Readers Project – Stair Drawers

A Diyfixit reader has been busy building some under-the-stairs storage space and has kindly provided us with the following article.

Running out of storage space is a common problem in most homes. When you have filled every kitchen cupboard and the living room walls are heaving with shelving, what is the next step? How about drawers in your stairs? The fact is that the triangular space under your stairs is hard to access and you normally end up with a banged head. So how about drawers you can access from your hallway?

Step one is to remove the risers from the bottom two steps (not the very bottom one). You will need to take some time to make sure the stairs are as level as possible and that the treads are well screwed into place. The more care you take in this step the easier it will be to fit the drawers.

under-the-stairs storage space 1
under-the-stairs storage space 1

This is the view from the under stair cupboard. As you can see the area has been completely cleared of any wood which might impede the smooth running of the drawers. The sides of this area will be covered in MDF to act as supports to the drawer mechanisms.

You can now see the side supports and the drawer runners attached. See the drawer runners below. One section fits to the sides of the cupboard while the other fits to the drawers.

under-the-stairs storage space 3
under-the-stairs storage space 4

You can see below where the drawer runner has been fitted to the side of the drawer.

If you are very lucky you may be able to get kitchen drawers which will fit your size opening, but realistically this is unlikely. For this reason you will need to build the drawer yourself. As you can see here, this is a very simple box with the front attached with a pocket screw from the inside. This ensures that you get a clean finish to the front. Measure the front very carefully so that it will look even to the tread of the stair. The aim is for it to be unnoticeable.

under-the-stairs storage space 5
under-the-stairs storage space 6

This photo demonstrates how you need to take the post into account when designing the opening of the drawer. The finish is clean and the gaps are even.

A small hole has been made to allow opening. It is possible to use a knob or even a magnetic catch, but be aware that you need to have enough tread depth to avoid accidents.

under-the-stairs storage space 7
under-the-stairs storage space 8

The final result is shoe storage with a difference! Once painted along with the stairs these drawers will be hidden from sight and making use of otherwise dead space! The only thing is that you won't be able to carpet your stairs unless you avoid the drawer fronts. It is certainly possible, but will make life a little more difficult for your carpet fitter!

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