Q&A / 

What’s Under Walkup Steps in Townhouse?

Troy McWhirter owns a townhouse in Ashburn VA. He's perplexed about what might be under the steps that lead up to his front door. Here's what he sent me:

"I own a 1999 Toll Brothers townhouse with a brick second level walk up to front door.

Here's Troy's steps. Photo credit: Troy McWhirter

Here's Troy's steps. Photo credit: Troy McWhirter

I want to know what is under those stairs? I want to open it up from inside the garage and use it for more storage. Can I do this?

I did drill a couple holes in the wall and used a bore scope and saw another wall, I cut a 4X4 hole and tried to drill that wall but it seems I am hitting concrete or something. Any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance."

Troy, my guess is there could be 4-inch concrete block behind the brick walls that are under the sloped portion of the steps.

I'll go further to say that you might run into poured concrete walls, or most certainly concrete block walls in the rectangle portion under the porch stoop at the top of the steps.

The usable space under the steps will be minimal when you do the math, perhaps 2 feet in width at the most.

The space could be filled with all sorts of construction debris and who-knows-what. Heck, maybe Jimmy Hoffa is there!

Finally, you'll discover that anything stored in this space will be damp. There's no vapor barrier under the slab.

You've got far more storage space in the air space above your cars in the garage than you'd ever reclaim in this dark and dastardly space! Read all my garage loft columns to see how to maximize storage in your garage.


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