Creating a Staircase

Reference Number: KB-00420
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

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


How do I create a staircase with an opening to the floor above?


Home Designer makes placing stair cases fast and easy. To make it easier to see our stairs lets tile our plan with a 3D view.


To tile the plan view and a 3d view

  1. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Camera  to create a Full Camera view looking at the room where the staircase will be built. 

  2. Select Window> Tile Vertically  so that you can place the 3D view side-by-side with the plan view.

Now you are ready to begin the first step, creating the staircase.


To create a staircase

  1. With the Floor Plan view active, select Build> Stairs> Straight Stairs  and to draw a staircase, you simply left click, drag and release the mouse button to create the stairs.


    In this example, the staircase is intentionally drawn too short, which allows you to modify the staircase so that it reaches the second floor.

  2. In the floor plan view, activate the Select Objects  tool, select the staircase, and click on the Open Object  edit tool to display the Staircase Specification dialog.


    Notice that Home Designer has detected the short staircase, and gives us a message to let us know.

  3. Home Designer also gives us a way to automatically extend the staircase to reach the second floor. Let's click the Make Best Fit button, and then select OK.

  4. You can now see that your staircase reaches the second floor.


Now that you've created the staircase, open it to specification once more so that you can configure the structure of the staircase.


To adjust the staircase structure

  1. In the floor plan view, activate the Select Objects  tool, select the staircase, and click on the Open Object  edit tool to display the Staircase Specification dialog.

  2. For the purposes of this example there needs to be fourteen treads instead of sixteen, so change the # Treads value to 14 by moving the radio button to Lock Number of Treads so that you can modify this field.

    Notice that Home Designer has updated the Length, the Section Width, and also gives us a message at the top saying that the "Steep staircase reaches next level".

  3. If you change the number of treads to seventeen, you can see that Home Designer has detected this, and has let you know that the "Shallow staircase reaches next level".

    Home Designer also provides a recommended tread depth here, and can calculate all of the settings for your staircase automatically. In addition, using the Lock value feature, you can customize your staircase to your exact specifications.

To move the staircase

  1. Use the Select Objects  tool to select the staircase, and note the edit handles that display. 

  2. Select the middle move handle, and move the staircase up against the wall.


  3. In the 3D view, see that the railing has been attached to the wall and a stringer that has been created along the steps.


Now that the staircase is configured it is time to create the stairwell.


To create a stairwell

  1. In order to generate a stairwell a second floor needs to be generated. Select Build> Floor> Build New Floor from the menu.

  2. For this example choose Derive new 2nd floor plan from the 1st floor plan and click OK.

  3. In the Floor 2 Defaults dialog specify the desired floor 2 ceiling height. For this example the preset defaults are used.

  4. Select Tools> Reference Floors> Down One Floor  to return to the first floor.

  5. The Camera view shows that the staircase is blocked by the ceiling.

  6. To solve this, in Plan View, select the staircase, and click on the Auto Stairwell  edit button.

    Note: If you do not see the Auto Stairwell button on the Edit toolbar it means that either the tool has already been clicked or that you already have an Open Below room specified above the stairs on the second floor.

  7. Now in the 3D view, see that a hole has been cut out of the ceiling.

  8. Close the existing 3D view, go to the second floor, and create another 3D view.

    From here you can see that the stairwell opening has a railing around it, and there is an opening at the top of the stairs between the wall in the railing.

When you return to plan view you can see that Home Designer has created these railings as standard architectural objects on Floor 2.

For example, you could select each of the railings, and you could edit them just like any other railing in Home Designer.

A new room in the center of the railings was also created. This room is marked as a stairwell, which means that it has no floor and is open below.