Need help creating a "dugout/egress-walkout" basement


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Hello, I am new to designing and learning Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 2015 as I go. I am currently trying to create an “egress” style walkout basement. I know this is a play on words so let me explain: We have designed the first floor of our home to be completely at grade (0”) (no steps whatsoever), including our porches, which will be concrete slab “extensions” from our foundation walls. We do, however, plan on having a full 9’ basement and want to have a backyard walkout basement door/patio access. The stipulation is that I want my backyard terrain/elevation to remain at grade (0”). My idea for a solution is to create an “egress or dugout” walkout basement where only the basement door/terrace area is below grade. I am figuring I can create this using retaining walls and a slope elevation to gradually create a landscaped stairway upward to grade (0”) level. I keep coming close in my designs but nothing spot-on yet and could really use some guidance. I can also use some help in continuing the porch roof over the egress walkout; as it is, there is a gap and I do not know how to fix this. Finally, I cannot find the “Flat Terrain” cut/fill modifier in the Terrain menu or anywhere in the program, and I am assuming this will come in handy. I would sincerely appreciate any help from anyone who wants to chime in!!

I have attached a screen-shot of my backyard plan, as well as several Google images that illustrate the “dug-out” effect I am trying to accomplish. Thank you!!






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As I mentioned it's always a good idea to post the plan so people can have a look at the issues for you otherwise we are just guessing as every situation is different , and since suite only has auto Roof ,you may need to use room divider walls to get the roof to build ,but can't try it with your plan. The rest shouldn't be to difficult.


Don't have Suite so not sure if your have the "Flat Terrain Tool" as I'm not sure if you mean the Flat region tool or the elevation Region tool ?


this might help


Other Terrain KB Articles


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Extend your porch wall over the walk-out.  Make the wall invisible.  Open that room and designate it 'open below'.

Make sure that 'roof and ceiling over this room' are checked. That should give you the continuous roof.


My 2d floor pic is for level 1.  The terrain is drawn on level1, and the terrain retaining walls are drawn on level 0.

Look on the toobar under 'TERRAIN' for 'elevation data'  >  'elevation lines' and 'elevation region'  (it is the 'flat' region tool, that I think you are looking for).


You should draw a terrain hole (toolbar>terrain>terrain features>terrain hole) on level 1 over the walk-out area.

The south basement wall (level 0, walk-out area) should be made invisible.


Terrains are finicky.  Keep adjusting until you get the right results.



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