Build> Cabinet> Soffit  from the menu, then click once in the plan to create a soffit.


  2. Select the soffit to display its edit handles and use those handles to move the soffit into position inside the chimney chase and then resize it so that it fills the interior space of the chase 'room'. 


  3. To extend the soffit through the exterior wall so that it displays on the exterior of your plan, press the Ctrl key on your keyboard, or the Command key if you are working on a Mac computer,  and then use the Move  edit handle to move the soffit through the exterior wall at the back of the chase 'room'.


    You may need to adjust the size again afterward.


  4. With the soffit still selected, click the Open Object  edit button, and on the General panel of the the Soffit Specification dialog:

    • Specify a Height that will place the chimney top at an appropriate height above the roof. 

    • Specify the Floor to Bottom distance at -18 so that the soffit reaches through the floor platform to the ground level outside.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  5. You can also add a cap to the chimney if you like by selecting View> Library Browser  from the menu, then browse to Fixtures and select a cap from the Fireplace Caps folder.


  6. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Overview  from the menu to create a bird's-eye view of the exterior of your plan, including the chimney.



    Full Overview is not available in Home Designer Interiors, instead create an exterior Full Camera   view.

    Notice that the chimney displays a beige sheetrock material. You can select a more appropriate material for the chimney right here in this view.


Materials for different objects can be selected at any time. A great way to choose materials is in a 3D Full Camera view using the Material Painter and Material Eyedropper tools.

To apply materials to the fireplace and chimney

  1. In the Full Overview displaying the chimney created above, select 3D> Material Painter , then choose the appropriate mode to open the Select Library Object dialog.


  2. Browse into Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Materials to find an attractive material for your chimney. The Masonry and Stone category and the Cultured Stone (R) Manufacturer catalog are two good places to browse for brick, block and stone materials.



  3. Click on a material to select it, then click the OK button to close the dialog. Your cursor will now display the Material Painter  icon.


  4. Click on the chimney to apply your selected material to this object.



  5. Now, apply new materials to the fireplace, mantel, and hearth inside the model. Select File> Close View to close the overview and return to floor plan view.


  6. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera  from the menu and click and drag a camera view of the fireplace inside the model. As before, use the Material Painter  tool to apply new materials to the objects in your view.



    • Once you select a material in the Select Library Objects dialog and click OK, you can click on as many objects as you like to apply the selected material to each.

    • To apply a different material, select 3D> Material Painter> Material Painter and choose a new material from the Select Material dialog.

    • If you would like to apply a material on one object to a different object in the view, select 3D> Material Painter> Material Eyedropper , click on the first object to load the desired material and then click on the second object to apply it.

 

If you use the Material Painter tool to apply a new material to a wall in the view, that material will be applied to all walls in that room. If you want to paint the walls it is recommended that you use the wall specification dialog.


To view your custom fireplace and chimney

Select 3D> Create Camera View> Doll House View  from the menu to see the entire floor, including the chimney, but without the ceiling or roof planes.



 

To create the appearance of a masonry chimney, you can apply a stone, block or brick material to the chase that you created using Interior Walls in the walls' specification dialogs.

If you want to use a second material to surround the fireplace opening, use the Soffit tool.


To apply materials to the chase walls and fireplace surround

  1. Click on the wall that defines the front of the chimney chase 'room' to select it, and then click the Open Object  edit button. 


  2. On the Materials panel of the the Wall Specification dialog, click on the words Exterior Surface, then click the Select Material button and browse the Materials library to find the material you prefer.


  3. If you would like to, repeat this process with the walls defining sides of the chase 'room.'


  4. To create a surround for the fireplace opening, begin by placing a Soffit in your plan. 


  5. With the soffit selected, use the edit handles to reduce its width to one inch or so, depending on the material you would like to use for your surround.  Use the Move  edit handle to position the soffit directly against the front wall of the chase.


  6. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Elevation  from the menu and drag a camera view in the direction of the window and screen, keeping the camera arrow perpendicular to the front wall.

    Home Designer Interiors does not have an Elevation tool, instead use the Full Camera   tool. 


    In this view:

    • Click on the soffit to select it and double-click the Copy/Paste  edit button. Click once in an empty area of the front wall of the chase to create a copy of the soffit, then click again in another empty area to create a second copy.

    • Click the Select Objects  arrow tool and edit the size, shape and location of each soffit so that they form a complete surround for the fireplace opening.

    • Select 3D> Material Painter> Material Painter  from the menu and apply the desired material to the soffits forming your fireplace surround.