Revit Architecture: An introduction to Railings

In this Revit Architecture tutorial, I am going to show you the basic operation of the Railing tool. I will show you how to create a Railing along a path that you define; and also how to place Railings onto Stair Runs & Landings.



We are going to start off this tutorial by looking at the “Sketch Path” option of the Railing tool. You would typically use this tool to create handrails / railings around mezzanines, stair wells, parapet walls, etc.

To start with select the “Architecture” menu and then “Railing”. Notice that the Railing tool has a drop-down which presents 2 options- “Sketch Path” and “Place on Stair/Ramp” Go ahead and select “Sketch Path”…..



As soon as you choose this option, Revit enters Sketch Mode……



In the above image you can see the “Sketch Mode” interface including the Draw Palette. You use these tools to draw out your Railing path in plan. In the image below you can see the path I have sketched. Note how this particular path is made up from one straight segment and two “3 point arcs”. You Patch does NOT need to be a closed loop.


So let’s go ahead and work with this path. Before we actually create the Railing, we can choose a Type. Hit the Drop-Down Type Selector in the Properties Palette and choose a Railing Type. I’m going to go with “900mm_Pipe”…..



So with path sketched and Type chosen we can now instruct Revit to proceed and create the Railing. We do this by simply hitting the “Green Tick” on the Ribbon menu…..



When you do so, Revit creates the 3D geometry of your Railing. If we switch to a 3D View, we can clearly see the newly-created Railing….



OK. So now onto the “Place on Stair/Ramp” option of the Railing tool. You would use this to add Railings to Stairs and Ramps that currently have NO Railings on them. I emphasise the “NO” in the last sentence, because this tool ONLY works if you no Railings at all on the Stair or Ram in question. If you have a Stair or Ramp that currently has a Railing on ONE side and you want to add one to the other- you first have to DELETE the existing Railing- so that the Stair / Ramp has no Railings at all, BEFORE you can then use this tool to add Railings to BOTH sides. Let’s see this in practice. In the image below you can see a single Stair Run that I have created. It currently has no Railings……



Let’s go ahead and add Railings to this Stair Run. Go ahead and select the “Architecture” menu and then choose “Place on Stair/Ramp” from the Railing drop-down….




When you do so, notice the Ribbon menu changes to give you the following 2 options…..



You can position your new Railings either over the ends of the treads themselves, or over the Stringer (the Stringer is the support to the sides of the Stair / Ramp Run). I am going to leave mine set to “Treads”. Now go ahead and choose a Railing Type from the drop-down selector on the Properties Palette….



In the above image you can see that I’ve chosen “Glass_Panel_Bottom_Fill” as my Railing Type. I now just need to hover my cursor over the Stair Run in the active view. Revit will detect that there is a Stair without a Railing. I now just need to click on the Stair Run and Revit adds the Railings to both sides….


One question that comes up a lot is how to adjust the way that stair railings (i.e. it’s handrails) terminate. Usually you want your handrail to continue past the end of the Run- either returning on itself or down to the floor or wall, etc. This can be done in Revit. To do so, you need to edit the TOP RAIL of your Railing. Hover you cursor over the top rail of your Railing. Now press your TAB key. Keep tapping your TAB key until JUST the TOP RAIL highlights in blue…..



Now go ahead and click to select. I’LL REITERATE: You need to select JUST the TOP RAIL and NOT the overall Railing. You can confirm to yourself that you have selected the correct element. If you look over in the Properties Palette, you can see that it states “Railings: Top Rails (1)” as the selected item……



With this still selected, hit “Edit Type”……



Now if you look down the list of Properties for the Top Rail, you will see 2 Groups- “Extension (Beginning/Bottom)” and “Extension End/Top”. These parameters control how the Top Rail terminates at the start of end of Runs……



Let’s go ahead and change how the Top Rail terminates at the bottom of the Stair Run. If I click on the “Extension Style” parameter, you can see that there are 4 options in the drop-down. I am going to change it from “None” to “Post”….



I am also going to set the length of the Extension (of the Post) to 300mm. I enter this value into the “Length” parameter box….



You can see in the above image that at the bottom of the Stair Run, the Top Rail of the Railing now extends 300m beyond the main Railing and returns back to the end upright. Play around with the other “Extension Styles” top see their effect on the Top Rail.

This tutorial is taken from "The Complete Beginner's Guide to Revit Architecture" FREE online course.
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Posted in Autodesk Revit.