Building an Accessibility Ramp

Reference Number: KB-01114
Last Modified: February 27, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How can I create an accessibility ramp?

Curved accessibility ramp with glass railing


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.

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

For example, if the ramp is 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 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.

To create a curved ramp

  1. Select Build> Stairs> Ramp   from the menu, and draw out a ramp in your plan.

    By default, ramps are drawn at a 1:12 slope.

  2. Using the Select Objects  tool, click on the ramp to select it.

  3. 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, click and hold with your left mouse button on the top or bottom edit handle, and then drag the edge in any direction to curve the ramp.

    Adjusting a ramp to be curved

    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. 

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

    Two stair segments, with one curved

To create two ramp segments connected by a landing

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

  2. Click and drag out your first ramp section.

    Ramp drawn in floor plan view 

  3. Next, click and drag another ramp section, leaving space for a landing.

    Second ramp drawn perpendicular to the first

  4. With the Ramp tool still selected, move your mouse cursor in the open space between the two ramps, and click once to create a landing that will automatically connect to the two ramp sections.

    Placing a landing between the two ramp sections

    Note: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines recommend that there is at least 60" x 60" of clear space for landings that are placed where ramps change direction.
  5. If desired, you can select the ramp, click on the Open Object  edit button to open the Ramp Specification dialog, and further customize the ramp, such as the height and properties of the handrails, the materials of the items that make up the ramp, etc.

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

  7. Finally, take a Camera view to the results. 

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

  • Two simple examples in Floor Plan:

    Floor plan view of two ramp examples

  • In a Camera view:

    Camera view showing two ramp examples