Creating Curved or Spiral Staircases

Reference Number: KB-00477
Last Modified: March 31, 2023

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I would like to add curved stairs or add a spiral staircase to my plan. How can I do this?

Curved staircase in an entryway


Curved staircases can be created in Chief Architect using the Curve to Left and Curve to Right stair tools. In addition to these tools, straight staircases can be curved by holding down the Alt or Option key on your keyboard. Spiral staircases are best created using the Spiral Staircase objects located in the library.

To use the curved stair tools

  1. Select Build> Stairs> Curve to Left  or Curve to Right  from the menu, then click once in a floor plan to add curved stairs at that location.

  2. To move, resize, or rotate the stairs, click the Select Objects  tool, select the stairs, and use the edit handles that display to adjust the stair to your liking.

  3. In X15 and newer versions, a Radius Reference can be set for curved stair sections, and you can specify a value using the Radius input field located within the Staircase Specification.

    General panel of the Staircase Specification dialog

To curve a straight staircase

  1. Select Build> Stairs> Draw Stairs  from the menu, then click and drag to draw a run of straight stairs.

  2. Using the Select Objects  button, click on the staircase to select it.

  3. With the staircase selected, hold down the Alt key on your keyboard if you're on a Windows PC or the Option key if you're on a Mac, left-click on the top or bottom edit handle located on the staircase, then drag the edge in any direction to curve the staircase.

    Curving a straight staircase

    Note: The Alt/Option key and the right mouse button/action are shortcuts for the Alternate edit behavior. If you would like to enable this edit behavior for the left mouse button/action, navigate to Edit> Edit Behaviors> Alternate.

    In addition to the Alternate edit behavior, stairs can be converted from straight to curved, and vice versa, using the Change Line/Arc edit tool.

    Multiple stair segments can also be connected to each other. Try placing one stair segment and then creating another from the end point of the first. Once done, curve one of the segments, and notice that the additional, connected stair remains unchanged.

    Two separate stair segments connected to each other, with one being curved, and one being straight

    Stairs can also be broken into multiple segments with the Add Break Break tool icon tool. Segments are denoted by their segment number and have separate edit handles for each section.

    Stairs can be broken into multiple segments and modified.

To place a spiral staircase from the library

  1. Open  the Chief Architect plan in which you would like to place a spiral staircase, or select File> New Plan  from the menu.

  2. If it's not already open, select View> Library Browser  to open the library, then browse to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Staircases> Spiral.

  3. Click on one of the spiral staircases to select it.

  4. When you move your cursor into the drawing area, it will display the Fixtures (Interior)  icon. Click once to place the selected spiral staircase at that location.

  5. Once placed, you can use the edit handles to move, resize, or rotate the staircase as desired.

  6. Finally, take a Camera view to see the results.

    Camera view of a spiral staircase from the library

To create a stairwell, or opening, for your stairs to come up through, please see the appropriate resource located in the Related Articles section below.