Creating Stairs with a Cable Stair Rail

Reference Number: KB-01029
Last Modified: March 16, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I want to change the rail style on my stairs to a cable. How can I do this?


In Chief Architect, you are able to draw a railing for your stairs manually which allows you the same style options as a standard railing. In this way you can create a staircase that has a custom railing applied.

To delete the automatically generated railings

  1. Using the Select Objects tool, select your stair, and click on the Open Object edit tool to display the Staircase Specification dialog.

  2. On the Newels/Balusters panel, next to Railing On, remove the checkmark from the boxes for both Left and Right.

  3. Next, go to the Fill Style panel, and use the drop down menu to change the Pattern Type to None.

    This will allow us to see the railing when we draw it over the staircase in the next section.

  4. Once you've made these changes, click OK to apply them and close the dialog.

Now that you've eliminated the automatic railings applied to the staircase, you are ready to draw in your own, and apply a cable panel to them.

To add a manual railing on the staircase

  1. In floor plan view, from the menu, select Build> Railing and Deck> Straight Railing then click and drag a railing from the bottom of the staircase to the edge of the top step.

    Make sure to keep the railing within the boundaries of the staircase.

    In X5 and prior products the Straight Railing tool was located in the Build> Wall menu.

  2. Next, using the Select Objects tool, select the newly drawn railing, then click on the Open Object  edit tool to display the Railing Specification dialog.

    If you select the staircase first, press the Tab key on your keyboard or Next edit tool, until you have the newly drawn railing selected.

    If you drew the railing in a little from the edge, use the edit handles to position it in the staircase.

  3. In the Railing Specification dialog, on the Rail Style panel:

    • Under the Specify Railing section, move the radio button to Panels.

    • Under the Build From section, check the box beside Follow Stairs.

  4. On the Newels/Balusters panel, next to Panels Type, click on the Library button to display the Select Library Object dialog.

  5. In this example, navigate to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Fences and Railings> Cable> Cable w/ Intersector and select this panel type.

  6. Click OK again to apply these changes and close the dialog.

Now that we've created one cable panel railing to follow the stairs, we can create a copy of it and move it to the other side of the staircase.

To create an exact duplicate of the railing on the other side of the staircase

  1. With the railing still selected, click on the Copy/Paste  edit tool.

  2. Click on the Reflect About Object button on the newly displayed edit toolbar.

  3. Mouse over to the middle of the staircase and when the line shows up indicating that you are selecting the middle of the stairs, click the mouse.

  4. You should now have a staircase with manually constructed railing which you can manipulate in the same fashion as any railing.  Create a 3D Full Camera view of the staircase to see the results.