We will guide you through the process of drawing stairs on a floor plan in four simple steps. By following this article, you’ll gain the expertise to draw various types of stairs accurately and safely. Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Determine the Stair Type
Before sketching the stairs, it’s essential to select the appropriate stair type. Consider whether you need a U-shaped, L-shaped, spiral, or curved staircase. Each type offers distinct advantages depending on your space and design preferences.
1️⃣ Straight-run Stair
The straight-run stair is the most basic type, consisting of a straight line without any turns. Keep in mind that fire codes limit the height of a straight staircase to 12 feet (3658 millimeters) before a landing is required. The landing depth should be equal to the stair width.
2️⃣ L-shaped Stairs
L-shaped stairs have a straight section that turns either left or right. There are three variations to consider:
L-Shaped Stair with Landing
This configuration allows for long or short legs, and the landing can be positioned in any direction.
L-Shaped Stair with Winders
Winders are angled treads that replace a traditional landing, allowing for more space-efficient L-shaped staircases. However, it’s important to note that winders may not comply with local building codes.
L-Shaped Stair with Offset Winders
Offset winder treads are designed to meet local code requirements while maintaining generous proportions.
3️⃣ U-Shaped Stair with Landing
U-shaped stairs curve back as they ascend and work well in small spaces or as part of a multi-level system for easy movement.
4️⃣ Spiral Stairs
Spiral stairs are compact and commonly found in private residences. However, note that building codes restrict the use of spiral staircases to egress stairs in private homes accommodating no more than five occupants.
5️⃣ Curved Stairs
Similar to spiral stairs, curved stairs feature a central open space. If the open center diameter is large enough, the treads can meet the legal code requirements for egress.
Step 2: Determine the Floor Plan
Depending on the floor plan, there are three scenarios to consider when drawing stairs:
1️⃣ The Floor Where the Stairs Start
If the stairs begin on the floor you are drawing, indicate this by using dashed lines above the floor plan cut level. Solid lines should represent anything below that level.
2️⃣ The Floor Where the Stairs End
Conversely, if the stairs terminate on the floor you are drawing, you should represent the entire staircase using solid lines. The floor plan cut level will be above the stairs.
3️⃣ In Between Floors
When drawing stairs between floors, a combination of the previous two scenarios is applied. Use solid lines to represent the stairwell, indicating a cut in the floor on the lower level.
Step 3: Drawing the Stairs on a Floor Plan
With the stair type and floor plan established, it’s time to start sketching the stairway. Begin by outlining the steps:
- Each step is represented by two parallel lines spaced 5 cm apart.
- The first line should be solid, indicating the step from an overhead perspective.
- The second line should be dashed to represent the hidden stair nose.
Remember, if the staircase is U-shaped, ensure that the stair nose (dashed line) aligns at both turns.
Step 4: Stair Annotations
Stairway annotations are crucial for clear communication. Here are the four key symbols to include:
1️⃣ Up Arrow
Use an arrow to indicate the direction of ascent.
2️⃣ Steps Numbering
Number each step, starting from one. For multi-floor staircases, continue the numbering from the previous floor.
3️⃣ Stairs Dimensions
Measure the distance between each stair nose (dashed line) to determine accurate dimensions.
4️⃣ Stairs Elevation Spot
Place elevation spot targets before and after each continuous set of steps.
Stair Components and Calculations
Before moving on, let’s familiarize ourselves with the components of a staircase:
- Riser: The vertical surface of each step.
- Tread: The horizontal surface of each step.
- Nosing: The part of the tread that extends beyond the riser.
Now, let’s dive into the necessary calculations to build a safe and functional staircase.
To ensure the staircase is safe and comfortable to use, several calculations are required:
General Rule of Thumb: 2 x Riser + 1 x Tread = (585 to 645). If your calculated values fall within this range, you’re on the right track. Keep in mind the maximum riser height is 190 mm, and the minimum tread depth is 250 mm. However, always consult local building codes for precise requirements.
Calculating the Number of Steps: Divide the floor height (from one finished floor to the next) by the riser’s height to determine the number of steps needed. For example, if the floor height is 300 cm and the riser is 15 cm, the calculation would be 300/15 = 20 steps.
By following these steps and calculations, you’ll be able to draw stairs accurately on a floor plan. For more information on architectural floor plan symbols, take a look at our comprehensive guide on Architectural Symbols.