Joiners - How small can I realistically make this door (Pantry under stairs)

Hi all

I am renovating a run down house.  In some parts we have had to totally gut it.  When we got the house the stairs had collapsed to one side.  The top and bottom of it was that some previous dodgy DIY had meant the Kitchen wall (with stairs on the other side) had been bodged with bits of wood.  The result was that we had to have the kitchen wall rebuilt and a new staircase fitted.  This can be seen in the image attached.  So, we are where we are with this and I now need to put a new door and casing on this opening.  Ideally, I would like the door and casing to be as narrow as I can, so that I can hide some of that staircase string on the right.  What's your opinions guys? What's the smallest I can literally / legally / within regs make that opening to take a standard door?  I'd prefer something standard/off the shelf or a remedy that's easy to implement.

We may in the future decide to rent this house out, so I don't want to do anything that might compromise this legally.
Thanks all.


  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,262
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    It's not access to a room so I doubt there are any rules on the size you can make the door.
  • stuart45
    stuart45 Posts: 3,839
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    You can get 18 inch internal doors. Shame you made a 3ft opening.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    No rules, Frank, as it's just for storage. So choose a door size that still makes access easy, and then a timber frame is added to that wall just as you suggest - easy peasy.
    Lots of useful storage space in there, tho', so not worth making it awkward to use. 
    Why do you want to 'hide' that stair string?  It'll be out of sight whenever the door is closed in any case.
    Or are you trying to gain more wall space to the right of the doorway for something?
  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,624
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    The space would be more useable as storage if the doorway was as wide as possible. You  could install a pair of doors as the string would be hidden when closed.
  • The stair string will be hidden by the door when it's closed, anyway. Unless I wanted to gain wall space in the room (e.g., to fit an extra kitchen unit in) I'd just make the door a standard width and not worry what my under stairs cupboard looks like inside. It will look like a lot of stuff piled in a cupboard - functional, not attractive!
  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,725
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    edited 23 November 2023 at 9:47PM
    Same as above, I'd rather have wider access.  You'll be potentially affecting practicality over choosing to not see something you won't actually be looking at. 

    Plus it's going to cost more at this point.  Not worth it.  I'd spend money on building shelving out that maximises storage - left, right and centre.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • DRP
    DRP Posts: 4,269
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    As above, is there any reason you expect to be keeping the door open?

    you won’t see any of the stairs when door is closed, no matter how wide. 
    No matter how narrow you make the opening, When the door is open you’ll always see some of the stairs.
  • markin
    markin Posts: 3,729
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    Has it got to be plaster boarded anyway for fire? It will look fine after its got boarded and painted, I would consider 800mm the min.
  • Thank you everybody for your great comments. Loving the idea of double doors too. 
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    edited 24 November 2023 at 7:13AM
    Thank you everybody for your great comments. Loving the idea of double doors too. 
    I fear that's the least most practical solution :smile:
    Almost certainly you will need to - or will find it far more sensible to - open both doors to access that space, so that string will be visible each time. 
    And double doors will cost twice as much, and be more complex to fit.
    If you are seriously considering this, then please do a test first; stand something vertical in front of the door to replicate a single door width. Take into account the door frame yet to be fitted, and also the door thickness, as this will also be in the way. Q - can you get your hoover out of that cupboard without chipping the sides? 
    The only advantage I can see for double doors is that they won't stick out into the room as much when opened. Other than that, I can't see what purpose they'll serve.

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