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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. Juggling Possibilities 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 750-square-foot house.