Room at the Bottom of the Stairs

How much room do you need at the bottom of the stairs? How big should your Foyer be? I received this question the other day.

Jackie asked:

“We are reconfiguring our stairs and would like to know what is an adequate space to have from the last step to front door?  It is currently 74 inches – w/ the new configuration it would decrease to 60.  Is that enough room?  Thanks for your time.”

My Answer:

“In average-sized houses, 60 inches should be adequate. If the stairs are offset (off to the side) a bit from the front door, as they commonly are, this is even better. Either way, 60 inches is enough to greet your guests without having to stand on the stairs to do so. If your house is quite large in its other aspects, then this might seem like too small a space relative to everything else.

You might try mocking this up. Lay a box or something the size of the first step in the position the new steps will occupy. Then try coming in the front door and see how it feels. Also try going to the front door to answer it as someone enters. This will give you a good feel for the appropriateness of the space. If that feels right, then it will work fine.”

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Bill Hirsch

Bill Hirsch

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