Last week, before the concrete for the footing was poured, we had our architect, structural engineer and project manager. I asked a question that caused us to make a change in our plans. Here’s before:
And this is after:
The question I asked was if there were any way to make the stairs wider. As we got rid of stuff, I had the hardest time dealing with the couch the previous owner had left for us. It just barely fit in the stairwell and got stuck in the final corner. It was too long to prop up. Eventually we pushed it out of the “door to nowhere” that has puzzled us for as long as we’ve lived here.
The cutout in the fence wasn’t there until I chopped off some slats so that the door could swing all the way open. If the couch came through that door originally, the fence either wasn’t there or wasn’t as tall.
At any rate, that door is going away and I’m not sure the 3 foot-wide stair would let us get a refrigerator up to the ADU. The new plan is a 4-foot-wide stair that’s moved toward the center-line of the building. That has all sorts of side effects:
- Our upstairs bathroom can be a foot wider so we can fit a larger shower.
- We lose the cabinets downstairs that currently hold camping gear and paint.
- The dining room area gets a couple of feet narrower.
- There’s slope from the stairs across from my office downstairs that will be a foot wider and a foot further away from the side door.
- We gain an extra foot of width in the downstairs bathroom. It will no longer be possible to wash your hands while sitting on the toilet. For better or worse.
- We can have a squared off landing which will make getting furniture even easier to move up (and down) stairs.
- The footing for the column holding up the stairwell got a couple of feet wider.
And so on. In the end, I think this is a positive change that won’t add much in terms of cost or time. If we’d wanted to change just a day or two later, it would have been far more expensive since it would have required more foundation work.