How to Draw Stairs on a Floor Plan

October 9, 2023

Stairs are a fundamental aspect of a floor plan and, as with any other design element, need to be drawn to scale. The correct stair length depends on the number of steps, but the overall size of the stairs can also be determined by the height and width of the risers and treads.

How to draw staircases

When drawing a floor plan, you may want to use a template for drawing the interior spaces and a different one for exterior spaces such as solariums or decks. These templates can simplify the process of drawing a floor plan and allow you to get started more quickly.

Using a template makes the task easier and faster, so you can spend more time on designing and less time on repetitive tasks like erasing mistakes. There are many templates available online, so you can find one that is suitable for your needs and budget.

Draw to scale

The size of a floor plan should be measured in a system that is most familiar to you or the client. Usually, this will be either imperial or metric measurements. If you are working with a client who uses the USA’s measurement systems, then it is important to use the Imperial scale; however, if the client is from a country that follows the metric system, then it is best to use the metric system.

For example, if the stairway you are drawing is 12 feet long in real life, then it should be 3 inches long in a drafting diagram or plan view.

You can find the stairway’s length in a drafting chart or a CAD file that is compatible with the software you are using to draft the floor plan. In EdrawMax, you can find a variety of floor plans to download and use as your template.

Check the stair dimensions

To check the stair dimension of your stairway, select Tools> Floor/Reference Display and turn on the Reference Floor Display. It will show walls and other objects that have been previously positioned in the floor you are referencing from. The stairway will then display as red lines on the Reference Display.

Check the stair measures* * Measure stair heights, widths, and other details against appropriate building codes and ADA requirements, and ensure all of these are accurate. Note that a stairway that is wider than the required ADA minimum width or that does not meet a required maximum or minimum riser height will not be constructed as a stairway.

Call out direction of travel* * If you are drafting an enlarged drawing for a specific stairway, you can indicate the stairway direction by highlighting it with an arrow or by showing break lines where the stairway continues on another floor level.

Consider stair shorthand and symbols* Conclusion: In architectural plans, stair symbols are often used to represent stair types, such as spirals, straights, and straight flights. These symbols are easily recognizable and can help you to draw a stairway more accurately.

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I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality. I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and currently practice professionally, but I also manage a few other ventures.
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