The problem is the stairs are too steep and going in the wrong direction. Customer wants to install a chair lift which will require a new stairway built to code with a different orientation.
The old stairs must go.
This means the old stairwell has to be covered and a new opening cut with the new orientation. The elimination of the old stairwell wall increases the length of the living room by 3+ feet, the width of the old stairwell. The new stairs will remain open with a railing added.
Stairway is enclosed in the basement.
The new stairway allows easy access to the lower floor. The space is opened up with the removal of the poorly placed orignl stairs.
Potential home buyers often like a house but don't buy it because it lacks something essential. They don't realize that it can be modified to become just the house they were looking for in the first place!
A Finished Basement Doesn't Have To Look Like One
Hide utility lines behind a bookcase, add an archway, use light colors, and the tenants won't complain ( too much ) about the rent.
Sealing Up A Utility Crawl Space
In an older home, the crawl space is sometimes dug out to create a utility area for a furnace or water heater.
It is not pretty. Bare earth breathes moisture and conditions are great for mold and fungus growth.
Creating a healthy crawlspace is easy. Cover bare earth and exposed foundations with heavy plastic vapor barrier. Moisture is kept out of the air and potentially sick-making mold and fungus cannot thrive. Some ventillation of the crawlspace is still necessary, but with 100% coverage less is needed and the space can be kept warmer.
Ideally, the floor joists overhead should be insulated and sealed to completely isolate the crawlspace from the living space. This customer opted for the minimum treatment.