Tutorial: Stairs

About Stairs

A typical stair consist of the following elements:

  • Runs: straight, spiral, U-shaped, L-shaped, custom sketched run
  • Landings: created automatically between runs or by picking 2 runs, or by creating a custom sketched landing
  • Supports (side and center): created automatically with the runs or by picking a run or landing edge
  • Railings: automatically generated during creation or placed later

These elements can independently controlled as well as are connected with each other. For example, if you remove the staircase, railing on the stairs will automatically be deleted.

Tutorial Objective:

In this tutorial, you will learn,

Sample Problem:

Create a U-shaped monolithic (concrete) staircase in the sample project between “00 Ground Level” to “01 First Floor level” as shown below:

M2 Stair Tutorial 1

Fig 1. Layout of the U-shaped stairs for the sample project

M2 Stair Tutorial.JPG

Fig 2. Section view of the U-shaped stairs for the sample project

Sample Files required for this tutorial:

If you do not have the following files, please download them from here.

  • “TutorialStairs_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt”


Although, Revit provides great tools to automatically calculate number of risers needed for a stair between two selected levels, it makes it easier if you are clear about what kind of stair do you really want for your design. Some planning and preparation goes a long way in making a perfect stair! I recommend that before you begin adding a stair in your project, use “Detail Lines” to sketch out the basic shape of your stair, number of risers you would like to have on each run, overall width of your stair, tread depth and the total height of the stair (between levels/other). 

  1. The tutorial file “TutorialStairs_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt” already contains the sketch of the stairs using Detail Lines for your reference. Open this file in Revit.
  2. Navigate to the floor plan of “00 Ground Level”. Notice the detail lines marking the basic sketch of the stair. M2 Stair 1
  3. Now, let’s create a U-shaped monolithic stair (RCC/Concrete stair) between Ground Level and First Floor Level by sketching Run component.
  4. To add a stair using Run Component:

    • Click Architecture tab -> Circulation panel -> Stair
    • On the Component panel, verify that Run is selected.
    • On the Options Bar, For Location Line, choose the Run:Center
    • On the Options Bar, add Actual Run width as “1.2m”.
    • Now, in the Type selector, choose Cast-In-Place monolithic stair. 
    • Select the Base level of the stair as “00 Ground Level” and Top level of the stair as “01 First Floor level”. M2 Stair 2
    • Add desired number of risers as 18  and actual tread depth as 0.28m 
    • Notice that when you change the ‘Desired number of Risers’, the actual riser height is calculated automatically by dividing the total stair height/desired number of risers. If this value exceeds the maximum riser height specified in the  type properties, Revit will give an error. Set up your calculation rules in the type properties for maximum riser height and minimum tread depth to prevent the stair risers to be too high and treads to be too narrow while drawing the stair.
    • Go to the Type properties of the stairs and additionally, set up the Run Type and Landing Type as per your design requirements. M2 Stair 3
    • Now, in the drawing area, click to enter the start point of the Run. Choose the starting point as the midpoint of the detail line already sketched, as shown below.M2 Stair 4
    • Move straight downwards to select the endpoint of this first Run as shown below. Notice that as you move your cursor downwards, total number of risers created and remaining are displayed in halftone for your reference.M2 Stair 5
    • The first Run with 9 risers is now created. 
    • Do not worry about the landing at this moment. Continue to draw the second Run by clicking on the starting and ending point as shown below: M2 Stair 6
    • Both Runs are now created and Revit will display that 18 risers are created and 0 are remaining. Notice that the landing has been created automatically by Revit between two Runs. Width of the landing will be the same as the width of the Run.
    • Click on one of the Runs to select it. In the properties palette, note the parameters begins with riser and ends with riser. Make sure both check boxes are on for both runs. We will discuss about these parameters further in Step 7.M2 Stair 12
    • Click on Finish Edit Mode to complete the stairs. M2 Stair 7
    • The stairs is now added. Notice the annotations of the staircase that have been added automatically by Revit.M2 Stair 9
    • The railing on both sides of the Run and landing has been added automatically. You can select the railing individually and remove it or change its type from the type selector. 
  5.  Now, you may delete all the detail lines that you initially created for reference. 
    • TIP: To quickly select all the lines, select all elements in that particular region and then filter selection for the Detail lines.M2 Stair 8
  6. Create a section line to see the stairs in a Section view.
  7. Begin with riser and End with riser:

    • Notice that as we had selected “Begin with riser and end with riser” parameters for both runs, the stairs is sketched accordingly. It is clearer to notice this in a section view. A small gap that you notice between the last riser and the top level, is for the tread thickness. 
      • TIP: If you want to end with a riser but do not want the riser to show up like this, you can select the stair -> Go to Edit Stair -> Select the run and uncheck the box besides “End with Riser” parameter. This will reduce one riser from total number of actual risers. Graphically, this will solve the problem. However, it will display that one riser is less from the overall desired number of risers.M2 Stair 14
      • If you want to begin with a riser but end the stair with a tread, then you have to edit the stair, un-check the ‘End with Riser’ box for the run -> In the layout, drag/extend the run length to include the additional tread & riser in the stair layout. This will ensure that you have included all the desired number of risers.

        M2 Stair 15M2 Stair 16

  8. Go to a 3D view to see the stairs in 3D. Notice that an opening is required in the floor slab for the stairs.M2 Stair 13
  9. To create an opening in the floor slab:

    • Select the floor slab for which an opening is needed.
    • Go to Modify|Floors tab -> Mode tab -> Edit Boundary
    • Go to the floor plan where the floor slab is sketched. (for this case, go to ” 01 First Floor Level” floor plan).
    • Draw a closed loop for the opening boundary. Make sure that the boundary for the opening does not intersect or overlap the floor boundary.
      • NOTE: A closed loop inside another closed loop in a sketch mode, will create a void in a solid. 
    • Go to Mode panel -> Finish Edit Mode.M2 Stair 17
    • An opening in the floor slab is created. Go to a 3D view or a section view to see the changes clearly.M2 Stair 18M2 Stair 19.JPG
  10. After completing all the steps, save the project as, “TutorialStairs_Output_LearningRevitOnline.rvt”  

More about Stairs: