The Climb – Five Reasons to Consider Stairs Over Ladders in Tiny Homes

Stairs over ladders for safety
Leland Industries of Grandview, Texas built a staircase to access the loft sleeping area.

From Safety To Storage, Here are the Best Reasons to Choose Stairs Over Ladders

Stairs over ladders helps with storage space in a small home
Alternating tread staircase in a Triangle D tiny home shown during the National Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree in Austin, Texas during August of 2018.

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 a 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 with a little more space to live the simple life. No matter where you are or what your motivation to minimize, many people come to the same conclusion about the average tiny house…

“What if I need to use the bathroom at 3 a.m.? I don’t want to climb a ladder in the middle of the night.”

If you were to ask any tiny house builder or tiny house event speaker 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 we provide five reasons we favor stairs over ladders. Stairs may not only be a potential option for tiny living, but one that provides a solution for the hurdles many face about whether or not they actually could go tiny.

Stairs Over Ladders, Reason 1: Maximum Safety

Whether it is a midnight bathroom run or just getting into bed or your loft living room, ascending 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 place properly each time. Meanwhile, 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.

Stairs Over Ladders, Reason 2: More Storage

Some may think the addition of stairs in a tiny house would take up too much space. But, 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 more. Check out our latest tips for making great use of storage space around a home.

Stairs Over Ladders, Reason 3: Family Friendly

Using stairs instead of a ladder has minor cons like the fact that the materials naturally weigh more than a ladder. Still, you must consider your family and yourself. Navigating steps at any time of day or night is easier than a ladder. 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.

Stairs Over Ladders, Reason 4: Pet Friendly

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, though, 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 the pet their own designated space.

Stairs Over Ladders, Reason 5: Extra Seating

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. Also, this 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 the amount of sunlight each requires.

When you are designing your tiny house, you want to consider all of your options. You want to save livable floor space, storage, and room for anything you might place in a loft. Choosing the way you access 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 over ladders to your tiny home floor plan.

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