I currently have some angled stairs going from my garage into the home. To the left of these stairs is a closet that I'm going to take out to allow more open space in the garage. Directly to the right of the angled stairs are the stairs leading to the basement. I'm really not a fan of these angled steps as visitors are not use to them and frequently stumble or miss a step(I'm surprised nobody has fallen down the basement stairs yet...knock on wood).

So after the closet is gone, I would like to put in more normal steps but there is not a lot of space between the door and where the basement steps begin. I would like to know if anyone has an alternative ideas for these steps. I was thinking steps that wrap around, but I'm not sure it would work with the amount of space I have.

For those that might mention local codes, this project is in Albany, NY.

Here is an image of the steps. Current Stairs

Here is a rough sketch with measurements. rough sketch

  • That's a tough one. There isn't enough horizontal space to continue the basement stair run to a standard landing. Is there any chance of moving the door to the left? Obviously that makes it a bigger project, but it might be worth it.
    – isherwood
    Apr 25, 2016 at 23:49
  • It isn't good when a visitor has to think carefully before using a set of stairs, especially when the booby prize is falling down another set of stairs. Apr 26, 2016 at 0:17
  • I can't move the door to the left, it already goes into the corner of the room unfortunately. And too far to the left would open it up to the porch. @DanielGriscom Haha! That is very true!
    – Jmh2013
    Apr 26, 2016 at 0:22

2 Answers 2


If there's enough headroom above the basement stairs, I would consider building a staircase over the existing basement stairs. Then you get to pick a height that works for all directions.

You could also make the stairs without risers and increase the overlap on the treads, almost turning them in to a ladder. This is the way stairs on Navy ships are designed. And bunk beds.

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  • That's an idea. However the headroom above the basement stairs is currently about 5'11" at its lowest point, which is right at the last couple steps. Although maybe I could make the stairs a little steeper by decreasing the tread depth.
    – Jmh2013
    May 3, 2016 at 17:06
  • Not a bad idea! It would be tricky to fit stringers in an ever-tightening taper down the stairs, but the result could be good.
    – isherwood
    May 3, 2016 at 21:01
  • 1
    Instead of decreasing the tread depth, eliminate the riser. see my edit.
    – longneck
    May 6, 2016 at 12:24

Here's your best bet: Build a landing outside the door basically where the current top level is, but shift it a bit to come out at a 45 from the corner to the right of the door (where the exposed stud is). This gives you more clearance when you're carrying groceries in through the door. Bring one conventional step down to the left, square with the wall.

Between the landing and the basement stairs, build a railing. No traffic goes there. Leave the area at the top of the basement stairs open to traffic to and from the basement.

Here's an attempt at a cyber-sketch (plan view):

____________________|############ DOOR ##############|______________________
  |        |                                                    ● |        |
  |        |                                                 ●    |        |
  |    S   |                                              ●       |    B   |
G |    T   |                                           ●          |    A   |
A |    E   |      LANDING (TWO RISES)               ●             |    S   |
R |    P   |                                     ●                |    E   |
A | <----- |                                  ●                   |    M   |
G |    D   |                               ●                      |    E   |
E |    O   |                            ● G                       |    N   |
  |    W   |                         ● N                          |    T   |
S |    N   |                      ● I                             | -----> |
L |        |                   ● L                                |    S   |
A |        |                ● I        GARAGE SLAB                |    T   |
B |        |             ● A                                      |    E   |
  |        |          ● R                                         |    P   |
  |        |       ●                                              |    S   |
  |        |    ●                                                 |        |
  |________| ●                                                    |________|

You won't gain the extra space in the garage that you had hoped for, but you'll have something approaching a modern entry arrangement.

  • This isn't a bad idea at all. I think I would still gain a little extra space with this plan, although not as much as I had hoped. Definitely a contender, thank you.
    – Jmh2013
    Apr 26, 2016 at 0:26
  • This would be a lot safer than the current design, but it looks like the two resulting paths (home<->slab and slab<->basement) would be pretty awkward. Apr 26, 2016 at 0:53
  • 1
    Awkward is unavoidable here. The goal is the least amount of awkward. What's your idea? :)
    – isherwood
    Apr 26, 2016 at 1:23

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