Staircase Understairs. Wednesday , October 17th , 2018 - 22:39:57 PM
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.
One concept for space saving stairs is to keep the stair flight straight so as to minimize the space they take up. In general, this is quite true. Stairs that have turns in them and unnecessary landings as the stairs rise do result in a lot of wasted space below and behind the stairs that you can do nothing with. The exception, however, is the spiral staircase that can look quite elegant, is easy to install, and uses the minimum of space. Detracting from this is the inability for disabled stair-lifts to be fitted - or, at least, I haven't come across one yet. It is also more of a chore to take furniture up and downstairs when the need for moving your furniture becomes apparent - as in moving house.
'In stairwells, remove the balustrades and fill the gap with book shelves. You can also use landings or even half landings (where stairs turn) to house a condensed work station or mini library,' says architect Mark Dyson. A compact office can be hidden in a cupboard, so it's instantly tidied away at the end of the day. A window ledge can be widened to create a cosy seat. Spiral stairs can be a great space saver, as can alternate-tread ones that allow staircases to rise at a steeper angle.
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