Curved Stairwell


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I'm sure there is probably quite a bit of literature regarding stairs and how they're made. But I am a complete noob to them, and I have received my first project where they are necessary. And not just any stairs, but an irregular curved stairwell that I don't even know how to begin on! Unfortunately, I was not supplied with any detailed dimensions, because our project doesn't have to do with them (however our design still needs them there) and so, I have made some preliminary cad lines to kind of get the idea. Fortunately, I don't have to show the second story for our purposes... but, I do need this stairwell to look accurate.




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I rarely draw any type of stair, so I cannot offer practical suggestions.


The stair tool in Pro is the same as the one in Chief Premier, so stair videos for both are applicable. I'd start by watching every video I could find. Check YouTube, the Home Designer and Chief Architect sites.


Also search ChiefTalk.

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Hi Brandon,


Just a couple of general tips to add to Eric's suggestions:


It is good that you've sketched the radii with CAD circles/arcs.  You can use the curved stair tool to create a basic set of curved stairs; from your photos, I'd think you'd want the Curve to Right stairs, and then you can drag them into the approximate desired location.  Then, snap the start, end, inner and outer radii of the stairs to your CAD circles/arcs.


Look closely at your sketch and verify whether you have a true set of circular stairs, or if you have a circular section on the bottom and a tangent straight section on the upper end.


In most cases, you can make the stairs fit using the "Make Best Fit" button on the General tab of the Staircase Specification dialog.  This should set your riser height and angle.


Pay special attention to the walk line on the stairs; you may need to turn the display of this on at the Style tab of the Staircase Specification dialog.  Some jurisdiction codes have a minimum tread width specified at the walk line, and where that walk line is to be located.  Your stair treads will be wider on the outside radius than on the inside.


I strongly suggest playing with the stairs and stair dialog in a vastly simplified model to your target dimensions.  That way, if you find that you need to start over, you won't have messed up your actual model.  Practice until you feel confident in applying your new skills to your working model.


Good luck. :)


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