The Sims 4 Building Tutorials:
Up and Down: Stairs and Basements
by Norma Blackburn
Eventually, every builder in the Sims will have the need to make a building larger. When we run out of room on the lot, we can always build up or down. Building up, we can build up to four levels of enclosed rooms. A fifth level is possible, but this level can only be a deck. Building a ceiling or walls on this level is not possible.
We can also build down with basements. Two levels of basements are possible meaning that our Sims have seven levels of space at their disposal.
Click to Enlarge. Building up and down gives a Sim a lot more room
Building up is very easy, just use the wall or room tool to draw out the shape of the new room on the next level up. When using the room tool, the starting point has to be over an existing room or wall on the level below, but it can continue out over nothing. When using the wall tool however, all walls you build must at least start over an existing room or wall.
Click to Enlarge. An upper level can extend out into thin air
Although upper levels need to have something below them when being built, once they are complete, any lower building or supports can be removed resulting in an interesting look.
Click to Enlarge. Defy gravity with a floating room
Once we have an upper level, we need to add stairs so our Sims can reach these new levels. Stairs are added from the lower floor up and will automatically remove the necessary floor tiles for the stair well. We can also add stairs to an upper level from outside.
Click to Enlarge. Stairs can be added inside or outside
Select stairs from the build menu and hover over the different styles to select the color palate for each style. Once selected, just move the staircase around until it's in the correct location and click to place. If you want wider stairs, select the placed stairs and grab the side arrow and pull out or to the desired width. The game will remove any extra flooring for the wider stairs or add flooring if you make wide stairs narrower.
Click to Enlarge. Grab the arrow to make stairs wider
If you have built a set of stairs and decide that you want a different style, there is no need to remove the first set and rebuild. Simply select the new stairs and place over the top of the existing stairs and click. The new stairs will replace the old ones and you will be charged or refunded the difference on price.
When we add stairs, we need to remember that more space will be needed if we have higher walls. With the walls set at the lowest height, 3 spaces for the stairs is required plus an extra square at the top and the foot of the stairs for a landing. For medium height walls, 4 squares for the stairs is required and 5 squares is needed for the tallest walls.
Click to Enlarge. The higher the walls, more space for the stairs is required
An interesting thing to note with stairs, is that although they are placed from the lower floor up, if we increase the height of the walls after the placement of stairs, the top landing will remain in the same spot and the lower landing will be moved. This means that if there is no room for the stairs to move out to the required length, they will be removed with the increase in wall height and you will need to replace them.
Stairs through Fences
When placing stairs, if there is a fence at the top landing, the stairs can still be placed and a piece of fencing will be removed to allow placement. This only works with fencing and not walls. Walls need to be removed before adding stairs.
Click to Enlarge. Even though there is a fence here, the stairs can still be placed
Building down into a basement is very easy and can be done in a couple of different ways. The first way is to select the Wall and Empty Rooms option in build mode and then select the basement tool. Drag out the size room you want and that room will be created on the level below. You can also draw your basement using the custom basement tool. This tool works the same way as the custom room tool and is handy when you want your basement to match the size and/or shape of the house or room above.
Click to Enlarge. Use the custom basement tool to trace around the outline of the room above
The second way to build basements is to go down a level (page down) and just build a room wherever you want on that level. Using this method, you can create different shaped rooms or import styled rooms from the catalogue or rooms from the gallery.
Click to Enlarge. Build rooms wherever you want in a basement or place a styled room
Basement rooms work in the same way as rooms above ground. Select the room and you can pull and push wall as well as add and remove floors and ceilings. Removing a floor in the basement will reveal the dirt floor or the level below if there is a room underneath. Removing the ceiling from a room on the first basement level will open that room to whatever is above it.
Click to Enlarge. Removing the ceiling from a basement can create an open pit in your backyard
It is possible to remove the ceiling from a lower level basement, however the game seems to react in strange ways when you try to do this. The easiest way is to remove the floor from an upper basement room that is over the lower level where you want to remove the ceiling.
Other Building Guides
Sims 4 House Building
Counters and Islands
Decorating Inside Homes
Island Living (Stilt Foundation, Glass Floors)
Split Levels and Lofts
Stairs and Basements
Check Out My Youtube Channel!
We now have a Youtube Channel with over 50 guides in video format to go along with the huge site I've already created. Check it out and consider subscribing if you like my style.
This policy contains information about your privacy. By posting, you are declaring that you understand this policy:
- Your name, rating, website address, town, country, state and comment will be publicly displayed if entered.
- Aside from the data entered into these form fields, other stored data about your comment will include:
- Your IP address (not displayed)
- The time/date of your submission (displayed)
- Your email address will not be shared. It is collected for only two reasons:
- Administrative purposes, should a need to contact you arise.
- To inform you of new comments, should you subscribe to receive notifications.
- A cookie may be set on your computer. This is used to remember your inputs. It will expire by itself.
This policy is subject to change at any time and without notice.
If you are trying to stack stairs on top of each other start on the lowest floor and place them up one floor at a time.
Hi i just downloaded sims 4 i saw ur tips then i attempted to make a really cool and big house thank u for these tips
New Patch for November 2019!
Discover University Expansion
The Sims 4 Discover University has been announced for November 15 for PC/Mac and December 17 for Xbox and Playstation 4 consoles. Click to learn more about the pack, see my summary of the livestream or read our FAQs below.
For video info see my Summary of the Sims 4 Discover University Deep Dive Livestream.
- Lot Traits Updated for all DLC
- 10 Objects that Add Gameplay to The Sims 4
- Sims 4 Handiness Video Guide
- Sims 4 Review - Is Gameplay Shallow?
- Sims 4 Vampires Game Pack (Gameplay Review for Halloween)
- 10+ Mods That Add or Improve Gameplay in The Sims 4
- Spells List Updated & Info on Charge
- Around the World of Glimmerbrook
- Sims 4 Realm of Magic is Available Now. Here’s My Opinion On the Pack
- The Sims 4 Realm of Magic Features Deep-Dive
- Tutorial: Using The Sims 4’s New Stair Customization Tool
Realm of Magic
The Sims 4 Realm of Magic comes September 10 for PC/Mac and releases October 15 for Xbox One and Playstation 4. See my Video Guide to Features in Realm of Magic. We've compiled information on upcoming features from developer tweets and used the trailer to try to share everything we know.
- Realm of Magic Guide
- Alchemy Guide with Potions List
- New Aspirations in Realm of Magic: Purveyor of Potions and Spellcraft and Sorcery
- Curses Guide
- Realm of Magic Review Video
- Realm of Magic Tips Video
- Magical Bloodline and Caster Offspring
- Realm of Magic Cheats
- Spellcasters in Realm of Magic
- Spellcaster Perks
- Spells List, Casting & Effects
The Sims 4 Moschino Stuff Review
New: The Sims 4 Moschino Stuff Review - My thoughts on the photography improvements, fashion photographer, and build buy additions in The Sims 4 Moschino Stuff which is available today for PC/Mac.
The Sims 4 Moschino Stuff Pack is available by 12:30-1PM EST for PC/Mac and September 3 for Xbox One and Playstation 4. Click to learn about the new pack, freelance photography and the new clothing. You can also see my announcement video and the game's trailer within that upload.
Search the Site
The Sims 4 Build Tutorials
New Videos and Guides
Armageddon Mod (Mod/CC Reviews).
Latest in The New How To Section : Learn How to Write Songs and Make Money with Music in The Sims 4. Also, How to Get Abducted by Aliens. We have a guide for using Pregnancy Cheats, Get a Job, Adopting a Kid and How to Cheat.
Alien Abduction: I made a Video Guide to Alien Abductions, Alien Babies in The Sims 4 Get to Work.
New How To Section : The new How To's section is updated with How to Get Abducted by Aliens. You can also learn how to use Pregnancy Cheats, Get a Job, Adopting a Kid and How to Cheat. It's meant to help newcomers or those with specific problems and will be greatly expanded over coming months.
We now have a Videos page, where I'll list every submission to our Sims 4 Gameplay Guides Channel. I'm taking feedback seriously, improving recording and sound quality and other issues with my video guides. Let me know what you think and subscribe for more like it. If you comment on the videos page with a request I may bump it higher on my to do list (no promises though!). Here is a listing of all videos released to date, in order of release:
Sims 4 February Patch Summary
Get Famous: Celestial Crystal Crown
Visit My Channel to Subscribe!
Get Famous First Impressions
First Person Mode (Sims 4 Update)
Get Famous Acting Livestream
Livestream Summary (Latest Patch News)
Patch News: COMING SOON
The Sims 4 Get Famous Expansion
Archaeology Guide (Jungle Adventure)
Jungle Adventure Gameplay
Nerd Brain and Computer Whiz
Spa Day Review and Gameplay Guide
The Sims 4 Whims & How to Use Them
Ambrosia Ingredients and Raising the Dead
The Sims 4: Making a Super Sim
The Sims 4 Careers (Improved)
Seasons Holiday Decorations Guide
Cool Kitchen Stuff
How to Woohoo & Try for Baby
Playing a Moocher
Sims 4 Writing Skill
Father Winter's Baby
Flower Shop Seasons/Get to Work Retail