So back when I was still in dry fit for the side walls & 2nd floor I had to make a decision about which way to orientate the hole for the stairwell. The stairwell hole is 4.5 inches from one side of the floor/ceiling and 5 inches from the other.
The San Franciscan instructions direct you to place the floors with the 5 inch span towards the back. This is because this kit has been made to have the stairs facing towards the back.
Now, while this is great for playing, for realism, not so much. I'm sure in the old Victorians of San Francisco the staircases faced the front door. Like this one.
Of course, I figured I could just reverse this and I'd be able to fit the stairs in the opposite direction.... Wrong! When I assembled the Dura-craft provided stairs they did not leave any room between the front door and the first step.
I mean there was a tiny space but it wasn't a realistic space. Certainly not enough space to open the door or have a doorway to the kitchen at the front of the house.
So I sighed and decided to just go with the kit version and I glued my second floor in as per the instructions. I was disappointed to say the least. Because even in this version there was not a lot of space at the bottom of the stairs.
I went on my merry way and glued on the bay window floors. Now, I didn't know it at the time but this was the point of no return for the staircase hole. Before that, I could have turned the walls around to the other side and changed to the 4.5 inches toward the back. Once the bay floors were in I was committed to the 5 inch set up.
A couple of days later I was still annoyed with the stair situation.
I'm not a fan of the Dura-Craft stairs, they are too big in my opinion. More like playscale stairs than 1:12 stairs. Also the ones in my kit are damaged (alot are missing the lip) and frankly a bit wonky. I decided to purchase a standard 1:12 staircase kit and see if that improved the look. Or even let me turn the stairs back around.
Ummm.... No.... These were even worse than the Dura-Craft stairs for the front facing option. I'm sure my decision to have 5 inches to the back didn't help but I don't think half an inch was going to help this situation. LOL
So I tried them rear facing.
These stairs look better than the Dura-Craft ones but there is still no space at the bottom of the steps. Even less than with the San Franciscan stairs! There has to be a better option.
Time to hit the trusty interweb :) for some research. Trolling around on EBay I saw some more realistic 15 step stairs which I would have loved but I had a gut feeling they were going to be too long.
Then I remembered that Otterine had used a "Narrow"Houseworks staircase in her Haunted Heritage. I wondered if that would work for me also as the Heritage is also a Dura-Craft dollhouse, so I bought one.
Heaps of room rear facing. :)
Now the test of forward facing.
Oohh.. It's tight, this is where I really could have used that 1/2 inch!
Yikes they just make it!
Narrow stairs it is!
I decided to try them with the kitchen door at the rear because this set up is feeling really cramped & crowded.
This is clearly the better option for the front of the house. But the jury is still out.