Old unfinished attic

sweetchastitySeptember 20, 2008

My bachelor has access to the attic and the space is at my disposal but its unfinished, not well insulated and dirty. I would like to store stuff up there safely, vacuum, broom, cat litter box, books. I'd love to make it a livable space but I don't think there is an economical way to make a temporary, clean, safe space for meditation or for my cat to relax while I'm busy cleaning and such. The house will one day be torn down for townhouses but I'm not sure when that will ever take place so I wouldn't want to invest a lot of money into something unless it was portable, to take with me to my next apartment.

I'm also squeamish about bugs and some insulation can be seen in cracks in the floor. I wouldn't try to make the whole space livable but I thought carpet with plastic to make walls/dividers and cloth to cover the inside might make a temporary room. Cheap wall paneling might also make a temporary living space, my dad finds great deals at flea markets and such. I'd like to just add a bit more space to my apartment and seeing that big open space breaks my heart thinking what a cute space it could be if fixed up.

I do not know realistically how healthy living in an attic is. There is pink insulation just peaking through where the old wood floor has broken off. The landlord has thrown up some plastic to help insulate the attic but the ceiling is missing some plastic.

Is it safe to use the space or should I just forget about it and focus on the area I do have? Also if nothing else I'd like to close off the stairs and use the bottom to house my cat's litter box so its handy but out of sight (there is no real good spot in my apartment except there) but I don't want him getting into the attic because its dirty. Am I justified in not wanting him to roam the attic as it is?

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My kitties have been known to crawl into holes in the walls out of curiosity. My worst fear would be having to tear a section of wall down to get one out. I have had to tear down an inner wall in my hen house to remove chicks who found a hole in it and gone exploring. I'd also want to be sure no dead animals like pigeons, bats, or rodent poison was put in there.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 5:26PM
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Thanks calliope, you made some great points! Right now I have the entrance to the stairs blocked off so he can't get up there but I want to cover the entire top part of the stairs and put the litter at the bottom. Then I could also hang my broom and other stuff there but not allow him up to the attic.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 9:11PM
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Your covering the stairwell may not be safe from a 'code' point of view and should be checked with your landlord. There could be issues of access in a fire, or ventilation to the attic in summer, etc. Unless you're just sort of blocking the space with stuff that you can remove immediately if necessary, rather than building it in, I'd check it out before doing so (and I wouldn't ever let my cat up there... what if there's a hole he could get out of?).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 6:45AM
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Do not let your kitty in your attic! I have an old house with a stair case which leads up to an unfinished attic -- very similar to what you have described. My staircase is closed off by a door - so, from the main floor, it looks like a closet in the hallway.

A few times, the door was left open (bringing down Christmas lights...) and the cats went "exploring". I had a heart-attack and a difficult job retrieving them. You know how they can be when they KNOW you want to reach them and they do NOT want to be captured....

I, too, am looking for cheap/creative ways to use that space. I am using it as storage currently, but 'filthy' doesn't even describe the degree of dirt and dust.

I bought cheap plastic 6ft. storage racks from Lowes for items like my tools, xmas things, etc. I wouldn't store anything like clothing there.

If you are able to close off the area with a door, I would do that.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 1:35PM
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