Adding A Storage Space Under Your Stairs

Conserving storage space in your home makes for more comfortable living. Follow these instructions and to add a storage space under your stairs.

Storage Space Materials

  • 1 2x4x8'
  • 2 1x3x8' pine
  • 1 4'x4' 3/4" finished plywood
  • 2 hinges
  • 1 latch
  • Desired paint or stain
  • Sheetrock (key hole) saw
  • Circular saw and hand saw
  • 4' level
  • Stud finder

Things to Keep in Mind Before Starting

This will be a dusty job so make sure to lay down protective material on your carpet or flooring. Wear proper eye and lung protection. These plans are designed to minimize invasiveness and reframing, using the existing structure to define the size of the storage opening.

Step 1 - Choose size and Location

The ideal location for your storage opening is at either side of the staircase, closest to its highest point. The ideal size of your door is 30 1/2" x 48". Remember that the door will swing open into your living space.

Step 2 - Exploration

Locate a wall stud near the wall's highest point. Measure 6" up from the floor and 3/4" over, toward the bottom of the stairs. Puncture a hole with the key hole saw. Make sure the hole is flush with the edge of the wall stud.

Step 3 - Lay out the Opening

Using the exploratory hole as a reference point, lay out a 30 1/2" x 48" opening. Use the level to align vertical and horizontal marks. 

Step 4 - Cut the opening

Cut the vertical lines using the key hole saw. Guide the blade against the inside edge of the wall stud. Cut the horizontal lines (you will have to angle the saw halfway through, where another wall stud is present). Remove the piece of sheetrock, exposing the frame.

Step 5 - Framing

Cut through the center wall stud along the top and bottom sheetrock cuts. Remove the existing wall stud. Cut 2 horizontal studs to fit. (approximately 30 1/2") Install top and bottom studs flush with outside edge of sheetrock. Reach into your opening and through nail each through the existing studs.

Step 6 - Trim

Install casement trim around your rough opening. This will hide the rough sheetrock cuts and exposed 2x4's. Using 1x3" pine, install vertical pieces first. Measure the total width (approximately 35 1/2") Install top and bottom horizontal trim.

Step 7 - Door

Measure the inside dimensions of your opening. Deduct 1/8" from your height and width. This will allow room for proper door function. Cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to fit.

Step 8 - Paint

At this point, it is best to paint or stain your trim and door.  Wipe down all surfaces before applying desired paint. 

Step 9 - Hardware

Measure 8" from the top and bottom of the door and install 2 hinges against the edge. Hold the door in the opening and install hinges into the trim. Check the door for proper function. Install the latch onto the opposite side at the center of the door.