I would like to use the space underneath my stairs for extra storage. When I opened the wall, I noticed the 3 studs are spaced 13 inches apart and I can't squeeze myself through. Is there a way I can (partially) remove one of these studs to create an access hole? I do believe it is a load bearing wall, so I know I have to be careful here.

Outside of the wall

Inner wall for bathroom

I managed to squeeze through and take photos inside the crawl space. So as you can see 2 visible studs that pretty much measure all the way up to the top the second floor the 3rd stud all the way to the right is a lot shorter and is nailed to the side frame of the stairs. I'm wondering if this would be a much safer stud to take out then the other two but is this holding up my stairs? Now All the way to my left is the Plumbing for my laundry room upstairs which I really don't want to move or mess with and then there is studs for the bathroom, approximately right where my toilet is. Keep in mind there is a bathroom that takes up most of under the stairwell. I just wanted to utilize the most amount of space I have left.



Here are the other two photos I forgot to include image



The normal approach is to support the floor above with a temporary wall, cut out the offending studs, and add a load-bearing header spanning the new opening and resting on trimmer studs.

If you're careful you can slide the new header into the wall cavity above the new opening without totally removing drywall to the top of the header. Using a reciprocating saw, cut the studs off where the top of the new header will be by plunging through the drywall. This leaves you with a few short slits to repair, rather than having to patch in sheets of drywall.


What is on the higher side of the steps. Do the steps wrap around 180 degrees and go to the 2nd floor.. My neighbor owns a split entry and added storage under the steps. At the bottom of the steps and under the other half of the stairway was a coat cupboard. We removed the wall behind the coats to gain entry to the empty space. It worked great. Post other pictures to show the whole stairway.

  • This doesn't seem like an answer to "can I safely remove studs from my bearing wall?" – isherwood Mar 23 '17 at 19:44
  • No, but it gives a possible option and it has been done. – d.george Mar 23 '17 at 22:30

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