Donahue Real Estate Company

Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 2/7/2018

Your attic; itís a great place for storing things that you need to keep out of the way for most of the year. Maybe a little too great. If your attic is anything like most peopleís it quickly has become overridden with anything and everything you canít quite let go of or donít know where to put. Perhaps itís overwhelming to even think about your attic. If you are ready to make your attic more organized or need an idea of where to start, keep reading. If you are planning a major overhaul on your disorganized attic consider breaking up the following tips over a longer span of time than just the weekend to avoid being overwhelmed. The process of sorting through the items that find their way to the attic can be mentally draining as well as physically. Start with a decluttering process. Create a blank slate by pulling everything out of the attic and get rid of everything you no longer want to hold onto. Holding a yard sale or donating items are both ways of giving things you no longer want a chance at a second life and keeping them out of the dump. This is also a great time to figure out what should stay in the attic and what can be moved to other places in the home. Some types of household goods are best not stored in an attic. Once you have settled on what will be staying create an inventory of what is left and create categories for the items you will be storing in your attic. Themes should become apparent such as Christmas ornaments and nostalgic items. Group these similar items together so the next steps will be easier. Now that you know what items are staying and what categories you have you can start thinking about storage arrangements. If you have been keeping everything in cardboard boxes or just strewn about consider investing in some plastic bins for safer storage. Plastic bins can help protect against any roof leaks or other unexpected damage. If you have enough vertical space installing shelving units will help maximize the space available in your attic and allow you to easily organize everything. Be sure to properly store things (Christmas ornaments are wrapped, documents are in file folders, etc.) and label each box accordingly. Designing a layout plan for where containers are placed in your attic will set you up for success in the future. Place lower priority items towards the back of your attic space and/or in harder to reach areas while placing more frequently used items in easy to reach areas. Extra steps for the dedicated: Create an inventory of what is in each box and number them, add this list to a home organization binder or somewhere handy to reference. This will allow you to know what is where in your attic and eliminate opening every box each time you want to find something. Color coding bins by their category and/or numbering them will allow for easy inventory creation and knowing which bins contain holiday decorations or seasonal clothes. While the thought of organizing your attic might fill you with dread taking the time to do so will allow you to create a storage space in your home that is stress-free and easy to access. With a clear plan in hand and spreading out your organization project over several days planning out your attic storage might even become an enjoyable task!

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Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 8/16/2017

Working in your attic may not be a chore you perform frequently but it is one that must be done on occasion. Whether you use yours as a storage space or are performing an energy assessment in your home, safely accessing your attic should be a top priority. Below are some tips you can practice the next time you need to go up into the attic to ensure a safe working experience. Before you begin working make sure you have dressed appropriately. Wear a long sleeve shirt tucked into pants and gloves to avoid materials sticking to your skin which can cause irritation. You will also want to wear a dust mask and protective eyewear to avoid inhaling airborne fibers or other harmful debris that could be airborne in your attic. Attics can house mold and mildew among other hazardous materials that can bring you harm and/or make you sick when not properly protected against them. If your attic requires a fold-down ladder to access it check that the ladder is safe to support your weight. Look for any missing or loose screws that are intended to hold the ladder together and tighten/replace them before using it to get into your attic. You will be climbing up and down it as you work so you want to make sure that it will be safe to use. Adding a railing around the opening of your attic access will also add extra safety measures against falling. If your attic is unfinished and/or has potentially unsupportive flooring consider installing a safer floor by laying plywood down. Add walk boards or temporary platforms to an unfinished attic that doesnít require permanent flooring. Always be cautious of where you step to avoid stepping on wires, ductwork or areas lacking trusses and joists. This precaution will save you from accidentally breaking through the ceiling which will put you at risk of serious harm and some major repairs. You will also want to be aware of any roofing nails poking down or old faulty wiring that requires repair. Be sure to check for signs of any animals that may have decided to move in over the winter months. If you do discover unwelcome tenants take the proper course of action by hiring a professional to rid your attic of them safely for both you and them. Some animals, like bats, may be protected by federal law so you will want to rid your house of them responsibly. When you are finished working in the attic for the day be sure to change and wash your clothes to avoid spreading hazardous debris over the rest of your house. Before you begin working spread an old sheet under the hatch and vacuum the surrounding area afterward for easy clean up. Attic safety practices are crucial to avoid harming yourself and preventing damage to your home. With some simple preparations and an active awareness, you can get chores done in your attic effectively and safely!

Tags: home safety   safety   attic  
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Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 6/7/2017

Whether your attic is 150 or 300 square feet, you can get more from your attic. One of the simplest ways to get more from your attic is to designate this uppermost room as a storage space. Youíll appreciate having made this decision more if you turn your basement into a family room, den, bedroom or separate living space.

Other attic uses include a television room, den, guest room and study area. To beautify your attic, you could add cactuses, hanging plants and other greenery that donít require a lot of water or sunlight to thrive. Build custom shelving into attic walls and you can create a private library. Just make sure that thereíslots of airflow in the room before you use the space as a library.

Prepare your attic for multiple usages

Before you start stacking storage boxes, old furniture and clothes that you rarely wear inside your attic, make sure that the flooring is durable. Thin plywood flooring can give way if too much weight is placed on it.

Also, clean and treat your attic if you find pests droppings. If you start pushing storage boxes inside your attic prior to inspecting and treating the room, you could inadvertently create a good hiding place for pests. Items that you may not want to store in your attic include old books, magazines and photographs. Believe it or not, pests like roaches, find old paper goods attractive. Roaches actually feast on books and other paper items.

Place anti-fatigue padding or rubber tiles over flooring for added protection before you store heavy items in your attic. This way, you could prevent plywood or hardwood floor tiles from buckling or sagging. Well maintained floors make it easier to turn your attic into an extra bedroom or office, should your family grow and you need the extra space years down the road.

Choose great attic ventilation and flooring

Add vents to your attic to improve ventilation. Do this whether you merely use your attic as a storage space or turn your attic into a living or work room. Even if your attic already has vents, you may want to add more vents, especially if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing. On cold days, poor attic ventilation can cause ice dams to form. Your attic may also feel damp if itísnot properly ventilated.

Familiarize yourself with local housing codes to ensure that you meet local attic ventilation requirements. Vent choices range from round to rectangular. There are also small, medium and large vent sizes to choose from. Simply adding insulation and upgrading drywall may not offer enough attic ventilation.

To improve airflow in your attic, consider leaving the attic door open during the daytime.Before you open the attic window to increase airflow, check the roof for bird and insect nests. Clear roof drainage pipes and place a screen and attic guard over the window. You can get attic window guards on or offline from housewares stores. Some department stores also sell attic guards.

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