Stairs are important in any setting that requires movement between two floors. Safety is the number one concern, so be sure that you are aware of the building code standards in your area as you work on your home design projects. The size requirements of the stair components are meant to be safe and functional for both people and for furniture clearance. I know I’ve had more than a few tricky situations during my many moves.
I tried to think of an example of stairs being a critical part of the structure and realized that lighthouses usually have plenty of stairs, so I made one up in order to be able to show you some of the ins and outs of using HomeByMe stairs.
You add and modify stairs in your project while you’re in the Build mode (1). Once you’re there, click on Stairs (2) and you’ll find our selection of stairs (3).
Just click on the one that looks right for your situation and drag it into your floor plan. Here I’ve put all of our stairs into one floor plan so that I can show you what they look like in both 2D and 3D. All of them have the default height of 102.4″ to match the wall heights. If you use a different wall height, be sure to change your stairs too as shown in the next step.
Once the stairs are in your floor plan, they’re easy to change. Just click on the staircase (1) and the properties will be displayed. You can change all the dimensions by typing in new dimensions or using the “+” and “-” boxes (2). You can also reverse the layout if you need to (3).
To move your stairs just click on them and then click on the 4 arrows symbol to move in any direction (1) or the green dot to rotate the stairs (2).
You can also resize your stairs without typing in measurements. Use the blue dots in the corners (3) to change the size in both directions at one time or the blue dots in the middle (4) to change the size in only one direction.
You’ll need to leave space at the top and bottom of the staircases. Usually the minimum required distance (2) is the same as or bigger than the width of the staircase (1).
When you add a new floor on top of an existing floor with stairs, HomeByMe automatically adds the proper clearance hole.
This is a big help! Now you know exactly where the stairs are as you plan your rooms and start adding walls. Don’t forget, you should add protection around the holes to prevent people from walking over the edges of the staircases! One way to do this is to draw new walls and make them about the height of the baluster as shown in this example.
You can also use Free shapes (Rooms>For all rooms>Free shapes) to create the walls. Here in the lighthouse I’ve used Free shapes because I wanted them to be bright yellow all over for safety. Walls will always have a white top and edges. That reminds me to mention that you can’t add a color to the floor thickness yet (red arrow).
Another functional requirement for stairs is the headroom (1). I’m tall and I’ve whacked my head many times when the clearance wasn’t quite enough. You can add a Free shape to fill in some of the hole, but check the headroom clearance carefully by putting a Character (Rooms>For all rooms> Characters) on the stair step directly below the edge of the Free shape. If you’re designing space that will be used by tall people, they will thank you!
When you’re looking in the HomeByMe Gallery for other examples of how to use stairs, check the number of rooms that are listed. If the project as shown looks fairly simple, but has a high number of rooms (1), it is likely to be a multi-floor project. Click on the Copy button in the lower right (2) to open the project in HomeByMe where you can then review each floor and see how they handled their stairways. This example has two more floors to explore (3 and 4).
I hope these explanations and examples help you to more easily use stairs in HomeByMe.
Now it’s your turn!