When we re-used perfectly nice discarded stairs from S's parents' summer house (the stairs blocked a window at their house so they changed the run on the new stairs), we lost about 6" of space at the base of the stairs because the run was slightly longer than our original stairs. This wouldn't have been a problem if I hadn't already planned that the right-hand wall of the pantry at the base of the stairs would be for my sewing nook - and my 4' wide sewing table and shelves. A 4' wide sewing table means that the wall has to be at least 48" wide, which means that the closet needs to be 48" deep, plus room for framing. When we laid out a couple 2x3's on the floor to see how much space that would leave at the bottom of the stairs, we knew we had a problem: the new, longer stairs meant there wasn't enough space to stand at the base of the stairs and open a swinging door.
Yes, I could have put my sewing table elsewhere, but that's kind of like asking for a puppy for Christmas when you're 10 years old and getting a pink hairdryer. You just never use the hairdryer and eventually you go out and get yourself your own damn puppy. I'd never be happy with the substitution and eventually we'd be tearing down a wall to make my table fit. So dramatic.
Thankfully our contractor came up with a good solution - build a pocket door for the pantry entrance, bringing the grand total for pocket doors to four. It will take up a little bit of pantry space, but with no need for extra swinging door clearance, I'll be able to get my 4' deep wall.
And these are the lovely stairs that caused all the drama, they really are a thousand times prettier than the old ones. I'm thinking of staining the runs to match our wood floors and painting the risers white.
This is how things are looking from the corner of the den today. All the walls are framed, the stairs are done and most of the underground plumbing is finished. I think next week will bring plumbing supply lines, electrical work and framing of interior walls.