Two Days of Progress: Stairs and Kitchen Cabinets

We have stairs!!! And kitchen cabinets!!!!! With this newfound motivation to get the house finished and ready for the big move on March 15th, we have been spending long hours at the house on our “build days”  and these past two have been especially exciting. I started building the stairs yesterday and managed to get them built and painted. We still need to put on another coat of paint, attach them to the walls and build/install the doors for the storage space – but I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out so far! Today, we decided to switch gears and tackle the kitchen cabinetry. 

Tish and I played with the stair design a lot throughout our build. It seemed like every time I found a new way to incorporate stairs without them taking up too much space in the house, I changed the layout of our house to accomodate them. This happened more times than I care to remember, however some notable mentions that literally had me throwing out all previous floor plans  that had me going down a rabbit hole of layout changes are here, here and here.  As Tish and I do with most decisions in our lives, we thought about all of our choices and determined which would be best (which is why having so many options at my disposal is a double edge sword — for awhile there it felt like I had a new layout for our house every week!). However, we kept coming back to two designs we loved most, so my final plan for the stairs combined the stairs from two of our favorite tiny homes:  Shed and hOMe. I built the stairs similar to the way Andrew Morrison (hOMe) constructed his, but made them to look like the stairs that Robert and Samantha built for Shed.

Since I failed to put in nailers before closing up the walls (rookie mistake of not looking ahead far enough), I had to build the stairs like “boxes” so that they were well-supported and also provided a good nailing surface for attachment to the wall. I used 3/4″ Purebond birch plywood, glue and 1 1/4″ screws. I began by building a platform that would cover the wheel well, act as a strong base for the stairs, and provide storage for shoes. I used 1×1 to anchor the “legs” of the platform base to the subfloor.

I then built the stair-boxes and based my measurements off of the dimensions provided by the folks with Shed. Tish and I like having a bench near the door to put on shoes, so I wanted to keep the first step long so that it would act as a seat. The four boxes I built followed Shed’s stair design  with one exception, we added 2″ to our run, making the middle three stairs 14″ wide, and the final stair 20″ wide. This worked out because of the large first step/bench in our design. I’m really happy with it as I think it adds extra valuable storage space.

I still need to attach the stairs to the base platform and walls, and put on another coat of paint. The stairs will eventually have flooring on the runs, and doors on the storage areas. I plan to make the doors similar to Shed’s design. I’m currently still convincing Tish of the color to paint them, so you’ll have to check back in to see if I win my case 🙂

Today, we wanted to switch gears and make some progress on the kitchen….so we built all of our cabinets! All of our cabinets are from Ikea, they are super easy (albeit tedious) to put together and ended up being really easy to modify for the wheel well. We are feeling a bit silly because we bought drawers for all of our cabinets AND one of those fun pull-out lazy Susan things for the corner unit and realized when we started building them that wheel well will be in the way of both the drawers AND the fun corner storage. We are still trying to figure out what to do to fix that, we might just go with cabinet doors and no drawers, but we shall see. For now, I’m excited just to have all of the bases built and cut to fit over the wheel well!




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