Where would you put basement stairs?

DCRangerFebruary 24, 2012

We're building Summerfield's design and we're struggling with where to locate the basement stairs. A couple of issues we're facing. First we don't want to add square footage and we don't want a large basement, maybe a partial basement under the main living area with the rest crawlspace.

I think there's a good way of getting this to run through the mud room, but I just can't see it. I'm OK losing a little space in mud room, perhaps moving a door or wall and perhaps some of the pantry. Just need some ideas or drawings please. Thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Plan

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Oh, I wouldn't put the stairs in the mud room...I'd put them in the hall, by the bedroom closest to the living room. Just shave a few feet off the bedroom and have the stairs start in the little corner area, behind the living room fireplace. Then they can run parallel to the hall and end, before you get to the bedroom door. Just one idea :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 3:34AM
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Lavender, That was the other area I was thinking of. However, I might be able to run it parallel to the back wall of the living room and maybe bend it 90 degrees to open up under the living room. We only want a basement foundation on part of the house. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 7:53AM
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I wonder if you could add a few feet in that area, to fit the stairs along the back of the living room fireplace. Would it help, to move the bedroom closets, so they're back to back? That would give you a little more privacy/quiet in there...and you're not going to have the furnace/water heater, in the garage.

It would be nice to have a rec room downstairs...maybe with a bar under the kitchen and a pool table under the dining room? :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Jack Kennedy

Do you want an open pretty staircase, or just a service staircase. One possible solution would be to move the mudroom door to the hall to the left and run the stairs down along the right side wall that is in the mud and pantry. Get rid of the wall between those two rooms and you should still be able to get your lockers in as well.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 9:43AM
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Lav - Thought of sliding the bedrooms toward the garage to make space, but that won't work because of the the outside bedroom would open into the bathroom. We might still be able to slide it behind the living room wall if I take away some of the closet space in that bedroom and perhaps steal a few inches form the living room, but I also can't disrupt that angle on the front where the bedroom meets the living room.

glenwood - It'll be a service staircase and I have looked at the very thing you mentioned. I'll discuss with our draftsman to see if there is room to do that. Thanks for the inputs.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:43AM
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The only other thing I came up with (for a pretty staircase) may cost you too much storage. If you could do without the buffet in the dining room, you could run the staircase along that wall...from the living room/entry, to the wall with the french doors. This would give you a more open stairwell and easy access to the downstairs...but again, don't know if you want to lose the dish storage.

If you're considering a basement...have you thought about putting one or both guest rooms and a bath down there? Then, you could have the pantry, laundry, mudroom and garage in that other wing and maybe save a little bit, on your square footage. Just another idea...and if you don't want a daylight basement, all you need are egress windows in the bedrooms.

This would give you guests a little more privacy, but I've heard if you make it too nice...the kids want to move back in :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 11:42AM
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If the basement is accessible from outside and the budget can handle the cost, an elevator could work and use less floor space. The outside access would insure that no one is trapped by a power outage.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:05AM
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I feel your pain! In trying to get basement stairs into our small design, the stairs where the toughest thing. I don't have specific advise, because I'm not very good at layouts, but a couple things to keep in mind: If the stairs are to be code compliant, plan on the rise being 7-1/2" or less, and the run being at least 10". You have to have 80" clearance over the stairs, so using these numbers, you can figure out how big a hole the stairs will create. Don't forget the floor framing in keeping 80" headroom over the stairs. If you can run the stairs under a closet, pantry, or cabinets, you lose the flat floor, but still have usable hanging space or shelf space.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Thanks everyone. I think we have a solution to locate them behind the living room wall. We'll lose some closet space but oh well. By code we need a straight run of nearly 14 feet, less for an angled or 90 degree turn. Basement stairs are difficult to factor into a plan that was designed without them. In our case, budget is a concern and we have no plans to finish the basement at this time and I wouldn't consider an outside basement access in the Northern MI. Too cold and not practical. Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 8:17PM
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