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Old 12-01-2009, 12:35 PM   #1
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Under Stair Storage


I'm looking for some additional eyes on this:

I have a U-Shaped stair going from the 1st to 2nd floor in the house and the space under it is dead space. I'm looking into building in some storage of some sort but I don't know exactly which way to go with it. I've run through apartment therapy and google images and gotten some ideas on what to do but most of their options involve straight run stairs and not U-stairs.

The first option loses some use in the back corner but makes the drawers (or shelves) a lot easier to get to.

The second moves the drawers (or shelves) into the corner and uses the space a lot more effectively, but to get to it requires some stooping and bending.

http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/4...irexisting.jpg
http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/5025/understair2.jpg
http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/8596/understair3.jpg

Thanks

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Old 12-01-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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Under Stair Storage


In picture #2, is it possible to gain access to the wasted space in the corner from the adjoining room?

I have the same kind of stairs.

Where you have drawer fronts in the second picture, mine is a short wall, which is the back of a closet.

The wall to the left of those drawers has a 32" wide wood door that I cut down to the height I needed. That way I can use all of the space and the wedge-shaped space under the lower stairs combined for storage. I can slide a couple plastic bins and the Christmas tree into that wedge-shaped space.

The space in front of the drawers in pic #2 is used for a separate full-height closet. It's not very wide, but it makes good use of the space.

We had carpet put down in the room next to the storage area with the short door, so I went ahead and had the carpet extend into that area. Since I have to crawl around in there to get anything, it might as well be comfy.

I was surprised at how much stuff I can fit in there and still leave a clear path to be able to get to the items in the back. I did attach shelves to the walls in there, where it was possible, so that makes even better use of the space.

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Old 12-01-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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Under Stair Storage


i could cut into it from either side of the staircase but as one room is the main entry room to the house and the other is a bedroom i would rather not. it's not a bad thought though.

the other option that someone brought up at the office was to put doors on the back part where the drawers are in #2 and use the whole space under the landing for storage for less used things like christmas ornaments or winter coats. putting down carpet is a great idea too. my poor knees cant take crawling around on the hardwood for very long...
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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Under Stair Storage


I like the idea of the person in your office.

We use ours for a tornado shelter too. It gives me a good reason to make sure nobody fills that space with clutter. If things are kept on the shelves and against the walls, there is room for us all to get in there. We'd feel like sardines, but it's better than nothing.

Good luck with it and if you get time, post pictures of it when you're done.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #5
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Under Stair Storage


If you want it easily accessible but not having to get on your hands and knees, have you considered making one or more rolling units of some sort? If you have room to maneuver them, you could make more use of the space.

Last edited by Blondesense; 12-09-2009 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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Under Stair Storage


BTW, keep in mind that R311.22 requires enclosed accessible space under stairs to have their walls, under stair surface and any soffits protected on the enclosed side with 1/2-inch gypsum board.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
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Under Stair Storage


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
If you want it easily accessible but not having to get on your hands and knees, have you considered making one or more rolling units of some sort? If you have room to maneuver them, you could make more use of the space.
i have some plans for a rolling workbench type storage for under the stair itself. i will probably make one or two of those for that area and leave the rest of it as a big closet.

is the drywall on the inside bit in IBC? i havent seen it before. it's not a big deal to install some, just curious.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:31 AM   #8
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Under Stair Storage


Definitely hit your library for some books with ideas. I am flying from memory but seem to remember a book called something like "Living in Small Spaces" that had all kinds of innovative storage solutions including some for stairs, between floor joists, etc.

Lived in NYC for quite awhile in a past life and like all around me got good at both finding places to hide/store things and getting rid of stuff. Latter part is the hardest.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellophane View Post
... Is the drywall on the inside bit in ibc? I havent seen it before. It's not a big deal to install some, just curious.
IRC R311.22.

The reason I mentioned it is that yup, a lot of people, including a lot of "professional" remodelers, are not aware of it, and it can be highly annoying to end up tearing out storage painstakingly built in a confined space to meet it.
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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-10-2009 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:35 AM   #10
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Under Stair Storage


Maybe you could try a combination of drawers and cabinet space that are accessed from the side of the stairs?

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 12-10-2009 at 03:29 PM. Reason: removed adv link
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcy Tate View Post
Maybe you could try a combination of drawers and cabinet space that are accessed from the side of the stairs? Here are some ideas for under the stairs storage that may be helpful for you.
the biggest issue i've run into trying to figure everything out is that its a U stair and not a straight run. straight runs are easy

Thanks for the link though. it's a good article =)
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:37 PM   #12
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Under Stair Storage


You could also enclose the lower stair, from the uppermost landing to the first floor, to make it a full closet; if you don't mind enclosed stairwells.

Be sure to check your local fire code on requirements and guidelines, for safety. I opened up the area beneath my stairs and was advised not to store combustibles in there, as it was the only way out from the upper level.

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