How can I take advantage of the space under my stairs that has been sealed with drywall?
The area beneath your stairs is wasted space and an ideal place to tuck a small desk, hang some open shelving, or even create a reading nook.
Before starting, lay down drop cloths to protect your floor. Then use a stud finder to check for wires or pipes in the area you are going to remove. Measure the area beneath the stairs where you want the storage to go. Snap a chalk line to mark the outline of the area to be opened. Use a utility knife to score the drywall along the outline. Use a hammer to make a hole and carefully remove the drywall along your score line to expose the studs.
Make sure studs are not load-bearing. If they are, reinforcing studs and headers will need to be constructed. Use a reciprocating saw to remove the studs to fully expose the area. Start by cutting through the studs at the top and then pull or pry the studs away from the floor.
Clean up the underside of the stairs of dust, cobwebs and make sure it is insect free. Once you have cleaned it up you will have a rough idea of how big is the space under your stairs. On average most stairs can yield a small 6 to 8 feet of space on sides and ceiling.
Measure and cut plywood or MDF to line the interior of the storage area. Attach to studs and braces with screws. Depending on the look you want to create, you could fill holes, sand and paint or you could line the area with something like bead board and trim out in trim that matches your home.
Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.