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RevitCat - Revit Consultant

Thursday 6 February 2014

Revit Multistorey Stairs - Method 1

Hong Kong
[Edit: Revit 2018 has a new method for creating multistorey stairs, so the issues described here will not be relevant once you upgrade to v2018;  if you are using v2017 or earlier, read on]

With the new component based stair tools in Revit v2013 (and onwards) there are now three distinct ways to create multistorey stairs. In the USA it would be spelt "Multistory", but that is another story.  In the rest of the English-speaking world we put an "e" into storey to distinguish it from a tale!

Each method has its pros and cons. Here I will deal with method 1, which uses the old “Multistory Top Level” setting to create virtual upper levels.
Refer to a following post for method 2 (additional stair runs).  In Method 3, Revit now allows spiral stairs to run around more than 360 degrees to create multistorey spirals.
Taihang Mountains, China

Creating Multistorey Stairs – Method 1

This method is similar to the old (pre-2013) Revit method, but there are some subtle differences described in the process below:
  • Create a typical one-storey stair; go to the stair properties
  • Change the “Multistory Top Level” property from None to an upper level on the list. Assuming floor to floor heights are all equal, it will replicate the lower stair on the upper storey(s). With this method, the upper storeys must be the same heights as the lower ones;  alternatively, if you have changed the stair Base or Top Offsets to something other than zero, then the Multistory Top Level needs to be a multiple of the "Desired Stair Height" shown in the properties.
  • Note that it will not add the intermediate landings at each storey level – you need to do that yourself (see below)
  • If the upper storey heights are different, you will probably get an error message. If you proceed it will store the warning with the stair and create intermediate storeys, but will not create the flights for the top level 
  • If the odd storey height is somewhere in the middle of the building, Revit does not build a reduced height stair like “Floor 7 ½ ” in the film Being John Malkovich 

  • Instead Revit gives a warning about that floor and keeps building the stair with flights at standard heights to match the original but stops short of the top.
  • If the levels are changed so that all are matching, the stair will not adjust itself automatically, nor will the warning disappear – you need to manually reset the top storey level to get it to add the missing storey. 
  • Also, if the levels all start off equal and one is subsequently changed, Revit will not adjust the stair nor will it give an error message – it just won’t align the landings with levels. You can use this to your advantage if you want a multistorey stair to go up through a non-standard storey height but with standard run heights.

  • (Hot Tip) In fact you can take this a step further (pun intended) by creating a special level just to control the top of your multistorey stair, and give that level an explicit name. The height of that level must be a multiple of the “Desired Stair Height” (typically the height between the lower two stair levels). It does not matter what other levels exist between the Top Offset and Multistorey Top Level
  • Then change your stair properties to reach that Multistorey Top Level
  • Once that is done you can move the special level out of harms way – it can even go below the lowest stair level underground. You must not delete the level otherwise the multistorey part will disappear – so it is a good idea to rename it to warn people not to remove it 
  •  This method will eliminate the warning message for the stair, for those who have a zero tolerance policy for warnings.

Tread Numbers

The stair Tread Number tool will not work on the upper flights – it will only allow you to select the “real” stair runs, not the virtual ones created by the Multistory setting.

Intermediate Landings 

Revit will not add the intermediate storey landings for you
  • You can go back into Edit mode to add a landing at the top of the defined stair by creating a sketch landing or by adding an extra run at the top, then deleting the run - the remaining landing will be converted to a sketch based component 
  • Once you complete the stair, you will notice a few very odd things happen
  • The upper stairs will not join properly with the new intermediate landing
  • This can be partially rectified by changing the run property “Extend Below Base” to a negative figure matching the landing thickness (it will also extend into the floor at the base); it won’t actually join the landing but at least it will be modelled correctly at the junction.


  • Revit will also create railings all around the intermediate landings effectively blocking off the upper flights; it will also join the inner and outer railings into one element
In the next post I will show how to stop the railings from doing this


  1. easy as creating stairs in Revit!

  2. Hello Tim,

    I am Aaron Lu, a User Experience Designer from Autodesk. We are currently working on an improvement for multistory stairs feature in Revit. I found your blog yesterday while I was doing my research and your articles are very insightful and inspiring.

    I wonder if we could invite you to have a discussion with our team. I saw you have some suggestions and I would love to know more details about it.

    Email :

    Look forward to connecting with you.
    Thank you.

    Aaron Lu

  3. Very good it..looking more trick creating baluster

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Nice post. I tried out but it didn't work for me.
    Without using top offset, there is no way to match the top tread with the floor level (say L1). Furthermore, when the stairs property is changed to T.O.Multistorey Level the error message pops up..."Couldn't reach top level with integral number of flights..."

  6. I have embedded some images to the given links that highlight the problems mentioned in my earlier post.


    Thank you for your time!

  7. Hi Mehdi. In v2018 this has all changed - hopefully for the better. I recommend spending time learning the new multistorey stair tools in v2018, and not struggle with workarounds in the old versions.