Message: The stairs do not reach the floor above.

Reference Number: KB-00361
Last Modified: July 19, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsHome Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


When I try to use the Auto Stairwell tool to create a stairwell above a set of stairs in my plan, it doesn't work. Instead, an Information message tells me:

"The stairs do not reach the floor above. You need to lengthen them to give them more treads."

Why is this happening?


The Auto Stairwell  edit tool allows you to create a Stairwell room on the floor above a selected staircase with a single click. It is a convenient time-saver, but it does have a few requirements:

  • There must be an enclosed, selectable room on the floor above the stair.

  • The staircase in question must be located underneath a room on a numbered floor, which means that a Stairwell room cannot be created on the Attic level (Floor A).

  • The room above the selected staircase must have a floor. It cannot be Open Below.

  • The selected staircase must be long enough to reach the floor above.


If your staircase does not reach the next floor, there are two possible solutions:  lengthen it so it has more risers and treads, or increase its rise angle.

To lengthen a staircase, simply select it and drag either of the Resize edit handles located at the top and bottom ends of the stairs. You can also lengthen it by connecting it to other stair sections via a landing. 

If you prefer to increase the staircase's rise angle, you will need to manually specify its measurements rather than let the program calculate these values automatically.