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Postgreen Homes Stair Designs

by Wes on July 17, 2009 · 13 comments

in Design,interior design,process,site updates

The Postgreen Homes team has been kicking some ideas around with ISA for a couple more stair options for the new homes.  With the release of the new customizable website coming very shortly, it’s important that there are plenty of options for people to choose from.  In terms of the stairs, you may recognize the iconic PSL Open Riser stair.  This design has been a Postgreen staple, debuting in the 100K House.

The idea for the Storage Stair option was conceived as a solution to the pack rat lifestyle.  The three panels in the center of the stair act as doors, opening to reveal space and closing to hide your clutter and nicely blend into the well-crafted framing.  An awesome solution to the unused space below stairs, let us know how you feel about this option:

Another idea we had been thinking about was creating a Steel Stair design.  A bold option, the metal stair has a certain awe factor for people just entering the room.  It is for the bold homeowner who isn’t particularly happy with the mundane activity of walking up plywood stairs day after day.

These concepts are still under development, so definitely let us know what you think of them or what you’d like to see in the comments.

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

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wes thomas online design journal
July 18, 2009 at 11:07 am

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krista July 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm

What would you do if you had a situation where you had another set of stairs going down to a basement? I’ve always struggled with the fact that you would either have to have your basement open to the first floor or have underneath closed in similar to your storage option.

2 Jeremy July 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm

I like the aesthetic of the steel stairs, but I’m a big fan of the storage stairs. If there’s one things missing from these homes, it’s storage. Without a basement, anywhere more storage can be built into the structure is a good thing, especially if the clients buying the home are planning on or already have a kid or two. It also provides a place to possibly hide away entertainment equipment, like TVs and speakers.

3 Jeremy July 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Apologies for the double-post.

4 jason July 17, 2009 at 6:31 pm

i like all the designs and feel that since i have alot of crap i would go with the storage idea. i think having an extended first step that can have a big pull out for shoes and also double as a low sitting platform for times when there is a large casual gathering might be something to sketch up.

5 Sonia July 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm

I love the storage stairs. Could you also come up with storage case for the steel stairs? I’m big on hiding things in cabinets, that what I use my kitchen cabinets for.

6 matt July 19, 2009 at 6:47 am

i like sonia’s suggestion-its a winner for me!
or how about a combination of open steel stairs with ply storage cabinets either centred or at each end of stairs-say 1 M to 1.2 M wide.

7 PLeBlanc July 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Why not look at other configurations? Straight stairs are fine if you have the room, but for me, looking at a 24X36 footprint for the main home, I’d like to see a 7-8′ main up with a 90 degree turn to a 4 or 5 step up to the floor (depending on floor height). I’ve even been looking at that coming up to a similar and adjacent set of stairs going to the third floor. That creates a foyer-esque area where you have air flow and yelling space up to the top floor from the bottom floor. Is there a reason to eschew other stair shapes in favor of straight stairs?

8 Kevin D July 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

A couple reasons to eschew:

1. Easier to move Big Things
2. Simpler, quicker to make and install, therefore cheaper.

9 chad July 20, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Kevin D is correct. Also, we never really find lots wider than 20′ in Philly to build on. Keep in mind these are tight infill homes.

Other types of stairs are popular in Philly homes, but they end up dividing the space and decreasing airflow and light throughout the homes. The biggest complement we get in 100K is how light and airy the home feels due mainly to the open, straight stairs that do not block light and views from the front to the back of the house.

To answer an earlier question, we are looking into a door hatch on the floor with hydraulic hinges that will lead to the basement. This will allow us to place the basement entrance in more flexible locations. The basements in the homes will be mainly for storage and not for entertainment, so this type of access should function well while maintaining affordability.

10 Brian July 21, 2009 at 9:34 am

In a small house, you can never have too much storage space. I’m a big fan of the storage stairs.

I’d be concerned with the first ones that you make a narrow space even narrower with the wall.

11 PLeBlanc July 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Kevin, Chad, those are good answers. (And having been a part time moving help, I am so in agreement on Kevin’s answer #1) but I am in a lot that isn’t shaped for a south facing short side. I am in a small lot like you guys are using, but my face is southwest, with the lot being east-west. So my short side is north south. I want to use a north-south staircase, and that leaves me either using the whole length of the house (and not having an entry area) or finding an acceptable alternative for an entry way) or finding a way to make the stairs start midway into the house (hence the desire for staircase with a bend).

I’ve found myself left looking at stairs that have to turn, unless I go east west, and then for my lot, that leaves me with too much hallway space. I’m not trying to be contrary, but I am having a hard time seeing the staircase setup for the 100K house working for me. Am I being too stingy on stair space?

I am really looking forward to the launch of the site where I can playwith the floorspace layout.

12 Shags August 11, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Check out for inspiration if you want to consider other options. I know the name is a bit weird, but the site really is just stairs.

Also, for the basement access, check out; they have some very attractive trapdoor options.

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