21 Feb NOAH-Tiny House Living: Ladders vs Stairs
Tiny houses attract people from all seasons in their lives. You may be a recent college graduate wanting to spend your money on paying off student loans instead of expensive housing costs so you opt for an affordable DIY tiny. Others might be retirees wanting to travel the country with your THOW (Tiny House on Wheels). Even families are now looking to provide adventure and experiences for kids so they go for a park model tiny so they have a little more space to live the simple life. No matter where you are or what your motivation to go minimize, many people come to the same conclusion about the average tiny house: "But what if I need to use the bathroom at 3am? I don't want to climb a ladder in the middle of the night."
If you were to ask any tiny house builder or inspector what questions they get most often, you are likely to hear responses about toilets and ladders.
With tiny houses ringing in at an average estimated 200 total square feet of living space, lofts included, is it really possible to have stairs or steps inside your home? We say a resounding YES and here are five reasons we find stairs to not only be a potential option for tiny living but one that may provide a solution for the hurdle many are facing about whether or not they could actually go tiny.
Some may think the addition of stairs in a tiny house would take up too much real estate. However, if you consider each step as a drawer or cubby, cabinet or appliance housing, you have gone from worrying about square feet to creating an entire housing place for your wardrobe, books, laundry, and much more.
Safety and Security
Whether it is a midnight bathroom run or just getting into bed or your loft living room, ascending up a ladder can be dangerous. Most tiny house ladders are built to be removed and stored somewhere other than their climbing location so you have to consider the safety of hooking it in properly each time, while stairs are stationary and sturdy without ever having to be moved. This creates a place that is safe for everyone in the family, including the pets.
With the simple addition of a seat cushion or pillow, a staircase of seven or eight steps can create a place to sit and read or even for hosting a houseful of company. This also means it will provide space for pets to lay and sun themselves in front of your windows or even a place to rotate your house plants so they can get different amounts of sunlight.
Using stairs instead of a ladder has minor cons like the fact that their materials naturally weigh more than a ladder, however you must consider your family and yourself. Navigating steps at any time of day or night is easier. Additionally, if you have small children, older family members, or people with disabilities, the steps offer more stability for going into and coming down from loft spaces.
Tiny homeowners tend to have pets of all shapes and sizes and ladders don't lend themselves to ease of climbing for most animals. Steps, however, can make climbing easier as well as less scary for your pets. Another cool option offered when you choose stairs in your tiny home is to build an intentional space for your pets' bedding and treats, toys, or even food and water bowls. This keeps these items out of the main pathway of traffic in your tiny while giving them their own designated space.
When you are designing your tiny house, you want to consider all of your options when saving livable real estate, storage, and anything you might place in loft. Choosing the way you navigate your loft space is an important concern. Don't be fooled into thinking ladders are the only option for tiny house living with a loft. Consider the pros of adding stairs to your tiny home floor plan.
To check out more on tiny homes and inspections and the NOAH certification, visit the website HERE.