Unless somebody screwed up big-time, your unfinished basement already has stairs. When you make the decision to remodel or renovate your basement, you may find that the current stairway just doesn’t cut it. Older stairways in basements may not meet contemporary building codes when the basement has been transformed into living space. Or you may find that the stairs are not conveniently located within your design scheme. Changing the location of basement stairs can become a real pain, but it may provide more sense to your style.
If you are low on space or want to add some pizzazz to your basement remodeling, consider that spiral stairs typically take up only about six feet of diameter space at most. Spiral staircases are the way to go if you want to take full advantage of your limited basement space. Keep in mind, however, that unless you have an exit to the outdoors you will have significant trouble getting large items downstairs to your nicely redone basement.
The most boring of staircase styles is the straight run up and down. Most of these will take up about 40 square feet of basement space, but they do make transporting items easy. The L and U shaped stairs will need more overall space, but are an excellent option when you the pitch is too steep for a straight run.
When considering the placement of stairs if you decide and can move them, remember the best place to lead basement stairs is toward your kitchen. This is true because it makes getting food items from upstairs to downstairs easier if you so desire. Failing the ability to run your basement stairs up toward the kitchen, you should probably run them to a family room or other area where silence may be golden, but also rarely experienced if the basement renovation is of the home theater or game room variety. Try to connect from quiet to quite or noisy to noisy. That means avoiding basement steps that lead from your home office to the game room where the kids are playing Beatles Rock Band on the Wii unless you enjoy the distraction of fuzz guitar as John Lennon teaches us about wanting a revolution. On the other hand, if your basement remodeling is the game room, you won’t want the steps leading to your nursery where the baby is trying to sleep.
Adding some decorative appeal to your basement stairs can be as easy as adding some trim and painting half the wall. You might also add some style by painting concrete stairs to resemble wood or even the design of throw rugs. Carpeted stairs increase the soundproofing of your basement while slate steps add some genuine class (anagram of Alec Guinness) to your basement design. Other ways to make your basement staircase come alive like Frampton are to utilize carved spindles, adorn with illuminated glass blocks or just add some photographs on the wall section of the staircase.
Don’t overlook the fact that the space beneath your basement staircase may be ideal for storage. Installing some built-in drawers is great for storing items you’ll actually use in your new basement room. Otherwise, you can just add stuff that you’ve compiled and hide it away from prying eyes like those at the NSA or ATT.