Under Stairs Storage





Introduction: Under Stairs Storage

Turn unusable space under the stairs into extra storage. Our basement had drywall on both sides of the the basement staircase. As you can see it was catch all for stuff that should have been thrown away. I built two pull out storage units on wheels so that you can easily get to the stuff inside. I started by removing the drywall and the studs. I marked the angle of the staircase from underneath with a plunge saw and used a recip saw to cut the studs (you should probably use a circular saw as the cuts will be smoother).

There was two plugs in the existing wall and one of them needed to be moved to accommodate the new angled wall. I killed the power at the breaker and then temporarily moved the plug until I was ready to put the drywall back up. Waiting until then let me see where the plug made sense at the end of the project.

Step 1:

After removing all the studs and drywall I attached a new 2x4 on the bottom of the studs. This becomes the new bottom plate for the wall. The wall was surprising stiff after attaching the new 2x4.

Step 2: Build the Boxes

I built two boxes but you can build whatever suits your needs.

Make sure to plan the whole width of shelves to be narrower than the entire opening you have to work width. Don't forget to include the width of your sheeting for both sides. I used 3/8 plywood which added 1.5" to the entire width. I planned for a 3/8 of extra space.

I started with the bottom frame. The frame on the right is where I started. The cross member 2x4's were placed on the flat so the wheels would fit underneath better. These shelves are 30" across so I wasn't worried about the shelve sagging. Two wheels are fixed and two are locking swivels. The swivels are on the side you pull the shelve from.

To measure the uprights I measured from the outside of the frame to the top 2x4 and deducted 3/4" for clearance. Make sure that you use the correct measurement for each side when you are cutting. The short side is lower portion of the angle and the tall side the higher side of the angle.

Step 3: Sheeting

I cheated and pulled the whole frame onto the plywood to trace the measurements onto. I used a circular saw to cut the plywood to size. I covered the entire side facing the basement and about 2' on the other three sides. For my project I was able to use 3 sheets of 3/8 plywood to cover the boxes. I needed to use two 1' pieces rather than a 2' piece on the back of one shelf in order to sheet everything. If I didn't want an extra joint in the plywood I would have needed another full sheet of plywood, because this is basement storage I'm not concerned about the extra joint.

Step 4: In Place

Both shelves are in place in this photo. I discovered that my basement floor is not level, while putting both in place. The taller shelf is very tight to take in and out but does roll out nicely to the back supports. To pull the shelf all the way out it needs to be lifted slightly. Otherwise I'm very happy with how they turned out to this point. On the taller shelf I put a hanger bar across the upright so you can hang clothes/jackets/etc. This also helped strengthen the entire shelf.

The second photo is with the drywall and plugs put back in place. Yet to be completed is drywall mud/sand and painting.



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Joergeli those look awesome. I plan to cover the fronts with some sort of panelling when we finish everything.

I thought about the guides but didn't feel like they were neede for this project. The shelv slid in and well without them.

I'm not sure, but the fact those 2x4s you cut out are so close together indicates they were load bearing

2 replies

The studs dont appear to be load bearing because they are not joined by noggins to stiffen the studs together. The most likely place for load bearing is the corner but even there the studs have not been locked together with any blocking or extra studs. I can only conclude that this segment of wall is non load bearing and was only built to sheet the walls alongside the stairs. Carpenter for over 30 years in Australia so I have some first hand knowledge on the subject of load bearing walls.

Mark is correct. Definitely not a load bearing wall. The stairs are self supporting and the main floor is held up with tele-posts. Both sides of the stair were walled in to support drywall and that's all.

Good job and a good instructable as not enough use is made of the space under peoples staircases.

as useful as it is. a fire hazard should be considered when storing items underneath stairs. make sure you have an alternative way out

Great way to take advantage of unused space!! Keep sharing! :)