building under stairs

This has always driven me crazy -- is there ANY good way to build an enclosed space under an exterior stair? I've always run into problems with it, because the stairs end up having to act as the roof of the space, and that's a flashing & sealing nightmare of the first order. I've tried to devise various ways to roof the space, below the stairs, and that always comes out looking like hammered shit. Anyone ever successfully built an ok-looking and useful space under an exterior stair? Right now I'm working on a space under a switchback stair, which is doubly difficult, but would appreciate any pics or pointers to pics/details of decent under-stair spaces. Thanks -- M9
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