Introduction: Under Stairs Storage Space

In this instructable I will show you how to create extra space in your home for all the things you usually stumble over scattered on the floor. This is a fun project and could be done in a day or two so lets get started.
This project doesn't require too many tools mainly a hand saw or electric saw to cut all the timber parts. If you don't have a router you can use ready made mouldings and glue them on.





Safety : When using electric tools use ears and eye protection.
Keep body parts away from sharp blades. WORK SAFE!

Step 1: Decide the Door Size and Cut

Make sure to check that there is no electric cables or pipes behind the wall, you can use a wire detector for this task.

After deciding the size of the door start cutting the plaster board with a plaster board saw. I personally don't like to use electric saws because you never know what you might chop behind a plaster wall.
Start with a small square hole that will allow you to look in and feel with your hand where the joists are and if there is any thing you dont want to cut. Use a measuring tape and mark with a pencil and draw lines on the plaster wall where it's to be cut .
After the plaster board is cut out use a timber saw to cut the joists that are in your way.
Use plaster wall nails or screws and secure the plaster board edges where you cut the opening is. If necessary add new back support joists for the plaster wall and support for the doors inner frame.
When you open the wall you would be suprised how dirty it could be behind that wall.
A bit of hoovering and we are ready to continue.

Step 2: Inner Frame and Doors

After the plaster wall is cut out you can start placing the inner door frame into place. Cut them to size and drill starting with a 10mm shallow hole and another 3mm pilot hole. I used 90x20mm timber for the frame. Later on all holes will be closed with hard wood plugs.
It is very important to make sure the inner frame is square on the 45deg corners.
The best and most aqurate way to get the right door size is to make a drawing of the door opening. Use the frame material size adding that into the drawing  leaving 2-3mm between the 2 doors and the frame. After the drawing is finished all you have to do is place the timber on the drawing and bring all the lines from the drawing on the timber and cut. I used planed 2x2 for the doors and the inner panel thickness is 18mm.
After all the frame parts are cut use a router to make grooves for the inner wood panel, you can also add moulding with an electric router or just glue ready made moulding when the doors are finished. After the glue is dry give the doors a light sanding.
No need for special joints just use a wood adhesive and screws into every joint closing the screw holes with wood plugs aswell.
I used my  45deg steel angles for the corners and a ratchet strap around the frame to secure it. While the glue is drying place a small mdf block under the strap to protect the soft wood. 
You can add clamps to secure the frame to a flat surface that will prevent a twist.

Step 3: Hinges & Door Stopper

After 2 of the doors are ready test fitting, if the doors are too big don't panic use a small sharp block plane and shave a bit off the door and try fitting again.
Once the doors fit in nicely make recesses for the hinges. I like to use brass hinges with pulll out pins that allows you to remove the door at any time without taking off the hinges.
After the hinges and doors are secured in place close one door and mark where you want to nail the door stopper for both of the doors all around the inside frame. The stopper can be rounded or beveled on the edges and acts as a decorative purpose and will prevent chipping. After the stopper is in place attach your locking system. I used locking clamps they are cheap but excellent for this type of storage doors.

Step 4: Door Handles and External Door Mouldings

This is optional: attach a strip of timber to one side of the doors half way out covering the middle gap between the two doors. After the doors are in place you can attach any handle you like that will match your doors style. 
I placed a few hooks inside the door and an iron holder I got in Ikea.
Last cosmetic thing to do is place decorative moulding around the door, close all the holes in the plaster wall with filler and close any remainig screw holes with hard wood plugs.
If you have a big space you can add a few shelves, a small light and a bit of painting.

Now before you know it the new storage place will be full and you will scratch your head wondering where you can make more space. .. . :-)

Comments

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SamF32 made it!(author)2016-04-06

So now that this post is 6 years old, I gotta ask if it settled properly or if you ever had to reroute stair supports?

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ericbosloor made it!(author)2016-03-31

This is what I call utilizing every inch of your house including every nook and cranny that you can find. If there isn’t any wiring or piping underneath the staircase, then you can use the space for storage. However, if there is a setup then it might get in your way. This reminds me of how I used to put racks in furniture and shelves on the walls as my way of getting the most out of my wardrobe.

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markgrogan made it!(author)2016-02-23

This is an awesome instructable that looks complex but fun to make especially with that little helper of yours. However, sadly it would only work if you do not have existing pipings or wirings behind those plaster walls. That is why for me it has always been the self storage units as our savior for that additional storage space we all need on a daily basis.

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UdyRegan made it!(author)2015-10-15

This storage project looks like something that shouldn't be considered as an after thought. Like you said, what happens if there are wires and pipes behind there!

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PaulChau made it!(author)2015-05-28

I saw soemthing similar for under the stairs storage with a pull our trolley to go under! I was really so impressed! Something I would totally try out if I had more than one story at my house .Haha!

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lmm67 made it!(author)2014-12-19

This is awesome! I have very small rooms in my house, and my dog's crate is huge! I keep it up all the time because he likes to hang out in it. This would be a perfect use of space if I tuck it in there!

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jdm5lughatch made it!(author)2011-04-03

This is awesome! I'm looking to do the same thing so I can put the cat's litter box in there. My problem is I want a custom door that I can open that looks similar to what we already have in the hall. Our idiot builder put the hot water heater in such a way that you can't get behind it and there's approx. 40sq feet of unusable space.

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guitar-is-awesome made it!(author)2010-11-26

thats awesome

its like Harry Potter's room! yay!

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okoshima made it!(author)2010-09-07

great instructable. think you could install one in a bungalow?

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NutandBolt made it!(author)2010-09-08

You can install it where ever you have enough space behind a plaster wall to create the storage area.

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okoshima made it!(author)2010-09-11

but then it would just be a storage space... new idea bungastairs... all the bother of stairs none of the extra floor on the house... only 89.99 with shipping

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NutandBolt made it!(author)2010-09-13

Bungastairs I like that :-) and great price too ....

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okoshima made it!(author)2010-09-14

now i just need to perfect the installation of a stairlift into a bungalow and ill be a millionaire... i was thinking of putting it parallel to the floor at chair height... ill be on dragons den in no time XD

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strikeswiftly made it!(author)2010-09-12

tee hee hee its just like the thingy in harry pork chop

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Tupulov made it!(author)2010-09-09

A most excellent instructable. With some minor modifications, this can be used to turn the space into a "secret" space to hide things. I had been considering a project similar to this and these plans just made it all come together! Right on!!!

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NutandBolt made it!(author)2010-09-09

Thank you, I am happy this ible was useful to you, good luck with your project :-)

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Topcat2021 made it!(author)2010-09-08

First of all Good Work looks like it could have come with the house. In response to the question of removing the support stud all that would have to be done on an opening that small would be to install some jack studs at the sides of the door and a header above the top opening of the door adjusting the height of the opening if necessary to cover the header. I love the shelves installed to the right of the opening and the paint was a nice feature.
Again Good Work!

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NutandBolt made it!(author)2010-09-08

Thank you for your positive comment and thanks for adding another option regarding the support stud it's a great solution ;-)

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densad made it!(author)2010-09-08

this is truly an amazingly detailed instructable. wonderful, simply wonderful.

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NutandBolt made it!(author)2010-09-08

Thank you for your positive comment ;-)

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a.nony.mouse made it!(author)2010-09-07

can I use this to store my wizard nephew in?

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NutandBolt made it!(author)2010-09-08

It can store your wizard nephew of course thats a great idea just don't forget to place a good lock and a small hatch for the food tray...LOL

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okoshima made it!(author)2010-09-07

as long as there is a bed shouldn't be a problem

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carlos66ba made it!(author)2010-09-07

Did you do something to compensate for removing one support stud?

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NutandBolt made it!(author)2010-09-08

Thank you for your question, I was wondering who will be the first one to ask regarding removing the support stud. Every starircase is individuial in my case the spacing of my studs and door size allowed me to remove the middle stud without compromising the structural integrity of the staircase. There are a few options to compensate for removing support stud and one of them is just to place a stud in the center of the open between the two doors or behind them, again in my case there was no need the staircase is well supported if I decide to use it for elephants I will add some extra support .. .:-)

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