Staircase Understairs. Monday , October 15th , 2018 - 06:11:00 AM
The simplest type of staircase - a straight staircase supported at the top against a wall - is the easiest to open up because the timbers under the stair serve only to support the paneling. A straight staircase between two side walls (with access to the space from an adjoining room) is the most difficult to open up as both walls are likely to be load bearing. In this situation you need professional advice and help, and perhaps a building permit, before you can remove the walls.
Play den. How often have your kids complained that they have nowhere to play? Children love hidden nooks and crannies, so converting the cupboard under the stairs can be a great alternative to an outdoor play house - especially in winter. If possible, cut windows and a doorway into the side panels of the staircase. This will allow light in and stop the den feeling claustrophobic. Strips of leftover curtain material stapled to the windows make a nice homely touch. Use a beanbag or some large cushions to create a comfy seating area. Finally, encourage your little ones to personalise their new hideaway with some books, toys and, if there is room, a small desk for drawing or writing.
A cantilevered staircase can look stunning, but is also a feat of engineering, with most of the weight of the treads supported by one wall. You need a balustrade to comply with UK building regulations, but glass is unobtrusive and will still give that 'weightlessness' look. These staircases should always be designed and built by a specialist.
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