Attics are a popular storage space because they are often too small or narrow to be used as another full room, or conversion would be too expensive, but boxes and odds and ends fit perfectly. If you are considering using your attic for storage, there are a few things to keep in mind before you move all of your valuables into the space.
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Things you need
- Pull-down staircase
Check that your attic is fit for storage. Is the attic well-insulated and moisture-proof? Is it impossible for pests to enter the attic? Is it well-ventilated to prevent extreme temperature swings? Hire an inspector to ensure the attic is in good working condition. This is a good idea for any house and it is better to do it now than to run into problems in the future, potentially damaging both your valuables and your home's interior.
Install stairs, if necessary. You may need to install a pull-down staircase or ladder so that you can easily access the attic. These ladders drop down from the ceiling and slide open, allowing you an entrance to the space. If you have experience with home-building projects, you may want to take this on yourself; otherwise, this is an easy project for a handyman.
Install a floor, if necessary. If your attic doesn't already have a floor, consider installing one. In many unfinished attics, the top of the ceiling from the floor below is exposed between each joist. This makes it very easy to put your foot through the floor or even fall through. Nailing thick sheets of plywood to the 2-by-4s is easy and makes storing things in your attic much safer. Make certain your joists can sustain the weight, however.
Install adequate lighting. Most unfinished attics have very little or no lighting. Adequate lighting is essential to navigate the attic and easily see the boxes you have stored. Keep fixtures in locations where they can be easily changed and won't be hidden behind boxes.
Store items in boxes that will be easy to remove from the attic. Large, heavy boxes or containers will be difficult and even dangerous to remove. Mark them clearly so you know exactly what is in the box with a glance. For added protection, store items in plastic, airtight storage boxes and plastic storage bags. Organise your boxes in areas -- if you are storing holiday decorations, for instance, group them together to make them easy to find and remove. Leave plenty of space to navigate the attic easily.
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