Creating Winder Stairs

Reference Number: KB-00884
Last Modified: July 15, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How do I create a set of winder stairs?

Custom Stair Winders in L-shaped stairs


Winders can be created using a variety of different methods, which include:

To create winders using the L-shaped and U-Shaped Stair tools

  1. Navigate to Build> Stairs> L-Shaped Stair or U-Shaped Stair  from the menu.

  2. In the New Shaped Staircase dialog that displays, check the Make Winders box, specify any other desired settings, such as a Split Landing if you're creating a U-Shaped staircase, then click OK.

    Note: The Make Winders and Split Landing options are only available in Chief Architect X12 and newer program versions.

    New Shaped Staircase dialog

    If the Split Landing option is also enabled when creating a U-Shaped staircase with winders, four, or five, treads are created depending on the Gap distance set. If the Gap distance is set to 11” or more, five treads will be created.

  3. Click in the desired area of your plan to place the staircase containing winders.

    U-shaped staircase with winders and a split landing

    Winders that are created automatically using the L-Shaped and U-Shaped stair tools are converted to landings and can be modified further to your liking.

To create stair winders using the Stair Specification dialog

Winders created using the Stair Specification dialog must be created in a room with proper room definition.

You cannot create winders using this method in an area composed of only 2 corner walls. If this configuration is needed, enclose the area in with the Room Divider tool so that a room area is defined. 

  1. First, make sure that the correct editing behaviors and snap settings are used:  

    • Select Edit> Edit Behaviors  from the menu and confirm that Connect CAD Segments  is turned on. If you see a check next to this menu item, it is enabled.

    • Select Edit> Snap Settings from the menu and confirm that Object Snaps  is enabled. If there is not a check next to this option, select it once to enable it.  

  2. Select Build> Stairs> Draw Stairs , then click and drag to create a section of stairs with the number of treads leading up to the winder section. In this example, 7 treads are created.

    Drawing the first set of stairs

  3. Next, create a second set of stairs with the bottom of the first tread snapping to the top of the last tread of the section created in step 2. Draw the number of treads to be equal to the number of winders you'd like. In this example, 4 treads are created.

    An additional stair section drawn

  4. Using the Select Objects  tool, click once on the winder section of stairs to select them.  

    Both stair sections are selected

  5. Press and hold the Alt key if you're on a Windows machine, or the Control key if you're on a Mac, then click and drag the edit handle at the top of the winder stair section in the direction you want. 

    Alternatively, right-clicking and dragging will enable this alternate drawing mode as well.

    Curving the second stair section

    This allows you to change the second straight segment into a curved stair section.  

  6. Next, using the Draw Stairs tool again, attach a section of stairs to the end of the curved section to finish creating the staircase.  

    A third stair section drawn from the curved stair section

    Your staircase should now look similar to the image above.  

  7. Move  the staircase into the corner you want it placed, then select the Open Object  edit button. 

  8. On the General panel of the Staircase Specification dialog that opens, place a check in the Winders box located in the bottom right of the dialog, then click OK.

    Check the Winders box on the General panel of the Staircase Specification dialog

    Note: You can also make further adjustments to the staircase while the specification dialog is open. To adjust the Tread Depth or the number of Treads for individual stair sections, select the Lock Tread Depth or Lock Number of Treads radio button. To adjust the Bottom Height, Top Height, or the Riser Height, uncheck the Automatic Heights box. 

  9. Winders will now be created and will extend into the corner as shown in the image below. 

    Winders created for an L-shaped stiarway

    The tread depth for a curved stair section (winder treads) is measured at the walk line. Simply set the tread depth of the curved stair section to your desired value and the treads will update accordingly.

    To enable the display of the walk line in a floor plan view, open the staircase up to specification, select the Style panel, and place a check in the Show Walk Line box. For further information on walk lines, please refer your program's Help documentation.

To create winders using manually placed Landings

  1. Navigate to Build> Stairs> Landing  from the menu, then click and drag to create a landing in your plan.

    Custom landing created in a floor plan

  2. Using the Select Objects  tool, click on the landing and use the various edit handles on each edge to adjust the shape to your liking.

    Landing that has been customized to be a triangular shape

  3. With the landing still selected and now shaped how you'd like, click on the Open Object  edit tool.

  4. In the Stair Landing Specification dialog that displays:

    Stair Landing Specification dialog

    • Adjust the Top Height.

      If Auto Adjust Height is selected, and the landing is bumped up against the top of a stair or another landing, the landings Top Height will automatically adjust to that component.

      If you'd like to specify a custom value for the Top Height, uncheck the Auto Adjust Height box.

    • Adjust the Thickness.

      If you'd like to specify a custom value for the Thickness, uncheck the Auto Adjust Thickness box.

    • Specify whether or not the landing has railings.

    • Make any other desired changes to the landing, such as the materials that are used, then click OK.

  5. Add additional landings and modify them using the procedures mentioned above, then take a Camera  view to see the results.

    Camera view displaying two landings that are used to create winders