How to Fit Stairs in a Remodel

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By looking at various options, you can find ways to include stairs in a remodeling project. A small corner can provide space for circular stairs, for example. If you really need stairs for accessing a basement or attic level, and floor space is limited, it pays to look around for adjacent floor space you can incorporate. Porch space, closet space or square footage acquired from an adjoining room are possible options.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketchpad
  • Graph paper
  • Premade circular stairs
  • Wood framing materials
  • Plan the ideal stairs for a room or larger area as a starting point. Sketch a formal staircase, for example, for your front entry. Create the staircase design in detail, regardless of cost, so you can scale back to fit the real budget and floor space you can spare. Use graph paper to draw the size of a staircase in relation to surroundings. Turn a high-end grand staircase into a do-able, L-shaped set of stairs that will fit in an 8-foot square footprint, as one choice. Use certain wood components to give the L-shaped staircase an upscale look.

  • Figure out the headroom you will need. Design any footprint for stairs with the ceiling space in mind. Open a sloped ceiling into a large skywell that reaches to the house roof, if you want to build stairs where headroom is extremely low. Never construct stairs in main living areas where the headroom is less than 7 feet.

  • Enclose windows to make room for a staircase fitting along a wall with windows. Cover windows on the exterior and interior to create a solid wall. Allow approximately 10 feet of length for the smallest staircase or the stairs will end up being too steep. Don’t forget to add landing space of at least 4 additional feet at the bottom of the staircase for moving furniture up and down. Open a wall into porch space for enclosure, as one choice, to acquire room for building a bigger staircase footprint.

  • Buy a premade set of circular stairs as one possible option. Cut an opening in the first-floor ceiling approximately 5-feet square for a metal staircase. Construct a ceiling opening with a double thickness of floor joist boards to frame the staircase opening. Follow instructions that will accompany the circular staircase kit from the manufacturer. Use this type of staircase to reach a small attic office, for example.

  • Use wasted space to find needed room for a staircase. Draw your home's floor layout and surrounding porches. Figure out how much room you can borrow from a storage room or closet to build a new staircase. Enclose a porch to use for a bedroom, for example, and use the former bedroom to fit in a new staircase.

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