Turning stairs around

18 Jan 2024
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United Kingdom
I've recently bought my first property (mid-terraced), and I have a question about the stairs. I know that the general and safest answer is "consult a structural engineer", but I'd like to just get a rough idea of whether or not what I want to do is possible.

My stairs at the minute come from upstairs and then straight down into the kitchen. When I removed the wallpaper from the dining room, behind it was the stairs, and what appears to be a piece of wood and what I'm assuming was the original entrance to the stairs (which seems to have been changed to go directly into the kitchen, for some reason). The work is pretty shoddy, and if I removed the wood then I would be able to get up the stairs from the dining room but obviously the stairs would still go into the kitchen which is not what I want. From looking at the stairs, I think I can see where the stairs have been "turned around" as there is a clear join in the wood that runs down the side of the stairs, which incidentally is at the same place as where the wood blocking the entry starts.

I have asked my neighbours, and one of my neighbours stairs also goes into the kitchen, but the rest of them have stairs that go into the dining room (what I want), which, along with the rest of the evidence, makes me think that is how they originally were. For context, my house is an old victorian terrace that looks to have a single storey extension where the kitchen is now, so I presume that the stairs were moved after that was added if they have been moved.

The question I have is, would it be feasible for them to be moved back and have spindles installed where the wood is going up to the ceiling (see photos) without any major structural work? The only thing I'm concerned about is that there is obviously a wall above the stairs and I'm not sure how that is being supported (photos of the joists under the floorboards attached, which run parallel to the stairs). It does appear that there is a large piece of wood going from the floor in the dining room and stopping below the wall of the bedroom—could that be supporting something?

I appreciate this is a long post and the photos probably aren't clear, but any thoughts would be appreciated.


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typical terraced house front door corridor though to back room stairs in the middle so stand at the bottom off the stairs front door one side and and window the other side through the rooms you are looking through is that what you have ??

corridors are usually removed to give bigger front room but only one door then to front room[front door]
typical terraced house front door corridor though to back room stairs in the middle so stand at the bottom off the stairs front door one side and and window the other side through the rooms you are looking through is that what you have ??
Not sure what you mean, I don't think that's what I have. My front door opens into my living room, and then from the living room into the dining room, and then into the kitchen, where the stairs are on the right. If I stand at the bottom of the stairs I can't see my front door, no. But the front door is about in line with the stairs.
ok edited post above to make it clearer i hope
i dont think your layout will be as built stair wise
just checking first so it all makes sense
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Then I suppose it is what I have, yes, but I'm confused why that matters?

Edit: I see what you mean now, you do not think that the stairs were originally in the kitchen and have been moved?
ok you type quicker than i do lol can you draw a plan for clarity ???

as an aside i cant draw a plan or any fancy images even post photos lol
Somewhat of a resemblance. Yellow writing and arrow is where I believe the original stair entry looks to have been. Dark blue the living room, yellow the dining, and light blue the kitchen (which I believe to be an extension).


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ok my house looks 100% as your box layout with my front door lh side looking down the garden through the front room then between the boxes in your diagram [1 and 2] is the stairs left to right so central house then the layout is the same
so front room about 12ft deep' stairs about another 30" ish inches then 12ft back room now iff your back room is perhaps say 3ft wider [around 15ft] but with stairs at the back wall then it may be that room now includes the space gained by the wall and stairs now removed ??

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