Scrap Space in Unfinished Attic or Unfinished Basement?

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Posted 5/26/2014 by Ms. Liz in General Scrappin'
 

Ms. Liz
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Posted: 5/26/2014 7:59:57 PM

Is your scrap space in an unfinished attic or an unfinished basement?

We're looking to buy a house and it's very possible that I'll end up in an unfinished space.

What did you do to make it more welcoming? Did you do anything to address air quality or lighting issues? Do you enjoy being in your unfinished space?

Would you mind posting a photo or two?

Thanks Peas!


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*kaleidoscope*
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Posted: 5/26/2014 8:18:18 PM
Nope. No room of my own at all.

However, I would be very leery of having my space in a basement because of the potential of dampness and also should any pipes have leaks.



Ms. Liz
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Posted: 5/26/2014 8:32:20 PM

I would be very leery of having my space in a basement


I have to say, I'm not thrilled about it. The moisture issued do have me worried some. But my own room, even in an unfinished basement or attic, still seems better than just having a storage closet and the dining room table.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I eat my peas with honey. I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny, But it keeps them on the knife.



biochemipea
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Posted: 5/26/2014 8:55:27 PM
I'd take a basement over an attic.

I've lost boxes of precious things due to a pipe leak, but even so, I'd take the extra steps to try to secure my items the best I could over the heat of an attic in summer any day. If you could put up a bit of insulation (those big styrofoam-like sheets from Home Depot aren't very much money and I think would be easy to hang up) and an air conditioner, then the attic would be pretty awesome. I love attics.

I've never had to work in either, but I did store my stuff in a basement for several years, and it was fine. (Different house, still old, but better pipes than this one!!).







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jrue
PeaNut

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Posted: 5/26/2014 10:15:46 PM
I would go attic, but mainly because I am envisioning a light filled attic versus a dark dingy basement. I have my little room for my scrap stuff, and although I love it, it is a small interior room...no windows. I am having such a hard time scrApping there and just came to the conclusion that it is due to the lack of natural light.

I guess my questions would be..how unfinished do you mean, what is the heat/ac situation, and can you do a bit to finish it. Regardless I would go with the brightest space, paint everything bright clean white, throw down a rug and buy a portable a.c. or heater.

crazy4scraps
PeaNut

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Posted: 5/26/2014 11:06:19 PM
I've had studio spaces in both an attic and in a basement, both were/are finished spaces though. I had an attic space in our old house and even though the house was very well insulated it would get miserably hot up there in the summer even with central air AND a separate window A/C unit running in the only window. It was also colder up there than the main floor of the house in the winter and I had to use a space heater up there. I only had one small north facing window so it was dark, DH added daylight fluorescents in the room so the lighting was good anyway.

In my current house my studio space is in the finished basement. It's cooler down there in the summer than the main floor of the house and comfortable in the winter. The natural light is again limited, but that was resolved the same way by adding overhead daylight fluorescents. The only issue I want to remedy is an elevated level of radon down there. If I was buying a house today, I would make the sellers have the radon levels in the basement tested and if necessary get it mediated. It will cost me about $1500 to take care of it, but if we would have thought to make the sellers test for it we could have gotten them to pay for fixing it before buying the house.

To answer your original question though, I agree with doing what you can with paint and lighting to brighten up the basement space. I wouldn't choose to be in an attic space again due to the unreasonable heat levels that can be really hard (not to mention expensive) to control. If your flooring is concrete, I would get some of that interlocking foam flooring mat stuff and maybe even throw a rug or carpet over that to warm up the room more. Concrete floors are cold and hard so that would help a lot.

Ms. Liz
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Posted: 5/27/2014 5:43:49 AM

I just wanted to thank everyone for their replies.

You're giving me a lot to consider.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I eat my peas with honey. I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny, But it keeps them on the knife.



kimberly38
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Posted: 5/27/2014 5:52:37 AM
Where I live now, (I am in PA), we do not have attics.

But, I would rather be in a basement over an attic due to heat rising. There is no way I could be in an attic for anything. Unless, it was fixed up, heated in winter/air in summer.

That being said, in my old house, I had an area in my basement in a back room where our mechanicals were. It was a large area, so I was against one wall and the heater/water heater, etc. against the other wall. Our sump pump was even down there.

I used a small space heater. Idid not worry about water damage because we had a sump pump. Worked great.

Now, I have my own area in my front room as you walk in our front door. Our living area is in a room behind our garage.

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OklaPhoma

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Posted: 5/27/2014 7:29:00 AM
It would probably depend on a few factors but over all my guess is I'd prefer a basement. An unfinished attic is going to be miserably hot or cold while a basement has a more moderated temperature due to the surrounding earth.

But, in a basement keep in mind flooding is a real possiblity. Everything you can't afford to lose needs to be stored in plastic tubs with lids and up off the floor by at least a couple of feet. If possible you don't want them stored under pipes either. So your options for cute storage ideas are going to be more limited.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/27/2014 8:59:01 AM
My scrappy space is in our basement and while it's not ideal, I would prefer it to an attic for all the reason pp's listed.

We're fortunate enough to have a sump pump, so barring a HUGE storm (and my stash survived Sandy) where the power is out for an extended period of time, I don't have to worry about water damage. We run a dehumidifier all summer, so that helps w/moisture.

So if in your house hunting you come across a one w/a sump pump, rest a little easier if you want to put your scrappy space in the basement.




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Gem Girl
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Posted: 5/27/2014 12:49:37 PM
Those of you with basements and sump pumps--my DH installed a battery-powered back-up sump pump, as we sometimes lose power for days during storm season. It has given us tremendous peace of mind. Something to consider.


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Basket1lady
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Posted: 5/27/2014 1:03:41 PM
I've had several basement studios. Most have been finished, but in one house (we're military), I had the unfinished portion of the basement. But it did have a door, which I could close to keep the kids out. I loved it.

DS painted the cinder block walls white and added florescent lighting. We got a carpet remnant and built me a shelf to put all my plastic bins on. I had an ancient TV down there and the ceiling beams were open, so it was easy to add cable down there.

It worked very well and it really was quite cosy when it was all done. I had my sewing machine up and a long table for scrapping. I certainly had less stuff then, but it was a space all my own where I could leave a project out and safe from little hands (and keep the little hands safe.) The playroom was on the other side and the kids could play for a bit and I could keep my eye on them. I could also iron and keep them away from the ironing board. I just put a gate up in the door way. I liked that I could go down there and get away from the kids (when DH watched them.) And I would be down there at night after bedtime.

It did flood once, after 9 inches of rain in 24 hours. I lost very little, as I had just picked everything up. We pulled the carpet out, cleaned it, and put it back in. And bought some more rubbermaid totes!

I have the formal dining room now for my studio. Ironically, I like it because I can interact with the kids and not be separate from everyone. But the kids are teens now and mostly lock themselves in their room.

ETA: I didn't find any pictures of the room in my first pass. It was 15 years ago and before I went digital. I'll have another look tomorrow.



Michelle

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Posted: 5/27/2014 2:25:53 PM
It depends on the basement or attic space available. We had an unfinished basement in our house in Georgia, and it was an awesome space. It had full daylight since we had windows down there. You could make a basement work if you had lots of space in an unfinished area. You could keep things in waterproof containers on the bottom of your scrap area. I was thinking big plastic tubs or drawers but maybe Peas with experience with possible flooding could give you better ideas on what to use.
I am not too familiar with attics for scrapping spaces. I know sometimes around us, I have heard of unfinished bonus rooms. Another idea is a loft area. If you are looking at two story homes, some have great loft space which would make an awesome scrapping space. My scrapping area is a corner of the living room, and part if the dining room. Any space you get to scrap in can be awesome. Good luck on your home search. Let us know how it is going.

crazy4scraps
PeaNut

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Posted: 5/27/2014 3:05:50 PM

Those of you with basements and sump pumps--my DH installed a battery-powered back-up sump pump, as we sometimes lose power for days during storm season. It has given us tremendous peace of mind. Something to consider.



Another option would be to get a gas powered generator. Our power was out for four days last summer after a major storm and DH was out of town. The neighbors said it happens pretty frequently out here so we got a big generator and later had an electrician wire the house so the generator can run the essentials. We have a well with a pump so no power means no water either. Peace of mind is a good thing!

FleaPea
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Posted: 5/27/2014 3:39:06 PM
We have an unfinished attic above our garage (accessible through the house) and I would not scrap in there! Even when it is only in the 60's it is stuffy and hot, when it is cold outside it is freezing. Plus it smells funny and there aren't any windows!

I just lost my scrap room (tiny 4th bedroom) to one of my kids and while scrapping in the unfinished attic is tempting, I would rather squash all my stuff into a corner of my bedroom where there is heat, a/c and light.


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0612
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Posted: 5/27/2014 5:08:48 PM
I have mine in a unfinished part of the basement and have never had a problem. Not very pretty but it is my own space. Never had any problems with leaks or anything. Just don't set anything on the floor.

0612
PeaFixture

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Posted: 5/27/2014 5:58:23 PM
I posted pictures in the gallery for you, it is really messy right now.

myboysnme
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Posted: 5/27/2014 7:11:51 PM
Where I live we do not have basements or attics; just crawl spaces.

That said, I have a scraproom and I never use it. What I would use is an area in my house that is centralized; part of my den, living room, breakfast nook, I don't know but I am not really comfortable being isolated.

I hate my scraproom. Right now it is just piles of unorganized hoard. It is my excuse to never scrap there


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Ms. Liz
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Posted: 5/27/2014 8:52:12 PM

Just don't set anything on the floor.


0612, thanks for posting the photos. Yes, I noticed that all your furniture is on legs so the air can circulate. Very smart!



Well, we decided to not pursue the house with the unfinished attic scrap space, but we're still considering the one with the basement scrap space. We can finish it off eventually (years from now), but I'll probably end up taking one of the kids bedrooms when they're done with college (still in high school for now).

Thanks everyone again for all the advice



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I eat my peas with honey. I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny, But it keeps them on the knife.



Shih Tzu Mommy
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Posted: 5/28/2014 7:40:10 AM
I would not use an unfinished space that was not fully insulated and had HVAC. If it's just not pretty, you can take care if that over time, but heat and humidity kill supplies!!



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Posted: 5/28/2014 12:08:57 PM
My scrap space is in our unfinished basement. It works for me because I can leave all my stuff out and not have to worry about keeping the place clean. Since its in the basement, when guests come over its not really seen.

That being said I do run a dehumidifier down there and all my "precious paper" aka the good stuff, are in plastic containers to help prevent damage. We live in Southern Maryland and it gets pretty humid here but so far I haven't had an issue with wet paper or damp supplies.

The only downside to the unfinished walls is hanging things. My solution to that is lots of freestanding shelves and storage solutions. I also have a HUUUGE workspace down there made from plywood and sawhorses. So most of my stuff is spread out all over that. It helps that theres nothing else in the basement but space so theres plenty of room for all my scrap stuff. Also my workspace is in the center of the "room" not pushed up again's the wall where the insulation is. Its easier that way and I don't have to worry about insulation or bugs falling down onto my workspace.

I'll post some photos when I can. But it works for me in the basement and I love it. I hope it works for you too!



KBPea
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Posted: 5/28/2014 4:55:42 PM
I see you decided not to pursue the house with the attic space, but I recently moved to a house with an unfinished attic and have toyed a little with the idea of using it as a scrap space. We don't have a basement, just a garage.

For now SO and I share our second bedroom, but if we ever have to give up this space (like if we have a kid or long-term house guest) I might try the attic. People have told SO it would make a good man cave. We would probably end up splitting it.

Ours is dry-walled and has a plywood floor, but it does get much hotter than the rest of the house and only has one of those pull-down staircases! I am not sure about humidity. This is our first summer in this house, so I will find out soon.
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