StairDesigner: Part Properties

A look at each of the major components of a stair project - steps, stringboards, handrails and newel posts - and how to apply and modify their parameters. It's possible to edit all instances of a component at the same time, or to select an individual step, stringboard etc and adjust that independently of all the others.

The control and flexibility that's possible makes it very quick to optimise your design for aesthetics, safety and ease of manufacture.

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General Step Parameters

How to adjust all steps and risers of your stair at the same time. You can add/remove risers, change material, thickness and the step nosing to riser distance. You can also fine tune the step to riser assembly details, including editing the riser into step groove dimensions, sitting the riser behind or on top of the preceeding step, and extending that preceeding step behind the riser.

Individual Step Parameters

How to select and individual step and modify its parameters in isolation, with a similar set of options to the General Step Parameters. Editing a single step is particularly useful in certain cases, for example adding a riser to the last step to hide a joist. The Step Type parameter is also covered here, including the difference between a winding and a straight step.

General Stringboard Parameters

How to modify the stringboards of your stair. Options include changing the material, thickness and width of your stringers, and setting how far beyond your first and last step you would like them to end. You can also fine tune how the stringboard edge is positioned in relation to the step nosing. A further option allows you to decide whether the strings fit inside or outside your stairwell dimensions, useful for half turn stairs where you would like the central stringboards to sit one above the other.

Individual Stringboard Parameters

As well as modifying all strings at once, you can select each individual stringboard and edit it separately. You have a similar set of options as are available within the general stringboard parameters, such as adjusting the material, thickness and so on.

This video focuses on the Type parameter, allowing you to change between curved and straight strings, and a combination of the two. This feature, used in conjunction with adjustments to the string angle, width and string to nosing offset, offers a very good way to edit and optimise each string quickly and efficiently.

Handrail Parameters

How to add and modify handrails in StairDesigner. Handrails can be curved (following the step nosings), straight or constructed in a series of straight parts. It's possible to adjust the material used, distance to step nosing, thickness, width, horizontal offset and the spindles themselves.You can modify all handrails in your stair project at the same time, or each one individually.

Newel Post Parameters

How to add and modify newel posts. As usual, it is easy to change the material of one or all the posts at the same time. You can adjust the shape of the section, offset along the stringer or laterally, and adjust the height of the top and bottom positions of the post in relation to the stair itself or to the floor.

Link Parameters - Step/Stringboard

Link parameters describe the way the parts are assembled to each other. Here we look at the assembly between steps and strings, in other words how the steps and risers are housed within the stringboards. You can adjust the depth of the groove within the strings, independently modify steps and risers, even create step cut outs to create a tenon joint.

As normal in StairDesigner's parameters, you can modify the stair globally or select individual steps and strings and edit each separately.

Link Parameters - Wedging

Wedging is a specialist link parameter feature that extends the step and riser housing to the edge of the stringboard at a pre-defined angle. Normally you would apply this to the step but you can add it to the risers as well if required. Wedges are used extensively in some countries to create a very strong joint and are particularly helpful for assembly of a stair on site that sits between two walls.

Examples

How to Set Back the First Newel Post

How to position the first newel post so it is not on the first step, but instead on the second step or further back. The method involves cutting the string in two, deleting the first part, positioning as required, then adding an intermediate post.

Stairwell railings

  1. How to add a horizontal balustrade to a stairwell
  2. Adjusting the handrail height to fit building regulations
  3. Adjusting stringer positions along a landing