What is Under-Stair Storage?
Under stair storage is a great space saving way of adding extra storage to your house, making use of otherwise wasted space below your stairs. There are a number of under stair storage options available, ranging from a simple built in shelf to fully concealed, push to open cupboards and drawers; with an option to suit all needs and budgets. Most under-stair storage projects can be completed by a keen DIY enthusiast with basic tools and materials. Just take care to plan ahead and carefully measure your space, paying particular attention to angles on cuts.
What Can Under-Stair Storage Be Used For?
Once fitted, you can use your new storage for anything you like; there are no hard and fast rules! However, it is worth considering how you would best make use of under stair storage in advance, to ensure your project provides the perfect solution.
Coats & Shoes
A common use for under stair storage is to hang coats and hide shoes, tidying up an otherwise cluttered doorway.
If you are going to use your space for coats and shoes, consider mixing both shelving and coat hooks at varying heights for adults and kids alike.
If you have little ones, the chances are your house is overrun with toys, teddies and books; adding extra storage is the perfect solution!
Using plenty of individual storage boxes means you can limit children to one set of toys per day, making it less overwhelming for them come tidy up time.
Taking on pets means plenty of extra bits and bobs; leads, collars, harnesses and toys, not to mention all the pet food!
Using under stair storage for pet stuff is a great idea as it helps prevent kitchen units and drawers from getting overloaded and eating into your living space. Be careful when storing dog or cat food under the stairs, ensure it is tightly sealed.
Consider adding a shelf or worktop to your project to act as a ‘feeding station’ making feeding pets a lot easier.
With clever planning, empty space under the stairs can make a great office or workstation. With careful prep, you’d be surprised that you can actually fit a computer and desk under your stairs, albeit a compact one, still, a perfect concentration space when working from home.
Ok, it’s not the most glamorous of uses, but storing cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaners, mops and sweeping brushes under the stairs does make sense as it clears out space in other rooms (generally the kitchen) and helps keep everything organised.
If you’re an avid wine enthusiast, under stair wine racks are a must! Not only do they provide ideal storage for your collection, they also help add a wow factor to your home.
Take care when measuring up for wine racks, as you want to ensure there is plenty of space to pass by; avoid making your hallway too tight and causing damage, or wasted wine.
How to Build Under Stair Storage
What Tools Will You Need?
You don’t need too many tools to attempt a basic under stair storage project. However, if you are considering a more complex project, you may require extra equipment.
The basic tools you will need are:
- Tape Measure
- Fine Toothed Saw
- Coarse Cut Saw
- Mitre Saw
- Screw Driver Set
- Spirit Level (Ideally a smaller type such as a torpedo spirit level)
Using Power Tools
As with most projects, you can speed things up by using power tools; in this case a circular saw for cutting sheet material and a table saw for battens. However, fitting under stair storage isn’t a particularly large scale task and can be achieved with hand tools. Keep this in mind when weighing up the benefits to the costs of buying new tools you may not yet have.
What Parts Will You Need?
To complete a simple space conversion, by adding a simple set of shelves for example, you will only require standard fittings such as screws and brackets. However, you can achieve a much more bespoke solution such as sliding doors; pull out drawers and concealed hinges if you wish.
Here are a few solutions we offer at Eurofit Direct that can perfect your under stairs storage:
Heavy Duty Drawer Slides
Our TUMA Slides allow you to easily slide drawers and full length cupboards in and out and make them particularly useful not only under stairs, but also for adding storage in unused and awkward spaces.
The heavy duty slides we supply at Eurofit Direct can withstand heavier loads, making them perfect for shoe racks or pull out food storage, easily managing the added weight.
Providing you have a wide enough hallway, our concealed hinges can provide a simple solution for doors, the simplest way to cover your storage area, whilst also giving easy and practical access.
Combine our soft close concealed hinges and TUMA slides for ultra-efficient storage space.
Push to Open Catches
If you’re looking for a more modern and clean look, push to open catches are ideal. Used with spring hinges, push to open catches can be used on heavier cupboard doors such as solid wood and are easy to fit, simply screwing into a carcass.
Perfect your style with our range of handles, ranging from traditional classics to ultra modern rod handles. They are all simple to fit and require minimal work.
We also have handles in a range of finishes, so you can match your storage to any design scheme.
Building Shelves Under Your Stairs; Step by Step:
- Before you start, ensure there are no potential hazards such as electrical cable or plumbing in the area where you will be working.
- Assuming you already have a space under your stairs, begin by attaching two battens to the top of the opening, one on the front edge and one on the back edge of the underside of the stairs. Each end will need to be cut to an angle, use a set square to determine the angle and cut using a mitre saw.
- Attach battens down both the left and right hand side, connecting to the newly fitted battens on the underside of the stairs. This will need to be done for both the front and back of the recessed space. Make a note of the angle.
- Battens along the floor may need to support shelving (if you are using shelves that low), sit them along the floor, or if you need to clear obstacles, opt for a deeper timber batten to avoid bowing.
- Space pieces across to form supports (joists) for shelving and anything heavy that may sit on top. Ideally, no more than 600mm apart.
- Determine how many ‘rows’ you are wanting to use in your under stair storage and add battens upright from the floor to the underside of the stairs. Again, these will need cutting at an angle at the end connecting to the stairs; this angle should be the same as the one previously used to cut the left and right upright pieces. Use a spirit level to ensure all uprights are level.
- Once all uprights are in, you can add horizontal pieces to form your shelves. Again, use a spirit level to make sure each piece is level.
- Board the internal recesses with MDF or Contiboard depending upon the finish you are looking for.
Common Problems When Fitting Under Stair Storage
The old saying still rings true; ‘measure twice, cut once’. Whilst it’s always important to make sure you’re accurate with measuring for cuts, it’s doubly so under stairs, where gaps and space are tight.
If you’re new to cutting angles using a mitre saw, it can take some getting used to. Don’t be tempted to ‘make do’ if you have cut an angle slightly off, as this will affect the finish overall. Luckily with under stair storage, there is a lot of repetition of angles, so getting it right first time will pay off over the entire project.
Uprights Not Level
If your uprights are off level, then the overall finish of your under stair storage will be ‘wonky’ and unprofessional. Use a smaller spirit level, but ensure you aren’t misguided by bends in wood, to reduce this issue, ensure the spirit level spans the majority of any batten you are using.
Under Stair Storage Inspiration
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