BILT Speaker

BILT Speaker
RevitCat - Revit Consultant

Thursday, 26 May 2016

New in Revit 2017 - In-Place Stair Category

One of the new features in Revit 2017 that I do not like is the ability to create in-place families with the 'Stairs' category.  I pleaded with the Autodesk development team not to include this in the software but too many other people wanted it, so I lost out.

Do Not Use it!

Whatever you do, do not be tempted to use this new feature - it is a really bad idea.
  • In-place stairs do not host railings.
 You don't need any more reasons after that!  But here are some anyway:
  • You cannot use any of the stair features like stair numbers or arrows
  • You cannot mix and match in-place with component stairs
  • You can create unusual shaped stairs using the component sketch tool 
  • It was much faster for me to model the staircase shown above using the component sketch tools than it was to model it in-place by creating forms and cutting with voids. 
  • In-place families are a (necessary) evil in Revit - but they cause so many problems.  They should only be used as a last resort when absolutely nothing else will do the task.
  • If you move or copy an in-place stair, it does not move the elements (including forms) within it - so you have to edit the family to repeat the move process
  • In-place families included within groups just make duplicates of the family - they don't necessarily move when the copies of the group move;  they don't update in the duplicates if you update one
  • The list could go on . . . .
If you want to know more about how to create unusual shaped stairs using the component sketch tool, please attend my presentation 'Making Component Stairs Work For You' at RTC North America on July 16th 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona.


  1. Yesterday I had to create a staircase with the "create sketch" tool of the component stair due to its irregular shape. However when in sketch mode I have not found the way to sketch "past" over the first step because sketch lines can't overlap. I mean, when the run turns around so that the last steps need to be placed over the first steps. How do you overcome this limitation?
    About your 2016 presentation at RTC, I would really love to see it but the downloads are protected with a password. Could you share it, or what's the trick? Thanks

  2. Oh by the way I forgot why my question is related to this post. Because the only solution I found was to "Model in Place" the last steps!!!!

  3. Eduardo. Without seeing an image of what you want to create i can't comment on how you might get the sketch tool to work. You could try making the lowest tread as a separate run (sketch if necessary ) it makes the stair arrow a bit weird but much better than in-place family.
    Most of the RTC info is scattered in my various blog posts - without a live demo.

    The RTC papers are password protected because they are for people who paid to attend.

  4. Yes RevitCat thanks. It worked better with a separate run as you suggested. Not perfect but a much better solution.

    1. Glad to hear that idea helped. Nothing is ever perfect with Revit stairs - always a struggle and compromise!