Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/STAIRCASE


I have a split staircase(?) going to the second floor. I'm not sure what the term used. It has one staircase going up to a landing then you turn and go up the other staircase. Bottom stairs has 8 steps and the top stairs has 7 steps. Is it possible to reconstruct take out the bottom staircase and create an L shape pattern instead? The lower ones appear to be more eye pleasing. My townhouse was built in the 1980s  when this was popular. There's a nook under the lower floor under the steps. I think the bottom stairs could be put where the nook is to make the L shape. It would make a lot more space on my lower floor. My neighbor has a smaller version of my floor plan and she has the L shape stairs. They are the original ones when her plan was built.

We used to remodel a lot of stairs, turning an L-shaped stair into a U-shaped stair.  Sound like you can demo out from the landing down, add a second landing with the stair running parallel to the second run. The reason this was done was the stair opening was toward the front door and, in the Asian community, that was "bad", and so we would make the switch. Usually a stair builder can help you with the layout and your new balustrade system.  It does involve demo, framing, drywall, new stair parts, and stain/paint and finish.  Let me know if you need further assistance and thank you!  Joseph

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Joseph G. Swallow


I can answer all staircase balustrade questions where handrails, newels posts, balusters (wood and metal), and stair treads are concerned. I cannot help with cabinetry and floor (outside of stair-related treads and risers), as well as stain and finish issues unless staircase related.


30 years in the stair industry. Founder of Hardwood Creations in Southern California and CEO of Westfire Manufacturing, Inc. I was a stair builder for 10 years, both in custom and production housing. Have estimated over 750,000 single family homes and provided materials to lumber yards and builders for 12 years. Was an expert witness in several staircase related law suits in Southern California. Stair codes, installation help, stair handrail and balustrade installation are what I know best.

NAHB of Portland, OR. Was a member of ICBO for 9 years.

Cal State Fullerton, Cypress College

©2017 All rights reserved.