Quite a few people have been asking me about how to use StairDesigner for building curved stairs. This is a complicated question as there are many ways of building curved parts and although StairDesigner is a great help for most it will not do all the work for any one method.
But in general StairDesigner is really a great tool for setting out the curves and verifying that the general shape of the stairs flows and is harmonious.
I myself use up to 5 different methods all with their different advantages and draw backs so making them more or less useful for different situations.
I give an overview of several methods throughout this blog.
To give a better idea of how to use StairDesigner for designing curved stairs this is the first article to show how a curved stair can be set out and built using StairDesigner and laminated strings and handrails.
The stair we are building are in fact 2 separate stairs that make up a stair well giving access to 4 levels. The stairs require several landings that will be opened to give access to the intermediate floors.
This project is a complex project that requires an initial study using AutoCAD to get the correct alignment of the different flights and accurately position the landing heights.
The AutoCAD study is in fact an accurate drawing of the existing stair well, built from the on site measurements and a rough positioning of the first and last steps.
Here’s a screen capture of the initial AutoCAD study:
The plan view gives me the exact dimensions of the stair well and where I want the stairs to start and finish:
The section of the stair well gives me the exact heights of each landing:
As you can see from the section the stairs will climb to give access to 4 levels.
I decide to build the stair way as 2 separate stairs, the first from level 0 to level 2 and the second from level 2 to 4. Each stair will have an intermediate landing giving access to levels 1 and 3.
Once I have the exact sizes of the stair well I use StairDesigner to model the stairs and adjust the landings, and winders so that the strings and handrails flow nicely from one flight to the next making smooth transitions in the curves.
Here’s a quick video that runs through the design process:
(We apologise for the the quality of this rather old video. Nonetheless, we wanted to include it for the advice on adjusting the curve of the rail and stringer.)
Toggle between actual and full size views in full screen mode to see which you prefer.