Creating a Staircase


Reference Number: KB-00420
Last Modified: May 9, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

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



QUESTION

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

Staircase in a lower living area/den


ANSWER

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


To tile the plan view and a 3D view

  1. Select 3D> Create Camera View> Full Camera  and click and drag with your mouse to create a 3D view looking at the room where the staircase will be built. 

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

 

To create a staircase

  1. With the floor plan view active, select Build> Stairs> Draw Stairs  and click, drag, and release the mouse button to create the stairs.

    Drawing stairs in a floor plan view with a 3D camera view tiled 

    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.

    Interior Staircase Specification dialog displaying staircase information 

    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 next floor.

    Floor plan view and a 3D camera view showing the staircase reaching the next 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, we want to have 14 treads, so move the radio button under the Advanced Options heading to Lock Number of Treads, and change the # Treads value to 14.

    Specifying 14 treads for the staircase in the Interior Staircase Specification dialog 

    Notice that Home Designer has updated the Length, the 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 18, you can see that Home Designer has detected this, and has let you know that the "Shallow staircase reaches next level".
     
    Specifying 18 treads for the staircase in the Interior Staircase Specification dialog

    Home Designer also provides a recommended tread depth here, and can calculate all of the settings for your staircase automatically. In addition, when using the Lock features, 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. 

    Staircase selected in a floor plan view


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

     Using the move edit handle on the staircase to bump it up against the wall


  3. In the 3D view, notice that a railing has been created along the wall.

    Railing has been created along the wall

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. Choose Derive new 2nd floor plan from the 1st floor plan, then click OK.

    New Floor dialog where the Derive option is chosen


  3. In the 2nd Floor Defaults dialog that appears, specify your desired properties. For this example the preset defaults are used.

    2nd Floor Defaults dialog where values and properties can be specified for the 2nd floor


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

    In Home Designer 2019 and prior program versions, navigate to Tools> Reference Floors> Down One Floor instead.


  5. Using the Select Objects tool, click on the staircase to select it and then click on the Auto Stairwell  edit button.

    Note: If you do not see the Auto Stairwell button on the Edit toolbar, a stairwell is already present, an Open Below room has already been specified above the stairs on the second floor, or the stairs do not reach the platform above.


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

    Staircase and stairwell looking up from the first floor


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

    Looking down on stairwell and staircase from the second floor

    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 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.