How Do You Enclose Open Plan Stairs? - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Forum > General DIY Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-30-2013, 08:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10

How do you enclose open plan stairs?

I was just wondering if anyone could give me some ideas. I have an open plan stair case that I want to enclose. Is it an easy job? what sort of wood should i use? what should I cover the back of the stairs up with? Has anyone done this to their own stairs? just looking for some ideas as i'm not the best at DIY lol

Attached Thumbnails
How do you enclose open plan stairs?-sam_1010.jpg   How do you enclose open plan stairs?-sam_1012.jpg   How do you enclose open plan stairs?-sam_1014.jpg  


Billbo128 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 09:01 AM   #2
Ole Wood Worker

BigJim's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 10,637
Rewards Points: 776
Blog Entries: 1

Just a thought, unless you install risers also you will have a dirt catcher with the back enclosed. There are so many different materials you can use to enclose the back with, it would be a matter of your preference. Most use sheet rock to enclose the back as it is also a fire stop.


New members: Please consider adding your location to your profile.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.

BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to BigJim For This Useful Post:
Billbo128 (04-30-2013)
Old 04-30-2013, 09:06 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 214
Rewards Points: 150

What kind of plan do you have in mind for the space under the stairs? Are you going to have it be a diagonal ceiling? How far down will the diagonal go before you cut to vertical? Or will it be all enclosed and turned into a closet? I always like the pic on the minwax home page ( when it comes to enclosed undersides of stairs. That looks really nice. Also go to and search for stairs -- you'll find tons of inspiration.
SquishyBall is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to SquishyBall For This Useful Post:
Billbo128 (04-30-2013)
Old 04-30-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Western suburbs, Chicago, Il.
Posts: 2,781
Rewards Points: 2,240

Probably, should use 5/8" Type-X, drywall on the underside of the stairs.
Some type of risers, for sure.
The railings would not pass code around here.
(Neither would the stairs!)
If you're going to add risers; and, you're going to paint them -
you could use decent 1 X pine - think about some type of glue -
as well as nails/screws.
We would use Oak.


Last edited by rossfingal; 04-30-2013 at 09:30 AM.
rossfingal is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to rossfingal For This Useful Post:
Billbo128 (04-30-2013)
Old 04-30-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
Old School
Willie T's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000

What a rare opportunity you're sitting on! Strip those treads, and maybe the stringers too, and refinish them to be the centerpiece of the house. Open stairs cost a fortune to have built.

They could even be fully wrapped with carpet for the lazy way out.

Of course to become code compliant, you're going to have to consider some sort of risers. Maybe two or three horizontal chrome bars, to help keep the "open" effect? 1/2"? Or plexiglas or Lexan? Maybe "tinted"? And change out the railing for one with attractive baulsters and a code compliant handrail... 2x's like that are not only tacky, but dangerous because they afford very poor gripping shapes.

But PLEASE consider alternatives before boxing-in what could become a stunning focal point of your home.
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
FranÁois Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T

Last edited by Willie T; 04-30-2013 at 09:20 PM.
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
Msradell's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Louisville Kentucky
Posts: 2,226
Rewards Points: 338

A little clarification is needed. Do you want to make them look like a conventional stairway by installing risers or do you just want to put a flat sheet of material on the back to prevent items from falling through? These 2 jobs are very different in approach, cost and code compliance. If you want to install risers to make it look like a conventional stairway, the 1st question would be what is the relationship of the front of one step to the back of the one below it? We would also need to know the dimensions of each tread to give you a good answer.
Msradell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 07:03 AM   #7
PoleCat's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 1,985
Rewards Points: 1,652

Our basement stairs look exactly like yours. I was going to put risers on but noticed that my toe would encroach this area during normal use and would really go deep when hauling a load. I did not like the idea of a dirt trap just tacked to the bottom so they remain open there. The cat digs it that way too. I did remove the old 2X4 railing and put up sides though. I had plenty of 2X2 on hand so I framed from the stairs to joists so the underneath storage would not be interrupted.


"Ask me anything. If I don't know the answer I'll make something up."
PoleCat is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Encloseing open plan stair jomac Carpentry 4 04-07-2013 08:50 AM
How to plan for attic ventilation for central air when modifying gable vents? Ocelaris Roofing/Siding 13 03-21-2013 08:50 AM
Questions about building stairs. cvriv.charles Building & Construction 7 12-19-2012 04:04 PM
Create an open office at the Top of the Stairs? floodj32 Remodeling 1 01-08-2012 02:50 PM
Creating Open Floor Plan kevin327 Building & Construction 2 12-18-2010 12:10 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1