Stair placement drives so many things about a home’s layout, and sometimes the only way to correct for an awkward floor plan is to relocate the stair. This is something that should be carefully considered, as it impacts the home’s floor framing and walls, as well as wiring and duct work contained within the floor. It is also obviously much easier to accomplish when the stair connects only 2 floors.
In this mid-century ranch house, the original stair placement resulted in a narrow walkway along one side of the house. This circulation path not only prohibited the use of one wall for improving the kitchen, but it resulted in a view upon entry that looked directly into one end of the kitchen. The stair was also narrow and steep, so it was not going to be missed.
By shifting the new stair by about 3′ within its original opening, we minimized changes to the floor framing and maintained the path to the garage at the lower level. This move allowed us to create a more attractive and furnishable entry condition. It also freed up a long wall to enable a more spacious and functional kitchen. Additionally, we are opening the back of the house to the garden, and opening the kitchen and dining to one another.