I'm considering a fairly ambitious DIY project and wonder if anyone might have some suggestions... I live in an apartment with stairs and the space underneath is totally wasted (great at catching cat fur though) so I'd like to put in storage.
There's plenty of Pinterest inspiration but I'm not sure where to start and whether it needs to be 100% built from scratch, or if I should modify something to fit the space.
Other apartments in the building have similar storage:
Ideally I'd love ours to slide out like below, rather than having shelves with hinged doors:
This is roughly the space I'm working with:
The stairs are concrete, the wall behind (darker blue) is brick, and floor is floorboards crossing over to tiles.
My limitations are that I don't have a workshop, just my balcony to cut timber so a little limited with workspace. I have basic tools like circular saw, drills, jigsaw etc. No table saw though, so cutting dead-straight lines for things like doors might not be an option (which is why I wonder if I should modify something that exists).
Anyone tackled something similar or have suggestions?
Thanks so much for any ideas!
I think it's a wonderful idea to use the space under the stairs as storage. Building pullout shelves is not only convenient but very stylish as well. Cutting a perfectly straight line with your circular saw can be done. I recommend using the Craftright 50" Aluminium Clamp And Cutting Guide. It has rubber grip jaws that protect the material from being damaged and has a clamping distance of 1.2 meters.
The shelf type for your storage drawer will be determined by the items you plan on putting in them. If you are dedicating them to shoes you can have many shelves with an average distance of 150mm per shelf. However, if you are storing bigger and taller items, I suggest examining these items and provide them with a storage order. Building it from scratch will allow you maximum use of the space available.
Here is an example of cutting a straight line using the Clamp and Cutting Guide.
If you need more advice and information, please let us know.
Hi @dannyrus ,
Sounds like a great project to be tackling, creating extra storage space in your home is both useful and value-adding.
Given the uniqueness of the space you are working with, I would recommend creating something made to fit the space, rather than trying to modify an off-the-shelf product.
If it were me, I'd aim to build something similar to the third photo in your post, by dividing the space into pull out sections by first installing melamine dividng boards, into which drawer runners can be installed with the pull out storage. The storage units in that example would be reasonably simple to construct, with the angled door being the most complex part to cut. By using a 60 tooth circular saw blade, a couple of saw horses and clamps, and taking your time with the cut, you should be able to achieve a straight cut for the diagonal edge.
For assembling the drawers you could simply drill and screw them together, but adding glue and dowel will give you a stronger finish. For ease of opening and closing you might also consider using small castor wheels as well as a drawer slide mechanism so that the drawrr slide isn't taking the whole weight of the drawer.
Let us know what you decide to do with space, and feel free to ask any further questions. Looking forwad to seeing the transformation.
Best of luck!
I would add that you might like to make the cupboard a s a modular units, by dividing the space equally then make the module units with drawers. start by making one module at a time, this way you can allow for measurement adjustments when you get to the last one, the only problem with working with melamine I found is that it chips very easily when cutting with a power saw, I always leave it oversized enough to trim to size by using a trimmer along the edges, then you can put melamine edging on it. If you think melamine is too hard to work with you could use mdf board, then give it a painted finish.
Good luck with your project.
Here are some ideas to add to your plans. Below is a drawing of a pull-out shelf with a center divider. Using the center divider will allow you to maximize the space for storage. This will also prevent items from getting pushed all the way to the back. I've placed a gap of about 150mm to allow you to store medium-sized shoes, but the top is for tall boots and heels.
I didn't install the front panel to allow you to see how the shelves would be laid out. As I've mentioned before, if you plan on what you will be storing in the drawers, it will allow you to plan the layout of your shelves. Please keep us updated, we look forward to seeing the start of your storage project.
Wow everyone, thank you so much for the suggestions and guidance. @EricL I really appreciate what you've done with the drawings, that's amazingly helpful. Thanks! I've also put the cutting guide in my online shopping list so thanks for that.
@tom_builds and @JoeAzza all awesome suggestions guys, thank you - makes the whole picture come together a lot clearer in my head. Really appreciate it. One more question, you guys have mentioned the drawer slides which I haven't given much thought to - do I wait til the thing is built and determine the weight to know if I need heavy duty etc, or would you guys have a recommendation there? Given this thing is almost a metre deep (to the back wall) am I looking at a speciality item or would Bunnings carry something suitable? I've done a search on Bunnings but no real idea what I'm looking for 😆
Thanks again - always blown away by the helpfulness in these forums!
Bunnings have these drawer slides up to 1000mm long, also have you considered the pantry slides, Kaboodle make these, also available from Bunnings, this might be an alternate option, or you can combine drawers and pantry slide unit, see second image below, all you need is to fabricate the fronts
@JoeAzza Ah interesting! The pantry slides are definitely worth looking at. Ok, some more research and drawing to be done - I'll post updates here as it comes together!
Thanks a mill everyone! So appreciated 🙏🎉
@EricL - can I ask what software you've used for those drawings? I've used some 3D tools before but they don't clearly show the measurements like that.
I use Sketchup for most of my drawing plans. It is a very useful tool but requires a bit of training to get maximum use out of it. To answer your question earlier, @JoeAzza's suggestion of using the Goliath Heavy Duty Drawer Slide - Pair - 1000mm is an excellent way of holding the shelves up. These slides are rated to carry 90kg which is the typical weight of an adult. But if you wish to put even more support, I would go with @tom_builds recommendation of using Castor Wheels to give you that extra margin of safety.
I recommend drawing it on paper first before putting it on the computer. I strongly advise you to triple-check all your measurements before committing to your cut plan. As each cabinet will not only be different in height but shape as well.
Please keep us updated, we look forward to seeing the start of your project.