How To Install A Small Door Under Stairs (4 steps)

Creating an enclosure under the stairs by installing a door is a great way to manage space. You end up with a storage space to store all your loose clothes, toys, and old stuff. While this project sounds very exciting, it is also something many homeowners dread. It requires skill and patience to install an under-stair door. Luckily, this guide shows you how to install a small door under stairs. 

You can install a small door under the stairs by cutting a door-size hole, adding a door frame, attaching hinges, and mounting and attaching door handles. It is a meticulous process that requires precise measurement and dedication. 

Installing a door under your stairs can be a fun project. You can do this with your family and turn it into a fun experience. But you must have the basic technical know-how to install a door under the stairs. So, follow this article to understand how to install a small door under the stairs. 


Can I Put A Door Under My Stairs

Yes, you can put a door under your stairs if there is enough space. However, not all house stairs can accommodate a door underneath. There are some crucial factors you should keep in mind. These factors include the following:

  • You must ensure enough clearance for the door to open and close. To do this, you have to measure the height and width of the space to ensure that the door you choose will fit. 
  • You should also consider the door’s swing direction and ensure it won’t interfere with other objects or furniture in the area.

How To Install A Small Door Under Stairs (4 steps)

  • It would help if you considered the purpose of the space under the stairs. A door can help keep your belongings hidden and protected if you use them for storage. However, if you’re using the space as a living area, a door may be wrong as it can make the space feel cramped and enclosed.
  • You should also check with your local building codes and regulations and ensure that installing a door under your stairs is allowed and meets any necessary safety requirements.

After considering all these factors, you can be sure about the eligibility of your stairs to hold a door. You can go ahead and gather your tools and materials for the project. You do not need much to install a door under your stairs. 

What Tools Do I Need To Install A Door Under Stairs

Installing a door under your stairs is no different from installing an entry on your bedroom wall. The only difference might be the need to open a hole under the stairs if there is no existing hole. For this installation, you will require some common carpentry tools, such as:

  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Circular saw or handsaw
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Screwdriver (electric or manual)
  • Wood chisels
  • Hammer
  • Door hinges
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or finish (optional)
  • Safety glasses and gloves (recommended)

All these tools are available at any hardware store. Make sure they are handy so you can avoid looking around when needed. Some tools, such as a screwdriver, screws, and drill bits, have different sizes. Determine the correct size you require before purchase to avoid mistakes. 

Tips For Installing Small Door Under Stairs

Before installing, you should learn tips to make your work go smoother. Installing a small door under the stairs is a great way to create extra storage space. But you have to install it correctly to enjoy its full benefits. So, here are a few tips necessary for the installation process:

  • Before you start installing the door, measure the space carefully to ensure that the door fits correctly.
  • Ensure you select a door with the right size and style for the space. Consider using a door with a flush mount design to maximize space.
  • Plan the door’s opening carefully to ensure it is in the right location and opens and closes smoothly.
  • Wear goggles and a mask for safety while cutting the stair hole out. 
  • Adjust the hinges until the door opens and closes smoothly, and test to determine you did good work.
  • Use an easy and short door handle for the door. It will help you maximize space. 
  • Be careful while sanding the door so you do not do rough work. Wear hand gloves to protect your hands while sanding. 
  • Consider adding shelves or storage solutions inside the space to make the most of the new storage area.

Following these tips, you can install a small door under the stairs and create valuable storage space in your home.

How To Install A Small Door Under Stairs
Install A Small Door Under Stairs

How To Install A Small Door Under Stairs 

Installing a door in the wall of your stairs will give you an enclosed space for storage or a closet. You must cut a hole where the door will stand to do this. However, installing a door under the stairs is relatively easy. We will explain this installation in two parts. Follow these steps to install your stair closet door:

Cut Opening 

  • Place your pre-hung door where you want the door to be, and make sure there is space by each door border and jamb. The areas should be equal enough for the door to swing without resistance or obstructions. Adjust the door till you get a perfect position. 
  • Use a pencil or chalk to trace the door jamb outline on the stair wall. Then remove the door from the wall. 
  • Put a protective material or cloth on the floor to protect your floors from damage. Then use a sawblade to cut through the stair’s drywall or wood. Cut slowly and expose the wall frame. You must ensure no electrical wiring or fitting is around the hole you are cutting. 
  • You can use a wood-cutting blade if the saw needs to do a better and faster job. Cut through the studs and ensure that your cut is according to the outlined measurement you took. 
  • Once the opening is ready, cut two pieces of a two by four plywood to use as a trimmer. Attach the trimmers to both vertical sides of the wall. Ensure that the trimmers align perfectly with each other. Trimmers help hold the wall load and prevent it from caving in. it also serves as the door frame. 
  •  Use your screw drill to drill several screws into the trimmer, attaching it to the stairs wall. The screws should be 8 inches apart from one another. Once this is done, you will have a door frame and are ready for the proper installation. 

Door Installation 

  • Insert the door into the door frame opening to ensure it fits perfectly. There should be a little space for the hinges to work correctly. 
  • Bring out the door and cut a mortise on the door for your hinges using a chisel. You can ignore the mortise cutting if you want to use a non-mortise hinge. Measure and mark your hinge positions along the door length. 
  • Using a screw drill, screw the hinges into the door at their appropriate positions. Then drill screw holes in the door frame where the hinge screws will enter. 
  • Lift the door and hang it onto the door frame. With the door in position, screw your hinges tight. Ensure that the screws are very tight. Otherwise, they might come off briefly or make squeaky sounds. 
  • Finally, install your door handle or knob. It is best to use a short doorknob. Remember, you are trying to conserve space.  

It’s essential to measure the opening where you plan to install the door carefully so you purchase the correct size door. Use a level to ensure that the door is installed straight and even. A circular saw or handsaw will be needed to cut the door opening to the correct size, and a drill will be necessary to install the hinges.

You will also need wood chisels to create recesses in the door and frame for the hinges and screws to attach the hinges to the door and frame. Use wood glue to secure the door’s hinges and fill any gaps between the door and the frame. Sandpaper can be used to smooth the edges of the door and frame.

Once the door is installed, you can paint or finish it to match your decor. Remember to wear safety glasses and gloves when using power tools and handling sharp objects.


Most staircases are made of wood, which makes it easier to install a door under them and create extra space for you. The process is a manageable challenge and can be done as a DIY project for the family. All you need is a pre-hung door and some tools. 

Before cutting a hole for a door under your stairs, ensure there is enough space for a door or closet. You can cut the door to fit any size as long as you have enough space. We have explained how to install a small door under stairs. Follow the guide, and you will have the perfect stair storage space.

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