The section under the stairs has finally been taken care of, what was previously there was pretty much the most unsafe thing we’ve found in our house (so far). The wall that formed the closet space under the stairs was built from about 6 2×4’s with minimal bracing, what we didn’t know until we investigated further is that this wall supported the entire set of stairs, plus the landings for the 2nd and 3rd apartments!! We couldn’t believe it, essentially the upstairs platform was precariously balanced on the wall, and tacked into the inside hallway wall, and exterior wall.
To beef it up, we put in some new stringers in both walls, attached with about 10-12 5″ long 1/4″ thick lag screws, we then used 2 double 2×8 beams and a double 2×6 beam as the new floor joists for the landing up top, and hung those from joint hangers on the stringers. The result is way more space below for my computer area, and a more open hallway.
Below are some before photos, during photos, after photos, and a little sketch on one of the photos showing our plans for the space in here. We’re planning to build a small computer nook for myself, a closet space (without a door), some shelves, and a little cubby with a trap door/cat door to put the smelly litter boxes in. I’m still contemplating whether I should eventually attempt to build a small motion sensor activated fan and exhaust from that little cubby to the outside of the house.. maybe next year if we’re looking for something to work on!