Creating a Sloped Ceiling Above a Staircase

Reference Number: KB-03156
Last Modified: September 9, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsVertical SeparatorHome Designer Professional


I need to generate a sloped ceiling above a staircase that extends to the floor above. What is the best way to create this in Chief Architect?

Sloped ceiling above a staircase


Creating a sloped ceiling above a staircase can be accomplished using a custom ceiling plane and modifying the height and pitch.

To create a sloped ceiling plane above a staircase

  1. Start by creating your desired staircase using one of the Stair  tools.

    In this example, a straight staircase is created on floor 1. A wall has also been created beside the stair that follows the rise angle.

    Floor plan with a staircase and wall created

    To create walls and/or railings that start at the floor and follow the rise of the staircase, please see the "Creating a Stair Rake Wall" resource in the Related Articles section below. 

  2. If an additional floor has not yet been created for the staircase to connect to, navigate to Build> Floor> Build New Floor to generate an additional floor level.

  3. Select Down One Floor  to navigate down to floor 1, click on the staircase using the Select Objects tool, then click on the Open Object  edit tool.

  4. In the Staircase Specification dialog that opens, make any desired adjustments to the staircase. Once the stair is to your liking, take note of the Rise Angle that is mentioned on the General panel, then click OK.

    General panel of the Staircase Specification dialog

  5. With the staircase still selected, click on the Auto Stairwell  edit tool to create an automatic stairwell, then navigate Up One Floor  to see the railings and stairwell room that the program created.

    Stairwell created on the second floor

    Note: Stairwells are Open Below room types that are created on the floor above. For more information on stairwells, please see the Related Articles section below.

  6. In some cases, you may want to have framed walls encompassing the stairwell, or maybe a combination of walls and railings. To convert the automatically generated railings to walls, select them using the Select Objects tool, click on the Open Object edit tool, then make the following adjustments in the Railing Specification dialog:

    General panel of the Railing Specification dialog

    • On the General panel, uncheck the Railing and No Locate boxes if you want to create full-height walls.

      If you want to create half-walls, leave the boxes above checked, but set the railing to be Solid on the Rail Style panel.

      In this example, we have converted the railings to full-height walls.

    • On the Wall Types panel, use the Wall Type drop-down to choose an appropriate wall type from the list.

      In this example, the Interior-4 wall type is selected.

    • Make any other desired adjustments, such as to the Materials, then click OK.

    The Add Break edit tool can also be used to break a wall/railing into separate segments that can be edited individually. This is useful if you would like to create a scenario where a railing leads directly into a full-height wall.

  7. Next, navigate to Build> Roof> Ceiling Plane and draw a ceiling plane starting at the bottom of the stairwell and stopping at the top, making sure to encompass the wall or railing that is directly beside the stairwell.

    Creating a custom ceiling plane

  8. With the ceiling plane created, select it using the Select Objects tool, then click on the Open Object edit tool.

  9. On the General panel of the Ceiling Plane Specification dialog that displays:

    General panel of the Ceiling Plane Specification

    • Check the Pitch in Degrees box.

    • In the Pitch (degrees) field, enter the value that was mentioned in step 4 above, then select the Lock radio button.

    • Set the Height Inside Wall value to be equal to the ceiling height of the room the staircase was created within.

      In this example, a value of 109 1/8 is specified.

      Note: If you're unsure of what this value should be, open the room the staircase is located within up to specification, and select the Structure panel to see the ceiling height that is specified.

    • Make any other desired adjustments to the ceiling plane, such as to its Structure, then click OK.

  10. Take a Camera  view to see the results.

    Full camera view showing a sloped ceiling in a stairwell