How Close Can Stairs Be To The Front Door?

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Many homeowners believe that it’s practical to have stairs close to the front door. Since the staircase is included as an internal circulation space of a home, it should be easily accessible. Locating a staircase far away from the front door will require a hallway leading to it.

Placing the stairs in another room, such as the kitchen, means that the space will be part of the circulation space. Locating it behind the front door reduces circulation.

Therefore, the ideal place is near the front door. However, how close should stairs be to the front door?

Building stairway codes provide the requirements for the size and placement of the stairs to ensure safety and accessibility. You need at least three feet from your front door to the bottom of the stairs. Although it comes down to personal preferences, municipal codes may need more space.

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating, failure to comply with the stair building code and requirements means that you may need to redo the stairs or face fines.

Building codes for stairs


Staircases that do not meet the building codes can be extremely risky. Therefore, check with your local building code to avoid any repercussions. Some of the standard codes are height, length, width, and unit rise, and unit run.


Rise is the commonly used term for a staircase’s vertical height. It establishes the landing of the staircase. Although there’s no requirement for landing length, standard fire codes establish that every landing should be around 12 feet.


Commonly known as run, it is the length of a staircase. It’s used in determining the steps required in a staircase. Standardized codes establish the requirements for designing a staircase.


The staircase steps should be a minimum of 36 inches wide. This will ensure the safety of the users.

Unit rise and unit run

Unit rise is the vertical measurement of the distance between steps. In most cases, a unit rise should be 7.5 inches. The unit run is the horizontal measure of the back to the front of the tread.

A unit run should be 10 and 11 inches to ensure safety. If you have children, you can have non-slip treads to avoid any accidents.

Where to locate stairs in a house

When designing a floor plan, most architects start with positioning the stairs. The location of stairs establishes the flow in a home, function, and appeal.

Traditionally, stairs were located in the entryway. However, today, they’re located based on functionality and accessibility.

Traditional placement

Stairs are located immediately after the front door. The entryway or foyer is the central area of a home. It’s an ideal spot for extending to other rooms.

If there’s not enough space between the front door and the bottom of the stairs, the layout can appear cramped. Experts recommend that the space between the front door and the staircase should be around 3-6 feet. However, it can go beyond eight feet.

Aesthetics and design are vital in a traditional layout. Despite the staircase size and shape, stairways should be part of the interior design.

Modern approach

Today, many homeowners opt for an open floor plan. It creates a flow around the area. In such homes, staircases are located where most activities take place, such as the living room.

 Due to the extra square footage, a modern approach offers more storage space. One idea that is embraced today is building two staircases.

One stair is placed on the front house while the other is placed near the living room or kitchen.


Landings are part of the staircase, and they require to be allotted a given amount of space. They require around 36 inches. They should also be wide.

When it comes to feeling comfortable, the distance between the front door and the stairs can be subjective. Most people prefer a distance of between 8-9 feet between the front door and the stairs.

The amount of space should be enough for other activities. More landing gives a feeling of an open home layout. 

Is it bad luck for stairs to face the front door?

You’ve probably heard that having the stairs face the front door is bad luck. Feng shui indicates that stairs that face the front door cause a challenging layout.

Additionally, the energy flows in and out of the door hence can be bad luck to the finances. Feng Shui further states that the front door is the entrance for energy and good luck.

However, there’s no proof that a tragedy may happen when the stairs face the front door.

What stairs take the least space?

Now that you know how close the stairs should be to the front door, you might be wondering about the types of stairs that take up the least space.

Whether you live in a small or big house, you probably don’t want stairs that will fill the whole space.


The L-shaped stairs need the least space. They can be positioned in the corner of the room. One of its unique characteristics is that the landing can be rested for those struggling.


Just like L-shaped, U-shaped requires less floor space. The stairs are designed in an opposing direction. However, due to its switchback landing, it’s not ideal for moving large items such as furniture.


Unlike other types, it saves space the most. However, other local building codes do not permit ladder staircases.

Since they’re very steep with taller steps, it’s hard to traverse.


If you’re looking for elegance, a curved staircase is an excellent option. They take up less space and can be curved to fit the style of a room. It serves as a statement piece.


It’s ideal for minimal space. You can choose a railing option that complements the design and style of your home.

However, they’re not easy to navigate. Due to this, most building codes indicate that they should be used as an alternative route. For a spiral staircase, they required at least a 5-foot diameter.


Winder steps have the same appearance as L-shaped. However, what makes it different is the landing.

They need less space and provide a flawless transition. Today, most modern homes embrace winder stairs. Other than being compact and attractive, they are also appropriate for most home designs.

Stairs and entryway ideas

Most homes have stairs near the entryway. However, you can always make your stairs and entryway floor with these ideas.

Wide-open spaces

Wide-open spaces are attractive and welcoming. It also highlights a home’s architecture. Therefore, if you have perfect house architecture, consider showcasing it when bringing together your entryway.

Farmhouse chic

Going for weathered wood items will add a touch of elegance to your home. You can add antique glassware to bring a touch of coziness.

If you have weathered items, then a chic farmhouse look is a great option. You can easily create a homey touch and a classy look.

Nautical now

Today, nautical homes employ other themes than the usual blue and white. You can add artwork by using a tiled nautical star. To improve the theme, add a neutral color scheme for a daring and elegant look.

Full Boho

Full boho is a great option for a bold and daring look. You can always add plants and other accessories such as accents and throw pillows to get a great balance.

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