Designing stairs for an addition
Start with a top-down approach, then choose a shape that lands in a good spot
Thinking of adding a second floor to your house? If so, you’re probably wondering where the stairs will go and what shape they will take. I’ve found that location is everything. Ill-placed stairs can lead to an inefficient floor plan, an awkward facade, or a noisy house. Getting the stair right is critical.
Choose a stair shape based on the space available and your design goal. Although code allows narrower stairs, the 3-ft. 6-in. width shown is a comfortable size.
A straight stair is space efficient and as simple as it gets, the solution for linear and skinny spaces.
Use an L-shaped stair when you want the top or bottom run to open to an adjoining room, hallway, or entry foyer.
A U-shaped stair makes a bright, impressive stairwell that brings lots of daylight downstairs.
A switchback stair fits in a compact rectangular area only slightly longer than…