Nothing drives the organization of a
house as much as the location and
configuration of its stair. Particularly in a
small house, the design and placement
of the stair is probably the single most
important factor in determining how
workable a floor plan you end up with.
I recently faced this fact when a
potential buyer of a tiny post-war ranch
asked me for advice on adding a second
story for a bedroom suite. Where, he
asked, should the stair go?
He was thinking of putting the stair in
a small addition that would project into
the back yard (see Figure 1), since a stair
there wouldn't take up any space in the