Building an Accessibility Ramp with Hand Rails and a Landing

Reference Number: KB-01114 Last Updated: 07-30-2014 02:16 PM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


How can I create an accessibility ramp with hand rails and a ­landing?


Creating a ramp with handrails and a landing is easy to accomplish in Chief Architect using the Ramp  tool, which behaves much like the stair tools in the software.

To place a ramp into your design

  1. First, launch Chief Architect and choose to Open  the plan in which you would like to create your ramp.

    Stairs and ramps can be drawn in floor plan and 3D views, but not in cross section/elevation views. In 3D views, these objects can only be drawn in the presence of a ­floor platform or terrain perimeter.

  2. While in your 2D floor plan view, let's select Build> Stairs> Ramp  to draw a sloped ramp.

    By default, ramps are drawn at a 1:12 ­slope to a maximum height of 30" (760 mm).

  3. Click and drag out your first ramp section.


     Before ramps are created, make sure that the heights for what they are referencing are already set correctly.

    For example, if they are going to be between two rooms on the same floor where there is a change in the floor height, make sure that these values are set prior to creating the ramp.  The same is true of making sure that the terrain and deck are set correctly for an outdoor ramps.

    Ramps are drawn going UP, so they should be drawn from the lower of the two things that they connect, such as from the lower floor height, or from the terrain up to the deck.

  4. Next, click and drag another ramp section, leaving space for the landing that we will create in the next step.

  5. With the ramp tool still selected, move your mouse cursor in the open space between the two ramps.

  6. Click once to place a landing.


    Helpful Hint: While the landing shown is this example is at drawn at a right angle of 90 degrees, keep in mind that, as with stairs, we could draw these two segments at various angles and still generate a landing between them.

    Two simple examples in Floor Plan:

    In a 3D camera view:


    You can also use the Change Line/Arc  edit tool on a ramp or stair section to change it from a straight Ramp to a curved Ramp, or vice versa.

  7. Finally, select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera  and click and drag toward your ramp to see the results in 3D. 

  8. If desired, you can use the Select Objects  tool to select the ramp, and click on the Open Object  edit button to further customize your ramp, such as the height of the handrails, the materials of the items that make up the ramp, etc.

      If you use a single click to place a ramp, instead of using the click and drag method, then its Top Height will be set at the default of 30", the maximum height that a ramp can be before needing to have a landing in between it and the next ramp section. You can uncheck Automatic Heights to adjust this value.

  9. Click OK when you have finished making changes to apply them and close the dialog.


  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines recommend that landings placed where ramps change direction measure at least 60" x 60" of clear space.


Online Tutorial Training Videos on Ramps