Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pros and Cons of an Attic Apartment

When I lived in Wisconsin, I lived on the ground floor. While there were definite advantages to it - easy to move things in and out, easy to let the cat out - there were also disadvantages. Like having strange people knocking on my patio door late at night. Or getting bugs. Lots and lots of bugs.

My newest apartment is the attic apartment of a four-flat. There are some interesting quirks to such an apartment that I never would have expected. Some of them are nice... others, not so much.

PRO: Nothing is out of reach.

At 5'4", I'm only slightly shorter than average for white American women. Unfortunately, houses are generally designed with a 5'10" white guy as the "standard." (THANKS, PATRIARCHY.) So I can never reach the top shelf, or even the second-to-top shelf, of a typical kitchen, bathroom, pantry, closet, etc. without the assistance of a stool or a gentleman caller.

But in an attic apartment, the sloping ceiling keeps everything within reach! I still have the stool, but I mostly just use it for sitting when I put on my socks in the morning.

CON: Lack of vertical space.

On the other hand, I don't mind storing something high up if I need to reach it only a few times a month or year, like my Christmas tree or my fine china. It keeps it out of the way, yet secure. I don't have that luxury here - storage space is sorely lacking. I'm also struggling to find enough wall space to hang all my pictures, because hanging something on a wall that is only three feet high just looks silly.

PRO: It stays warmer in the winter.

Heat rises, so I get a little extra warmth that leaks up from D's apartment below me. That's especially helpful because I don't have central heat - just a gas fireplace set into the wall.

CON: It stays warmer in the summer.

Heat rises in the summer, too. Not looking forward to that.

PRO: No upstairs neighbor.

My upstairs neighbor at my last apartment was not a particularly loud guy. Heck, he was a real nice person. But, thanks to acoustics and physics and all those fun sciences, I could hear a lot of the stuff going on in his apartment. I could hear his cats playing tag with each other, I could hear the TV, I could hear him snoring sometimes! As far as upstairs neighbors go, I could've had way worse, but it was still disruptive at times.

CON: Stairs.

Three flights of stairs after a long day isn't very much fun. And it made the move a royal bitch, too.

Like all apartments, an attic apartment isn't perfect. But I'm an optimist at heart, so I'm excited to find out everything I can do with this space.

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