Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ladders Vs. Stairs: A Vote for Ladders

The tiny house community is often split over whether ladders or stairs or even a single story tiny house "better." I find this an interesting conversation because the very nature of the tiny house experience is not a one size fits all solution. Many tiny house dwellers have built their own homes to suit their own needs and any design choice should be fair game.

I was thinking about the ladder vs. stairs argument yesterday when I realized something. 

In our tiny space we chose a ladder for practical purposes. The need to save space was the top criteria since we had always planned on building a very small house.

We also wanted to be able to move the ladder between the sleeping loft and the storage loft to access everything. By installing the J hooks on the front of each loft and eye hooks on the ladder itself this is a very functional part of our home.

However, there is one other reason a ladder works better for me than a small staircase. This occurred to me yesterday when we were at a concert venue here in Asheville and I had to walk up some relatively steep stairs without railings to get to my seat.

Well, I should add walking UP was not the problem.

Then I had to walk back DOWN the stairs.

I wear glasses. I don't wear them as a hipster fashion statement. I wear glasses because without them I am very truly blind. My prescription is pretty hefty and I have to use the special light weight plastic so my lenses aren't too thick to fit in smaller and cuter frames. Even with my glasses my depth perception isn't that great. Because of that I often have a hard time going down stairs, even with a railing.


And don't even talk to me about down escalators.

The ladder is a much easier way for me to access the loft. Because I can climb it hand-over-hand I feel very secure when going both up and down.

Now, I am certainly not saying "Ladder good, stairs bad." In fact, the thing I love the most about the tiny house movement is that there is no single answer. Each tiny house builder has an opportunity to design a small space that is perfect for their own needs.

11 comments:

  1. We just finished building a unique storage/stair system that is 16" wide and needs only 4 steps to get up to a loft space of a tiny house. It answers a couple of needs in a tiny house and really has a nice look.

    I agree with you though Laura. To each his own. For me? A ladder would be certain death!

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    1. Would love to see a picture of your storage/stair system

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    2. Would truly live to see a pic of your stairs mentioned above.
      Any chance it is posted some where we can view?

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    3. Would truly live to see a pic of your stairs mentioned above.
      Any chance it is posted some where we can view?

      Delete
  2. Each tiny house builder has an opportunity to design a small space that is perfect for their own needs. Indeed! Cheers!

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  3. I love that you put the word "better" in quotes! What's better for me, may not be better for you - and there is no universal "best" plan for a tiny or small house. Stairs, ladders, or all one level? The front porch is the best part of the house versus porches are a waste of space. Aesthetics versus if it's functional, that's enough. Spend more for quality, since the house is so small versus spend as little as possible. It goes on and on!

    My least favorite are comments that start "the whole point of the tiny house movement is..." For some the point is to save money, for others it's to live more lightly on the planet, some just like the looks of a cute little house, and I'm sure there are a myriad of other reasons!

    Vive la différence!

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  4. Ladders...I can do ladders...stairs and heights scare me. But, you're right: some people might like stairs. It comes down to preference.

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  5. ladders are fine for younger people but older people want smaller homes also so stairs are a definite MUST, I don't care if they are a winding staircase, no ladders for those over 50!

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  6. stairs are preferable than ladders... in my view...

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  7. i could live with a ladder, but my two doggies (chihuahua mixes) would never be able to negotiate them... and i doubt i could get used to them sleeping below.

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  8. Thanks for sharing your valuable information here

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