A Common Concern

Some people who are interested in tiny houses are put off by the fact that most tiny houses have ladders instead of stairs. They say tiny houses look great, but there’s no way they’d use a ladder every morning and night. Some people need to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, others have physical limitations, and then there’s some people who simply don’t like ladders.

There are other options! One of the many great things about tiny houses is that they are versatile. They’re often custom-built as well, so you can have whatever you like. Here are some examples of alternatives.

This one is still technically a ladder, but it’s built into the house. No wobbling ladder here (you will have to scroll a bit):

http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house-concept/colins-coastal-cabin/

This next one is half stairs/half ladder, with storage:

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/sbo/2014/04/tiny-houses-peek-inside-160-feet-of.html?s=image_gallery

Now this is a completely different option. Instead of having the usual loft, you can choose to have your bed lower. I’ve seen some with seating below with a low ceiling and then a bed overhead. This tiny house was built on a goose-neck trailer, so the bed is above that and there’s some storage below it as well (again, you’ll have to scroll a bit):

http://tinyhousetalk.com/woman-builds-diy-196-sq-ft-micro-home-11k/

This is an alternative I’ve seen a few times. Instead of a full staircase, they have space-saving steps, often with storage in them. Tiny House Giant Journey did this with wooden crates to match their rustic look, and La Petite Maison features a white right-angle set of steps.

http://chrisandmalissa.com/candices-tiny-house/2nyzf3xfd29xtd3qg0wcbfklvf3e5n

And I almost forgot: real stairs! This set (it’s the fourth picture in the hOMe Gallery) covers up where the wheel wells cut into the house, and is big enough to accommodate a washer/dryer combination machine:

http://tinyhousebuild.com/photo-gallery/

They even have instructions on how to make your own:

http://tinyhousebuild.com/gain-sf-under-stairs/

Now that I’ve shared all that, I’ll explain why I’m still choosing to have a ladder.

My reasons:

1. I’m going to have two lofts and will need a way to access them both.

2. Ladders are thin and easy to store out of the way.

3. I found a staircase too difficult to fit into my floor plan without making my house longer, which I didn’t want to do.

4. I have no issues with ladders, climbing up or down them, or needing to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

It’s funny because, when I was a little kid, I decided that stairs were silly and I was not going to have them in my future house. I thought to myself, why go up and down stairs all the time when you can just make everything on the same floor? I realized later that obviously you need more land for a big one floor house, but it’s kind of cool that a little-me decision is coming true; I won’t have stairs in my house.

 

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Quotes

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
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