Create 25SF Storage With These Tiny House Stairs

Create 25SF Storage With These Tiny House Stairs

stairs 1gI know that tiny house stairs are a rarity and that people opt for ladders instead; however, I don’t think ladders are a great option for several reasons. First and foremost, there’s nothing quite like having to climb down a ladder in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Further, as the home’s inhabitants get older, the use of a ladder will likely become more and more difficult. The good news is that tiny house stairs can work in the right size tiny home and the space underneath it can provide for a lot of storage. Below I show you step-by-step how to create 25sf storage by building these tiny house stairs. In the example shown, the treads (what you step on) are 10″ deep and the risers (the height of each step) are 8 7/8″ tall and the entire unit is built from 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood.

Learning how to calculate tiny house stairs is a lesson in and of itself, but I’ll give you a quick primer here to get you started. We won’t be using stringers (the structural supports under most staircases which are cut from 2×12 stock) as we want to maximize the storage capacity of the space. Thus the boxes.

  1. Measure the height of the space requiring stairs. This is called the “rise.” Measure from floor to floor and account for any finish flooring that may be installed later. This is especially important if you plan to use floor coverings with different thicknesses on the main floor and the loft. You will need to adjust the riser heights accordingly if this is the case so to keep the risers consistent.
  2. Measure the space you have in which to build the stairs. This is called the “run.” Make a mark on the floor directly below the loft and measure to a point as far away as you can go for the length of the stairs. The farther you go the more you will provide a gentle rise for the stairs.
  3. Divide the run by 10″ as that is your target tread depth. If the number is even, then that is the number of treads you will have. If it is not even (i.e. there are fractions or decimals left over), then round up and that is the number of treads you will have. For example, a measurement of 8.67 would mean 9 treads would be needed.
  4. Start over (sort of). Divide the run by the new number of treads. This will give you the exact measurement for each tread.
  5. Repeat the same process for the risers.
  6. You can tweak the math any way you want here, but keep in mind that the closer you get to code (minimum of 10″ treads and maximum of 8″ risers) the more comfortable your stairs will be.

Now, let’s build some boxes…

Accuracy is very important when building stairs. In order to maintain a good flow, you must not have a variation of more than 3/8" in your risers. The more accurate you are in laying out the stairs, the better.

Accuracy is very important when building stairs. In order to maintain a good flow, you must not have a variation of more than 3/8″ in your risers. The more accurate you are in laying out the stairs, the better.


Start with the big boxes. In this example, we have a large opening for a washer/dryer combo unit. For any opening larger than 24", double the 3/4" plywood with glue and screws to provide adequate support for the stairs.

Start with the big boxes. In this example, we have a large opening for a washer/dryer combo unit. For any opening larger than 24″, double the 3/4″ plywood with glue and screws to provide adequate support for the stairs.

Mark the locations for the nailers. Use 3/4" x 1" strips of plywood for the nailers. Be sure to anchor all edges of the treads and risers either with nailers or by screwing through existing boxes.

Mark the locations for the 3/4″ x 1″ strips of plywood used as nailers. Be sure to anchor all edges of the treads and risers either with nailers or by screwing through existing boxes.

Apply a high strength, structural adhesive to the back of the nailers and secure with 1 1/4" screws every 4" - 6".

Apply a high strength, structural adhesive to the back of the nailers and secure with 1 1/4″ screws every 4″ – 6″. Again, make sure that everything is perfectly plumb or level.

Apply the same structural adhesive to the nailers in preparation for attaching the risers and treads.

Apply the same structural adhesive to the nailers in preparation for attaching the risers and treads.

Build one box at a time, starting with the risers. Attach to the nailers (glue previously applied) with 1 1/4" screws every 4" - 6".

Build one box at a time, starting with the risers. Attach to the nailers with 1 1/4″ screws every 4″-6″ over the adhesive applied in the last step.

Make sure the treads are installed level and attach with glue and screws as before.

Make sure the treads are installed level and attach with glue and screws as before. As a side note, the 2×4 in front of the step was used as a nailer because the spacing for the last tread was only 1 1/2″ due to the height of the wheel well (which the stairs hide, by the way).

Add the smaller boxes, one by one, to complete the stairs.

Add the smaller boxes, one by one, to complete the stairs.


I did not add a standard riser and tread for the last section where the stairs meet the loft. Instead, I created a "double-wide" tread and "double-tall" riser. This makes it easier and safer to get in and out of the loft. Notice that the larger opening has the double thick plywood I mentioned earlier to increase the strength of the box as it spans the larger opening (roughly 31" to provide room for the washer/dryer combo).

I did not add a standard riser and tread for the last section where the stairs meet the loft. Instead, I created a “double-wide” tread and “double-tall” riser. This makes it easier and safer to get in and out of the loft. Notice that the larger opening has the double thick plywood I mentioned earlier to increase the strength of the box as it spans the larger opening (roughly 31″ to provide room for the washer/dryer combo).

Once all of the stairs are in place, cover the edges of the boxes with what is called a “face frame.” This is typically made of a finish grade wood. I plan to install mine once the stairs are covered with their own finish material. The treads will have the same flooring as the rest of the house and the risers will have a decorative wood finish. After the face frame is installed, I will create custom doors to cover the entire staircase and complete the look of the unit.

*To view images of the completed stairs, you can find several in our photo gallery.

Want to learn more about tiny house living and how to build a tiny house? Want to do so for FREE? Sign up for our totally free 7 Day Tiny House eCourse! Find out more HERE.

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105 Responses to Create 25SF Storage With These Tiny House Stairs

  1. FTR November 20, 2013 at 4:50 am #

    Great instructional. I don’t have a tiny home, yet, but this is going into my idea book.
    Thank you

    • Andrew Morrison November 20, 2013 at 9:45 am #

      You’re welcome!

      • Gail February 22, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

        Gorgeous stairs, and very useful. I see one small problem in the calculations; you don’t mention that the number of risers is always one more than the number of treads (since the floor of the top platform takes the place of one tread). But I think your step-by-step instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Thanks!

      • Scott January 31, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

        What did you finish these stairs with

        • Andrew February 1, 2016 at 8:02 am #

          Hi Scott. We used the same flooring we have in the rest of the house for the treads: hickory wood floor. For the risers, we used sheet material of the cabinet doors we have in the house cut to size. All of the cabinets and the sheet material are from Ikea.

  2. Crystal November 20, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    I love this. Although I have my tiny house plans picked out, I’ve been thinking of how to incorporate a slightly larger fridge/freezer into the plans, and I think I could do that and build these stairs over top. Great job!

    • Andrew Morrison November 20, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      That’s what is so cool about the box concept: you can make them any size you need to provide adequate storage space and stairs. Have fun!

      • Debbie September 8, 2017 at 11:07 am #

        How wide are the stairs and can a hand rail b installed on outside?

        • Andrew September 8, 2017 at 11:57 am #

          Hi Debbie. The stairs are roughly 21″ wide (I don’t have the plans in front of me right now). The plans show the stairs with a railing, so that’s no problem.

          • Debbie September 8, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

            Thanks Andrew! I’m turning a 14×27 shed into a tiny cottage. These would be perfect. I have a full loft above that is barn style and leaves 5ft in the center. The top large tread and riser is certainly much safer! Love the design!

  3. Jody November 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    This is awesome! Thank you. I never thought of putting a WD combo in one of these before. But I guess it fits huh? Thanks for the instructions! I’ll save them for when I need them.

    • Andrew November 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      In this situation, due to the design of the stairs, the W/D combo fits perfectly…in fact, with room to spare!

      • Jody February 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

        Perfect. lol I guess I did see this site before 😉

  4. David Grams November 24, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Forget the tiny house stuff…your ideas sound good to me for a “regular” house! For example, in a house I just bought, the stairs are so steep and the tread space so small, that even for an athletic person, the likelihood of slipping is HIGH! And, as the steps into the basement end at a wall, the working space for the “run” (I think that’s what you called it) is very short. But I’m thinking: maybe I can adapt your ideas to make my limited stair space work better; for example, maybe a higher step at the top with a longer treadspace…dunno…ideas? Anyway, thanks for this most fascinating post!

    • steve November 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

      David, Can you create a landing at the wall in the basement and then have the stairs turn 90 degrees and continue to the floor?

  5. Tina Cochran January 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    THANK YOU!!!!

    My husband & I took out the bulkiest ugliest stair case that led to the 2nd story room upstairs. For now, we have a ladder in its place until we decide what to build. It has been the staircase for 2 months!!! I have been researching loft stairs/ladders and the ‘bookcase’ type stairs to add more storage space. I’m soooo ready to get on with this project! Your design is fabulous!


    • Andrew February 4, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      Thanks Tina. We love it! It can be modified to any slope too, which is great.


      • bithi January 30, 2016 at 2:33 am #

        can u give any stair plan for a tiny house……its about 12*18sq ft …….it will be 3 floors……

        • Andrew January 30, 2016 at 9:12 am #

          Hi Bithi. Unfortunately, design elements, especially stairs, are so specific to the space that it’s impossible to create a useful plan without knowing the rest of the floor space. It is certainly possible to create the stairs you need, but you will have to do it as part of the larger design process. Good luck and have fun!

  6. pamela j February 4, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    will this design pass muster in a code, permanent structure house? i, too, have a too-steep, too narrow tread stairway in my ‘new’ 1975-built home to the basement that i wish to relocate and re-design. this suits my needs and design aesthetic perfectly!! but it has to be ‘to code’. sure hope i can make it work. what do you think?? (it need be free-standing, as it’s not against a wall, though there IS a concrete-block column it could be placed against; and there will need be a handrail, as well. any suggestions for the handrail? (gotta say, it worries me that your design, although brilliant and beautiful, does not have a safety hand-rail….)

    • Andrew February 4, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      The design concept will pass code as long as the rise and run are in line with the requirements. You would have to meet the minimum and maximum standards for head height from nosing, tread size, riser height, stair width, hand rails, etc.

      It is possible to install a handrail even if you are not up against wall. Exactly how it is attached will depend on several factors and is better addressed by the person building the stairs.

      In our structure, although not a code approved hand rail, the window sills give us something to hold on to on the way down, although that only seems to matter stumbling to the bathroom in the middle of the night! 😉

  7. Deana February 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Love the design! Would it be possible to incorporate a railing/bannister? I would be a little wary of falling off! Plus, I think it might be required by code in some instances (?)

    • Andrew February 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

      A hand rail would be possible if so desired. We have considered it and may install one in the future. For now, we use the window sills as our “hand rail.”

  8. David Swinson February 5, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    Hi Andrew, love your stuff its great. Great work.

    I am a private building certifier in Victoria Australia. (Licensed to issue permits for building approvals for building works). For Building Code of Australia compliance you have to have a balustrade where you can fall more than 1m and a handrail for more than 2 risers (stair by definition).

    Is this a building or transportable building / structure? In Australia the requirements vary.

    Thanks for your article. Very inspiring.

    • Andrew February 5, 2014 at 7:30 am #

      Hi David. The code is similar here in the US; however, this structure is a non-permanent, transportable structure and so is not governed by the standard residential building codes. It lands in a grey area and was not inspected by any authority as a result. If it were to be inspected by a building department, it would indeed require a hand rail and a balustrade.

  9. J P Lundell February 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Please providee the link to order plans for the tiny home u & Gabriella r living in (better w a hammer than the internet) … And approx cost to build – eager to oer plans & start building!… W prefer u email than just post, please.

    • Andrew February 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      HI JP. Hopefully you saw our recent blog post about the cost to build hOMe. If not, please check it out under the “blog” tab at the top of the page. We will be releasing the plans soon so stay tuned… 🙂

  10. Tanya Murray February 6, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    I’m definitely including your stair design in my eventual build three years from now! I love the Tiny House ethos but this will be my retirement home – and I’m hoping for that to be a long and happy one, so I do share your views on the potential drawbacks of ladders and night time loo visits. Have you considered selling full construction plans or conceptual floor plans, elevations, or Google Sketchup models etc for your house? It looks very much the scale and style of building I would like to adopt over here for my own self build project in the UK – I imagine I’d have to commission a local architect to modify it to fit our local building regs for a permanent home. Thanks!

    Tanya Murray

    • Andrew February 10, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks Tanya. We will be releasing the plans in the coming month or so. Please stay tuned…

  11. Mark Mitchell February 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks! I will use these.

  12. Jody February 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Thank you Thank you for this!! I’m going to do this when it’s time for me to build my tiny home. I was looking at how to do it and came across this. I saved the site so I’ll have it when I need it. I’m glad to see that this is out there. I’ve seen a lot of different ways to do this but never the instructions! Thanks again so much for sharing this with all of us! You rock!


  13. Carla February 17, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I have been realy inspired by reading abour your Tiny House! I think it is awesome!
    I was wondering how long & wide your tiny house is in meters? did you build it entirly your selves or did you have a builder to help? what do you think helped you decide on the proportions of your home? Is there anything that you would do differently if you had to do it again? and finaly is your home steel or wood framed? sorry for all the questions

    Carla M
    New Zealand

    • Andrew February 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

      Thanks Carla! My conversion to meters is not the best, so I’ll give it to you in feet. It is 28′ 6″ long and 8’6″ wide as measured from the exterior. It is wood framed.

      We designed and built the house entirely by ourselves. I don’t think we would change a thing at this point. We feel so comfortable and happy with the way it flows.

      We did a lot of soul searching about what we really want/need in a home and then designed from scratch. It’s funny you ask about how we decided on the design proportions because I am, literally at this minute, writing a blog entry about the top three strategies for designing a tiny house! Nice timing. 🙂

  14. Paul McLaughlin February 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Awsome small home work by both of you.

    Please email me your email address for your hOMe plans & estimated DYI hours to build & material costs when you have it together.

    Off the grid? Did I see 115VAC receptical(s)? Store bought 115VAC appliances?
    Any air conditioning/ evaporative cooling? Roof slopping cistern for shower/toilet?
    Monthly costs to live in?

    I’m now single, 70 yrs old and very trades capable; about to retire. Looks like fun to build.

    Here are some goofy thoughts:
    Why build it if I can buy a trailer-home?
    Weight would be good to know- to possibly put on a pontooned surface for vacationing on lakes (center of gravity therefore nice to know, and a sky hook for when it sinks!). Could I anchor it off shore and not pay parking fees?
    What type vehicle do you pull it with horizontally; up mountain highways; and any special road license required for USA, Canada, Mexico? Is it insurable? Estimated resale value after a few years of use?
    Where does one build this house, since power tools are needed? Need tools, stuff, space and lots of whiskey (the name of my dog by the way).

    Thank you-

  15. Julia February 25, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    These stairs are brilliant! I considered a tiny home a few years ago but the ladder was a major off putting factor. I have seen a couple now with stairs so have now come back to this as my number one option for a dwelling. I see you mentioned the double wide area at the top – how much clearance do you have from this step to the ceiling? Also I’m trying to envisage what it’s like coming down the stairs at the top – crouch until you get a couple of steps down or is it not as awkward as I imagine? Thanks for such an inspiring article.

    • Andrew February 27, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks Julia. The space on the last tread measures 5′ 8″ +/- to the ceiling at the high end. It os very comfortable. The transition from knees (in the loft) to standing on the stairs happens at the first tread and with ease.

  16. Cory Hagen February 27, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    These stairs would make our tiny house possible! What rise/run measurements did you end up with for your stairs? Those look perfect…

    • Andrew February 27, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      The treads are roughly 10″ and the risers are roughly 9″. The top tread is 20″ and the top riser is 18″ to make the transition from loft to stairs easier. They are very comfortable to use.

  17. Georgiana March 1, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you
    relied on the video to make your point. You obviously
    know what youre talking about, why throw away your
    intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative
    to read?

  18. Judy March 29, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Great idea for studio apartment living with no storage. I built a free standing loft and used this box idea for stairs and storage. Thank you!!!

  19. Julie March 30, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    Thanks, Andrew. How wide are your stairs? (I.e., how deep are the boxes?)

    • Andrew April 1, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      The boxes are 27″ deep plus a 3/4″ face frame. 🙂

  20. Lisa April 5, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    We are lightly renovating a 375 sf garage apartment to live in and rent out the house and this stair plan is just what I was looking for to get to the loft (pulling out ceiling for low loft over the kitchen and bath half of the apt). Can you explain “I did not add a standard riser and tread for the last section where the stairs meet the loft. Instead, I created a “double-wide” tread and “double-tall” riser.” Thanks!

    • Andrew April 6, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      Hi Lisa. The last step is twice as tall and twice as deep as the rest. This allows us to step out of the loft with more ease as a smaller tread (what you stand on) and a shorter riser (the height of the step) would have made it difficult to transition from the loft (on our knees) to the stairs (standing) safely. Hope that helps.

  21. Becky Jones April 10, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    I may have missed it, but I didn’t see/hear the width of the stairs to the loft. I’m trying to use this plan for remodeling a tiny old house. I’m 57 & don’t like climbing ladders now, so where will I be in another 10 years?!? Thanks so much! This is a delight!

    • Andrew April 20, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Becky. The stairs are 27″ wide. Hope that helps!

  22. sandra noble April 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Hi Andrew! I like your the site you created about tiny house plans. I’m from the Philippines and due to high cost of living nowadays i would like to have one of this in the future. May I ask you what is the complete floor area in order to have a tiny house like i view in your tiny house plans. Thank you and hope you can give me the answer.

    Thank you,

    • Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Hi Sandra. Glad you like it.. It is roughly 207 SF of main floor plus around 100 SF of loft space.

  23. Amber Pickney May 1, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    About how much wall space is needed to build these stairs? I guess what I’m trying to say is what is the lenght of the stairs horizontally? Like from the door to the loft entrance.

    • Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi Amber. You are asking about the “run” of the stairs. It is roughly 6′ 10″.

  24. Nick Review June 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Nice Post, i build some similar loft stairs and posted a video here
    for people who are better at following video than a article.

    • Andrew June 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      Cool. Thanks Nick.

  25. Don July 7, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    HI Andrew,
    I love your design. I’m going to install storage stairs in my studio apartment which has a loft. Unfortunately, I can’t use nailers as the ‘party wall’ with the next apartment is only metal studs and thin drywall. Instead I want to attach a back piece to each box for stability. Also, I’m gong to use 3/4 ‘ plywood but some of the boxes will be three stair treads wide, so do you suggest doubling the thickness of those boxes to handle the wider span? We have electric in-floor heating as well, so anchoring the boxes to the concrete under the engineered wood floor is out. I’m thinking of letting the boxes float on the floor with a strip of wood anchored around the perimeter just through the wood laminate flooring. do you think that will work?

    • Andrew July 20, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Hi Don. Sounds like a challenging situation for those stairs. You should be able to attach to the steel framing, you will just need to use the proper connectors (self tapping metal screws) and glue against the drywall to help add shear strength. For large spans, I would certainly recommend doubling (or tripling) the plywood. I have doubled our 3/4” ply on our double tread and it is plenty strong. I don’t think I would trust that for a triple tread width. Finding a way to anchor to the concrete will be important. If you cannot nail into the floor, I would certainly suggest using construction adhesive rated for such attachments. This, along with the strips of wood you were suggesting would be adequate, in most cases, as long as there is not a lot of risk of slippage.

  26. Gemma Seymour August 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    I love your house, and I have decided that it is definitely the model for my own. I think that incorporating features such as an actual staircase with the double height/width top step and the washer/dryer combo are brilliant, and really must make a huge difference in liveability.

    I’m planning on building with SIPS, and hopefully will be able to make the loft floor height 88″ above the main floor, while still allowing for enough head room in the lofts. That will give me the ability to put 80″ doors underneath the lofts and have an 82″ ceiling height. I’m 73″ tall plus a smidge, so this is important to me.

    Your house has really revived my interest in tiny houses, and helped me feel that I can successfully adapt to that type of living. At my age, I’m unlikely to ever have any more children, so all I need to accommodate is a possible spouse and my daughter coming to visit, perhaps with a friend. There’s no way I could have lived like this with my ex.

    Now, if I can just find room for all my musical instruments… 😀

    • Andrew August 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      I hear you with the instruments! I have my Martin guitar hanging on the wall, but plan to build a recording studio for my other guitars, drums, bass, banjo, mandolin, and piano. There’s no way that will all fit in our tiny hOMe!!!

  27. Peter September 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks for the details. I’ve built steps in the past and went with a simple rise over run of 9″ x 9″ for an 18″ stride. I went with a 1″ bullnose overhang which met code for having a 10″ deep tread. So, you meet code but actually setback each tread run by an inch. For most tiny house loft heights (8 steps or so to the rise) would save you 8″ on your overall run.

    However, the bullnose overhang would require the tread be something other than 3/4″ plywood. Therefore the disadvantage is significantly increased weight, cost and lost storage by using heavier materials for the tread to accommodate the bullnose overhang.

  28. Brian Irrving January 25, 2015 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Andrew
    Great site old chap.
    Seems you now have another ardent follower from down under besides my Victoria counterpart. I hail from Queensland (the best part of Australia(oz) up the Sunshine Coast way and seeing its Australia Day here Today (26th Jan) thought I would drop a line.
    So, getting a bit more serious . Love your idea , will build one. But mine is to go onto a dual wheel caravan shell about your length and a shade wider . One immediate change though instead of crawling into the loft I am going to have a pop top lift up roof that will enable me to stand there and drop it down when traiorling it around to various locations if desired.

    Will keep you posted on progress will not start for about 6 weeks though .
    Brian Irving ([email protected])

    • Andrew January 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      Love the pop tent aspect. Good idea!

  29. Kelley Marie April 30, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    We converted our formal living room into a room for our son who is going to stay with us while he goes to college. The room has cathedral ceilings, so we put a loft bed in but haven’t done the stairs yet. We knew we wanted to make the stairs double as shelves, so these plans will be perfect. Love what you’ve done with the top step for ease of access to the loft!

  30. Christine McCallister September 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    I just purchased a Old Cabin 400 sq.ft. There is a loft but there is a half of a wood painters ladder leaning against the wall to get up to the loft. I want to do the Box stairs to get into the loft. I could place the Boxes behind the small couch between 2 wall sconces – or place the Box Stairs on one side of the love seat couch. The thought of starting is scary. Anything is better than a half of a wood ladder leaning on the wall.
    Like you say – build one box at a time and keep the steps comfortable and think of some kind of railing for safety. Thank you for your time and care to explain step by step making these Box Stairs.

    • Andrew September 19, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

      Hi Christine. Great to hear of your purchase. You will have fun!!!! I am pretty sure we have a step by step detail of making the stairs in a blog post. I’m on a plane right now so can’t check myself. Take a look and see if you can find it. If not, let me know and I will see if we have it somewhere else (YouTube?). It is for sure in the DVD series we offer, so that is a possibility too.


  31. Karen November 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    Love the instructions! Thanks. I am getting older and ladders aren’t good for me.
    If I were to install a handrail for my own balance concerns, would you have instructions on that? I’ve looked at it with concern about losing valuable storage. Suggestions?

    • Andrew November 18, 2015 at 5:05 am #

      Hi Karen. I don’t have specific instructions on installing a handrail; however, the plans that we sell include details about a railing, so if you go that route, you will have the information you need. With proper anchoring and materials, installing a railing is easy (all things considered).

  32. Aaron April 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

    Andrew, could you tell me, what did you screw the nailers to on the wall? Did you put blocks behind your walls before you put them up?

    • Andrew May 1, 2016 at 10:37 am #

      Hi Aaron. I can’t remember if I installed blocking or just screwed into studs and the sheathing (our sheathing was on the inside of the walls unlike conventional placement on the exterior. We did that to provide backing for our interior wall finish, but it came in handy in places like the stair installation as well. I used glue as well, so there is very positive and strong attachment.

  33. Rachel May 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank you! I had to search and search to find instructions for stairs I actually liked. Will bookmark for my tiny house build!

  34. Jody June 17, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    Hi Andrew!

    I sent a message a couple of years ago about your amazing hOMe stairs and instructions. I think your place is why I want stairs 🙂 I’m still in the planning/saving stage. I was going to do a 24 ft. But I found an amazing place that only can fit an 18 ft. tiny house. What would be the best option for stairs in that case? (Just in case I do need to go smaller).
    Thanks so much for all of your post’s, picture’s, video’s, responses… love your place!


    • Andrew June 24, 2016 at 7:58 am #

      Hi Jody. Stairs in that small of a space may not be possible. You would be looking at very steep risers and short treads. I would suggest an “alternating foot” style in which each side steps up on its own. You may have seen them on line. They are a good option for tight spaces. Good luck!

      • John Wallin May 26, 2019 at 8:27 am #

        Hey Andrew, I am building a staircase that comes up parallel to the loft instead of perpendicular like the example. How wide should the treads be to safely descend the stairs?

        • Andrew May 26, 2019 at 9:06 am #

          Hi John. I suggest you build them to meet the requirements of Appendix Q of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC). That’s the code appendix that I co-authored with Martin Hammer and which deals directly with tiny house regulations across the US.

  35. Morgan June 20, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks for the help! We are currently using your idea (with a few tweaks) to build a staircase to the loft that the dog will be bunking in, and the rest of the spaces will be filled with baskets for storage. Wish us luck!

  36. Michael McKesson June 24, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

    We are trying to do this in our tiny house/barn. We call it a homeshed.
    What are the nailers doing?
    How do you know where to put them?
    What are they made out of?
    Could this idea work as free-standing boxes without a wall on either side?
    Is it fastened to the wall just to keep it from moving? In other words, is the wall
    bearing any weight?

  37. E hines October 8, 2018 at 1:55 pm #

    Thank you so much for your tutorial! We bought a tiny house (completely built exterior and completely empty/unfinished interior). It has been interesting and challenging to finish. We are glad we stubbled onto your tutorial here which appears to be simple and straightforward and very organized. We will follow your advice and information, and we thank you very much for sharing your experience & intelligence!!!!

  38. Anie March 19, 2020 at 11:48 am #

    hi! really excited to get to work on these… thanks for the detailed instructions. Can you tell me what you mean in #5 by “repeat for risers”. I am not sure which numbers to use and what my goal is…?

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