Recently purchased a house and I am hoping to swap out the old cabinets for IKEA. I discovered this inconvenience (see photos). Any idea as to how to work around this? Ideally I want to remove it and have a flush wall to work with.

My idea was simply remove it, but then I risk having a head bonker for the basement stairs.

Any ideas at all would be so helpful.

Inside cabinet located on wall opposite of the staircase.

The staircase, which the cabinet is against.

  • 2
    A place cannot be two things at once. Sep 2, 2020 at 5:20

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately there is no quick-and-easy fix for this. It's a result of a poorly designed home layout.

If you simply remove the inset for the stairs you will, as you note, remove the clearance for the stairs going down and you will likely create a situation where your stairway no longer meets code.

The right way here would be to relocate the stairs so that they no longer intrude on the kitchen cabinet space or to relocate the kitchen wall so that the stairwell intrusion is removed.

The simplest solution would be to do what the earlier cabinet installer did, cut away the backside of the cabinet to fit over the stairway and just live with the reduced capacity.

As I said, no easy solutions. Either live with it or fix it. The choice is up to you.

  • I see,.I think I'll remove it for now (removing clearance on the stairs). Then next year move the stairs (essentially 90 degrees) so that the top portion of the stairs comes through the dining room instead. I have yet to draft that, but it should work. Thanks for your post!
    – Shinobii
    Sep 2, 2020 at 12:10
  • @ the OP, Do you know if the floor framing supports your idea f turning the stairs 90 degree? Usually that calls for the reframing of the floor to change the shape of the stairwell to keep head clearance
    – Jack
    Sep 3, 2020 at 2:54
  • I have decided to leave it. Far too much work to remove it unfortunately. Gonna have to roll with it. . . Thanks for your input!
    – Shinobii
    Sep 3, 2020 at 19:58

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