Build A Storage Space Under Your Stairs

Do you have an enclosed compartment underneath your staircase? Is that space already being used for something else, or is it plain dead space? Although converting space beneath the stairs is not a new idea, most homeowners don’t think about what all that enclosed space can be used for, and for how many infinite purposes. The discussion here is not about all sorts of imaginative ideas to use (which is great), but advice on what to be careful of and how to maximize the space.

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But before you can convert the extra space for storage, make sure it truly is dead space. You don’t want to disturb any mechanical or electrical works. To have them removed and relocated just to construct a storage room, may not be really worth the cost. Be sure you also identify any structural members. They may look like plain studs as part of the walls, but they may be integral to the stair support. If not, many enclosures are installed just to make the stairs look more structurally stable with a giant base underneath as opposed to empty open space.

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Why is it important to prepare a plan? What you can do depends on what type of staircase configuration you have. Curved or enclosed spiral stairs would prove the most difficult because of the all the tedious cutting, sizing and fitting you have to experiment with. You may be limited to installing closets and storage cabinets, or just placing a work desk or low-rise shelf unit.

Straight runs or winders are usually easier to create storage space underneath because of more flat dimensioning, and more common to use for storage space. The only worst part is dealing with the upper ascending dimension cutting on the top directly beneath the stringers.

What you want to install is totally up to you. Either fitting a door once the space is completed or just leaving it open for attractive viewing only reflects on how you want it to function. But for aesthetics, you definitely want to provide full finishing, be it paint, drywall, or panelling, instead of leaving the interior exposed to the outside, making it look incomplete.

More importantly, try limiting the demolition as necessary to avoid having to remove the whole staircase because you damaged it beyond repair! Even worse, stairs, once modified, have been known to collapse in homes even quite sometime after the work was completed and all polished up because of careless inspection.{picture sources:1,2}.