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Help - front door opens onto stairs?

MandyK83's picture

Hi Everyone,


I'm new to the forum.  My husband and I just bought a 1970's center hall colonial that we plan to redo from top to bottom.  My first problem with the house is that the front door actually touches the first step of the staircase when you walk in.  What are some options for reconfiguring a staircase so that we have more of an entryway?  It's the first impression that you get when you walk into the house and I'd like to make it seem more formal and much less cramped.  My husband suggested that it might be easier to relocate the front door than it would to move or reconfigure the stairs, but I think that would throw off the whole look of the exterior.  Any suggestions on where we might start?


Thanks so much for your help.  I'm sure I'll have a million more questions as we make our way through the reno. 

(post #86077, reply #1 of 119)

Mandy,  your pictures are too big.  Try going back and calling them up yourself.  By having to move the sliders in order to see the rest of the picture, we lose your intent.


There are size reduction programs in about any photo editing software.  Try for about 80 to 100 KB in size and save in a .jpeg format.  Try for a 4 x 6 size picture.


The boys on dial up will love you for it.


 

(post #86077, reply #2 of 119)

Resized:


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

(post #86077, reply #8 of 119)

Re-Resized (didn't notice the earlier ones were still too big.)


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

(post #86077, reply #34 of 119)

Your fist try was OK, but I want her to learn this sizing thing. This looks like a project with lots of potential.

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #86077, reply #35 of 119)

"Your fist try was OK."


I routinely resize to 33%, which is what I did the first time, and I get 100K (or thereabouts) files. Aftger your post, I looked again and I saw they were twice that. Phew, them were some bigguns!


I butted in 'cause I'd love to see what folks here can do with this one. Seems to me turning the stairs will pretty much wreck one room and make it all about the stairway. Best I could come up with is to add a bumpout enclosed entryway.


Or maybe Stan could put a winder in. (But then her door trim would never get finished. LOL!)


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

(post #86077, reply #37 of 119)

Hey guys, thanks so much for your kind words.  My husband and I jumped on the house because we saw the potential but it's so challenging to try to pull all the little pieces together.  Going forward I'll take my pics on a lower quality setting so they're not quite so big...rookie mistake!


When you say "winder" are you talking about a curved staircase?  I was just re-thinking and I thought that maybe if we take that entire wall out to the right of the staircase, and then gently curve the bottom half of the stairs so that they dump out just onto the edge of the living room instead of directly in the doorway.  Doing that along with switching up the swing on the door might take care of the problem, no?  The only thing is that I'm guessing all that custom woodwork on a curved staircase doesn't come cheap. 


Just thinking out loud...please let me know if anyone has any better suggestions.   Also, we planned to do a majority of the work ourselves, but do want to use a GC/builder for the shell of the additions so if anyone knows of a good guy in the southeastern pa area , feel free to message me with the info.  Thanks!


Edited 4/7/2009 8:40 pm ET by MandyK83

(post #86077, reply #38 of 119)

A winder is a set of stairs that gradually turns a corner.

Andy Engel wrote an article in the most recent FHB about winder stairs.

A winder may work, but my concern would be the headroom issue. What is above and adjacent to the stairwell on the second floor?

 


Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

 

Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

(post #86077, reply #39 of 119)

Is there some restriction that does not allow an outswing door?  Realize it must have adequate landing, etc.

For those who have fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

For those who have fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

(post #86077, reply #3 of 119)

I am absolutely interested in helping you. Since you plan lots of work you really need a total overall plan before starting anything, IMO. So pictures of whole house or a floorplan sketch will help.

But there is now way I can begin to look until you learn to resize photos to something practical - under 200kb file size.

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #86077, reply #4 of 119)

Looks from pics you could change door swing.

(post #86077, reply #5 of 119)

Thanks for your prompt responses.  I am working on resizing pics and uploading the floor plan.  Stay tuned...

(post #86077, reply #12 of 119)

Maybe you could put in a landing about halfway down, and turn the bottom half of the stairs into the room? It looks like a pretty big room, and it would also create an entry hall area separate from the room.

(post #86077, reply #6 of 119)

>>My husband suggested that it might be easier to relocate the front door than it would to move or reconfigure the stairs,

He's right.

>>but I think that would throw off the whole look of the exterior.

Depends on how well it is designed





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(post #86077, reply #7 of 119)

You are right on.


Some sort of portico entrance, well designed and executed. Perfecto

(post #86077, reply #16 of 119)

Is a portico only a type of awning with columns or is it actually enclosed?  I suppose we could add on a small room to the front so that we could extend the entry hall.


What did you mean about the upstairs?

(post #86077, reply #17 of 119)

Hi Mandy,


A portico need not be enclosed but using some architectural detailing would allow you to pull the door out off the house without it being so noticeable or your suggestion of an enclosed porch could work too.


If you look at the upstairs floorplan and imagine yourself walking up the reversed stairs you wind up somewhere difficult.


s.

(post #86077, reply #19 of 119)

I'll have to look into the Portico.  Yeah, the reverse stairs would definitely not work with the upstairs floorplan.  Maybe a split flight?  I'll have to mess around with some layouts and see if I can come up with something.


I loaded all the before house pics on shutterfly, no account needed to view.


http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AcOGTdo3btWLCpg


Please let me know if anyone has any other suggestions.  Thanks so much!

(post #86077, reply #73 of 119)

I've run into a few designproblems like this one. Turning the stairs sideways into an "L", with a landing will not work, as you'll lose headroom as soon as you turn away from the stairwell opening. Reversing the stairs would require major floorplan mod's on borh levels. If setback requirements, zoning ,etc. allow, bringing the entry out as an portico makes most sense. Make it a larger gable that proportions better with the rest of the home. The entry will now be a vestibule, perhaps with a bench and a coatrack. Carry the gable forward to provide a sheltered area between 2 columns.
Ben

(post #86077, reply #9 of 119)

Okay, here are some pics.  I put them all in an album so it's easier to view but let me know if I should shrink and upload individual pics instead.  I thought maybe seeing the whole house would give you a better idea of how things flow.  I also attached pdf's of the floor plan, sorry the room descriptions are mirrored...the floorplan is accurate otherwise. 


To give you an idea of the ideas we've been tossing around, we're thinking about putting on two additions split into 2 phases.  The first addition would be on the entire back of the house and would include a new expanded kitchen with walk in pantry, large island with seating and a great room with casual dining and living area. 


The second phase of the project would be to go up over the garage and add a 4th bedroom and then somehow reconfigue the layout to increase the size of the master to add a larger master bath, larger closet, dressing area and sitting area.  We are really just getting starting so any ideas or suggestions you have would be much appreciated.  Thanks!


http://s61.photobucket.com/albums/h49/mandyross89/House/


 

PreviewAttachmentSize
1st_floor.pdf312.93 KB
2nd_floor.pdf256.13 KB

(post #86077, reply #10 of 119)

Ah crud, I didn't realize you needed a photobucket account to view the album.


Anyone know of an easy way for me to get all the pics to a central location so everyone can see without having to sign up for anything?

(post #86077, reply #11 of 119)

Could you simply reverse the stairs?  Structurally, there should be no problem.  Of course, if you have a basement stairwell under the one shown, that might make things "interesting".


If you could reverse the stairs, the area under the stairwell would make a fine entry storage area.

(post #86077, reply #13 of 119)

Even more interesting upstairs!!

(post #86077, reply #14 of 119)

"Even more interesting upstairs!!"


whoops! Never mind! (As he hides his head in embarrassment!)

(post #86077, reply #15 of 119)

The house has no basement so that's not a concern.  I suppose we could reverse the stairs though I've never seen anything like that.  Tried googling for images and am coming up with nothing.


I did think about putting in a landing halfway and turning the bottom half into the living room, but it would dump out into the middle of the room...would that look odd?

(post #86077, reply #18 of 119)

with the floorplan in mind, you could have a landing, turn stairs into the room, then have another landing and turn them again away from door, if there is the space.

Or, lose the wall and turn the stair the opposite way, into the den.

Portico sounds nice, but since I'm not a pro, i don't see how doing exterior work is easier than redirecting the stairs...

(post #86077, reply #20 of 119)

Thanks msm, I do think there would be room to turn them towards the back of the living room but I guess we would loose the storage under the stairs.  Turning them into the den is a good option though the room is small already.


Good grief, this is why people pay architects, lol.

(post #86077, reply #21 of 119)

...or...
start the stairs at a right angle to their current orientation, against back wall of LR. Continue entire way or add a landing and switch back to opposite direction; I'd at least do a landing near bottom for last one or 2 steps. Closet would be moved under new stairs

(post #86077, reply #23 of 119)

I sketched this up before I read your response.  Does this look strange to you? 


I'll try to draw up your idea.


 


Lol about the architects.  My husband wouldn't allow me to hire one anyway.  He's too proud of a diy-er.

(post #86077, reply #24 of 119)

Your sketch looks fine, given that working in the existing limited space, there's no perfect solution. I mean, you may regret those angled steps. Many people find them difficult.

Turning the stairs at a 90 degree angle along the back wall makes most sense to me, Access under-stair closet space from den. although that might be a huge deal to change the orientation of the opening between floors...
Portico does sound nice, but looking at your exterior, I'm afraid enclosing what is there would feel too small and still crowding the door opening too. At least the front door wouldn't hit the step...
good luck with whatever you decide.

Fireman's pole.

(post #86077, reply #26 of 119)

Ha!  The fireman's pole is the best idea yet!