If you’re confused by the cut stairs tool, you’re not alone. For many candidates it's not intuitive. Don't worry. After a couple of practice runs you'll have it. Sometimes candidates simply don’t know when or why to use it. Or, they will draw a standard flight of stairs and then try to apply the cut stairs to it. Whatever the trouble, here’s the deal.

• If the view of any part of your stairway is obscured by the stairway above it, use cut stairs.
• If your entire Stair Design solution can be seen from the Second Floor layer, you don’t need to use cut stairs. Show the entire solution on the Second Floor.

But, you may need to use cut stairs on test day.

Use cut stairs on the same flight. Once on the Ground Floor layer going up, and again on the Second Floor layer going down.

Do this:

With your solution laid out, determine which flight will be drawn using cut stairs.

Determine the length, width, and the number of risers needed in the cut stairs flight, and if necessary, draw a “sketch” rectangle in the location of the flight.

This flight will be drawn in two parts, using only the cut stairs tool. Once on the Floor 1 layer, and again on the Floor 2 layer.

1. While on the Floor 1 layer, click “draw” and hover over “cut stairs,” then click the cut stairs with the appropriate orientation (going up), for your solution.
2. In the “Select number of risers” dialogue box, enter the number of risers in the entire flight, 7 for example, and click “OK.”
3. Draw a rectangle the size of the entire flight by selecting three points. Start by clicking either corner at the bottom of the flight or “sketch” rectangle. The blue text box near the bottom of the screen displays, x: 0’-0” y: 0’-0” as well as the number of risers you specified.
4. The second point will establish either the length or width of the flight. Move the cursor in the direction of the length of the flight, and the length (x or y) and tread depth are displayed. Move the cursor in the direction of the width of the flight, and the width (x or y) is displayed and the tread depth is “unspecified.” Complete the rectangle by selecting the remaining two points.
5. Click “set elevation.” Then, click the question mark at either end of the flight, enter the appropriate elevation into the “Set Elevation” dialogue box, and click “OK.” Click the question mark at the opposite end of the flight, enter the appropriate elevation into the “Set Elevation” dialogue box, and click “OK.”

Your Floor 1 cut stairs should look something like this:

Click the “layers” tool. Select Current Floor number 2 in the “Floor Selection” dialogue box, and click “OK.”

While on Floor 2 layer, click “draw” and hover over “cut stairs,” then click the cut stairs with the appropriate orientation (going down), for your solution. Continue with the same process you used for the Floor 1 layer.

Your Floor 2 cut stairs should look something like this: