Customizing Stair Landings

Reference Number: KB-00946
Last Modified: March 29, 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


I have a set of stairs which start or meet at an odd angled landing. How can I model this in Home Designer?


You can draw a variety of stair sections joined by a landing, including T-shaped staircases, U-shaped staircases, as well as many more unconventional styles using the stair tools within your Home Designer Software.

If you only have two stair sections that need to be connected, you can easily create the stair landing between them with a single click.

Editing a Stair Landing in Home Designer software is much like editing other closed polyline-based objects such as Custom Countertops, Terrain Features, etc.

There are a few things to keep in mind when drawing stairs:

  • Before stairs are created, make sure that the heights for both the lower and upper floors are correctly defined.

  • Stairs are drawn going UP, so they should be drawn from the lower of the two floors they connect.

  • Stairs adjust their riser and tread dimensions to connect two floor heights if possible. The rise and run are calculated so that the steps are consistent in size.

  • If you have the Reference Display  turned on, stairs snap to the reference display.

  • If a stairwell room has been defined on the floor above, the top of the stairs can be dragged until it stops at the railing or wall defining the stairwell.

To create a stair landing

  1. First, launch Home Designer and Open the plan in which you would like to create your irregularly shaped landing.

  2. Select Build> Stairs> Straight Stairs , then click and drag to create your first stair section, starting at the bottom and drawing upward.


  3. Using the Select Objects  edit tool, select the straight stair section, then click on the Change Line/Arc  edit tool to make this section curved, and use it's edit handle to create

  4. Next, draw in your second section of stairs in the same manner, appoximately where they should be in relation to the first set of stairs.

  5. With the Straight Stairs tool still active, click in between the two stair sections.

  6. You can see that instead of a standard rectangular landing, the two stairs are connected with the appropriate landing shape and size.

    If, instead of a landing, you have triangle or kite shaped stair winders connecting the two stair sections and are using Home Designer Pro, please see the Stair Winders article.

Once you have a landing placed in your plan, it is easy to edit it into almost any shape by selecting it and using the Change Line/Arc and Break Line edit tools. Below is an image with some of the edit handles you may want to familiarize yourself with before editing stair landings.

If you are unfamiliar with the functions of these edit handles within your software, select the Help menu and click on Launch Help to display the software's searchable help menu.

To edit a stair landing

  1. To change one of the segments of the landing into an arc, choose the Select Objects tool, and click on the edge of the landing that you want to change.

  2. Select the Change Line/Arc edit tool.

    • You can also use the Change Line/Arc edit tool on straight stair sections to change them into curved stair sections.

    • Note that only the edge that you selected will change. You will need to select each edge you want to turn into an arc and use its edit handles to reshape it appropriately for your particular custom landing shape.

  3. The Break Line edit button can be used to create a new corner edit handle at the location of the break.

    • These partial breaks created by the Break Line tool in a stair landing are also referred to as joints, nodes or pivot points.

      If you happen to place more breaks than are necessary for your stair landing, you can easily remove them by selecting the diamond edit handle at the break and dragging it over to the next diamond edit handle. Repeat this procedure until you only have the right number of breaks in your landing.

    • Another reason to place a Break would be if you needed to have two stair sections connected to the same edge of a landing, and have received the following error message:  "Please break or extend this landing edge to match the end of the stair section it is against."
      To resolve this warning, select the Break Line edit tool and click at the location on the landing in between where the two stair sections will be before placing the second stair section, as demonstrated in the separate example image below.

      Notice that you do not need to move this edge of the landing, simply placing a break at the correct location creates the necessary extra edge to which the stair section can attach.

  4. Continue modifying the stair landing until it is the desired size/shape.

To create an independent stair landing

  1. Select Build> Stairs> Landing , then click and drag out a basic rectangular landing, and use the methods described earlier in this article to customize its size and shape and position it connected to the bottom of the start of the stairs.

  2. With the stair landing still selected, click on the Open Object  edit tool.

  3. In the Stair Landing Specification dialog, on the General panel:

  • Uncheck Auto Adjust Height When Connected to Stairs and set the Top Height value.

  • Uncheck Auto Adjust Thickness When Connected to Stairs and set the desired Thickness value.

  • Check No Rail on Selected Edge.

    When you click on a polyline- or box-based object, the edge that you click nearest becomes the "selected edge" and displays an edit handle larger than those on other edges. The handle on this edge may also display at the point where you clicked to select it.

  • Click OK.

  • After clicking OK, select another edge of the landing and mark No Rail on Selected Edge and repeat this process until all of the desired sides of the landing are open.

  • You can add any additional landings desired at the top or bottom of the stairs using these steps, and now you are ready to change the materials or other aspects of the stairs and landings.