Hinged/Folding Stairs

Old 07-29-19, 05:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Hinged/Folding Stairs

Looking for advice/ideas on creating some type of hinge or folding mechanism for the bottom half of my basement staircase. The basement is a cellar with ~6 foot ceilings. This is just my height and the space is somewhat usable - I put some gym equipment down there. The ceiling above the staircase is obviously much higher, and the small amount of space with high ceilings that would come from having the bottom part of the staircase out of the way would be a really huge plus.

I couldn't care less what the final result looked like cosmetically, but if I tore out the bottom part and replaced it with something like a store bought folding ladder I'd be worried about reattaching at the time we sold the house and failing inspection.

Is detaching the stairs as easy as getting out the nails that attach the stringer to the wood next to it and moving it as one piece? Any simple ways to free it up and add a hinge to fold it underneath the top part of the stairs? Any better ideas?

Attached Images    
Old 07-30-19, 01:41 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 9,745
Received 1,211 Upvotes on 1,099 Posts
You may not care what it looks like but what you propose is a huge code/safety violation.

Can you just imagine being down in the basement, have the stairs folded up, someone walks down the steps and naturally they would not have any reason to think the stairs would not be there and trips and falls!

I would strongly suggest to forget this improvement!
Old 07-30-19, 02:28 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,813
Received 874 Upvotes on 765 Posts
Why are you wanting to do this? I also don't think it's a good idea.
btw - welcome to the forums!
Old 07-30-19, 01:19 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the responses guys. The idea would be to get a little bit of space with more ceiling height but sounds like its a terrible plan.

Wrong forum for this question, but another option would be cutting into the concrete floor and lowering it by a couple inches. From my limited knowledge and what I've read this isn't a great idea since it messes with the foundational structure. My question is whether this is still the case even if it's limited to a small area and not too deep (e.g. a 4' by 4' space and less than half a foot down)? I can move to a different forum if more appropriate.

Thanks again!
Old 07-30-19, 04:05 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,345
Received 2,317 Upvotes on 2,062 Posts
It all depends on your carpentry and engineering skills. A bit of a hobby of mine is making hidden rooms and passages. So, yes it can be done. I will say it takes a higher level of skill/planning/thinking to make something move than it does for a stationary object. So, if you are comfortable building a set of stairs completely from scratch you might be up to the task. If you aren't comfortable building a staircase then it's a project best left alone as you'll have to build a staircase... that moves.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: