Customizing Stair Stringers

Reference Number: KB-03121
Last Modified: July 20, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsHome Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


How do I customize the number and placement of stair stringers?   

U-shaped stairs with a single middle stringer


Stair stringers can be customized on the Stringers panel of the Stair Specification dialog or Stair Defaults dialog in X12, Home Designer 2021, and newer versions. In X11, Home Designer 2020, and prior, a limited number of stringer options can be found by accessing the Style panel.

To customize stair stringers

  1. Using the Select Objects  tool, click on a staircase you would like to edit the stringers for and click the Open Object edit tool.

    In Chief Architect Premier and Chief Architect Interiors, you can also navigate to Edit> Default Settings , expand the Stairs and Ramps category, click on Interior or Exterior Stairs in the list, then click the Edit button. 

    Any changes made in the Stair Defaults dialog will only apply to staircases created in the plan going forward. Changes made in the Stair Defaults dialog will not retroactively apply to already existing staircases.

  2. In the Staircase Specification or Stair Defaults dialog that opens, click on the Stringers panel.

    In X11, Home Designer 2020, and prior versions, click on the Style panel.

    Stringers panel of the Staircase Specification dialog

    • Specify the number of stringers in X12, Home Designer 2021, and newer versions.

      If you would like to specify custom stringers, select the Custom Stringers radio button.*

      In X11, Home Designer 2020, and previous versions, you can check whether or not to have a Stringer at Wall, a Single Stringer, or a Closed Stringer.

    • If you choose to create custom stringers, you must select the Left, Middle, and/or Right checkboxes.*

    • Specify the Count, Thickness, and Offset of each stringer.*

    • Specify the Height Below the treads, check Ext to specify stringers as exterior stringers, and specify the Height Above the stair treads.*

      For more information on each of these options, click on the Help button at the bottom of the dialog.

    • Check Trim Against Wall if you would like a trim board to generate when a staircase is butted up against a wall. Height Above/Below Tread can be specified for all products. The Thickness of the trim, and whether or not it has a Clip Top can be specified in Chief Architect Premier, Chief Architect Interiors, and Home Designer Pro.

    • Extend Stringer Top will extend a triangular portion of the stringer under the landing or platform at the top of the stairs, and checking Large Stringer Base will widen the stringers at the foot of the staircase, which may be helpful in cases when walls are created below the stairs.

    *Applies to Chief Architect Premier, Chief Architect Interiors, and Home Designer Pro.

  3. Once all desired changes have been made to the stringers, click OK to close the dialog.

  4. Take a Camera  view to see the results.

    Staircase with four stringers