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#326634 - Mon Oct 16 2006 07:02 PM Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
I've always been jealous when watching (mostly American) TV of houses that have attics and basements because I've never lived anywhere with one. Or for that matter even seen a house with one, we just don't seem to go for them here in Australia.

So do you have one or both an attic or a basement and what do you use them for?

Actually the closest I've come in this house I'm in now which has a cellar but it's small, no power, dirt floor, fills with water when it rains and the last time I went down it, years ago, it had a tub of arsenic (since disposed) and a snake skin in it.

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#326635 - Mon Oct 16 2006 07:29 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14839
Loc: Western Canada
I have a basement, and although the house does not have an attic, the garage has one.

I couldn't even begin to list all the things in my basement - it's jammed full. My washing machine is down there, it is also where I store canned goods, extra toilet paper, etc - sort of a larder. One room is full of boxes - some with fairly-often-used things, like winter clothing and Christmas decorations, and some with oddments like my mother in law's wedding china. Unlike many North American houses, my basement is not 'finished' - I don't have a playroom or rec room down there. It is dank cement, and floods a little most springs (all the boxes are up on shelves off the floor) Some places the walls are dirt, which means that for instance slugs have discovered that my cat spills some of her dry food out of the dish when she eats, and they come and eat it (Not anymore - I've ringed her eating area with salt!) Our house was built before town water was laid on, so we also have the old cistern, dry now, for storage. I also keep my recylcing down there, as I'm in a small town where it's not picked up, I have to take it to the depot. So, I've got boxes for cans, for paper, for glass, for bottles, etc, all washed and sorted and taken in every 6 weeks or two months or so.

The garage attic is now wonderful, as we reroofed the garage this summer, and my husband laid new boards up there so it is now useful. Before this the rain would come in, and also the boards across the rafters were all old and rotted, and you couldn't get me up there for a million dollars. We store things that we are not likely to need for years up there - for instance, he has his grandfather's garden chair - he doesn' t want to get rid of it, but it really doesn't need to take up useful space. It is also used for storing things like tobaggans, which are too large to have cluttering up the garage all summer. We have been saving the colour comics from the weekend papers for twenty years or more (don't ask me why) and that's the sort of thing you will find up in the attic.

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#326636 - Mon Oct 16 2006 07:51 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
nic1990 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 07 2006
Posts: 412
Loc: South Australia
Copago you're right about not seeing a basement or attic in Australia. I haven't either, but when i was growing up in England, we did hav a 'mini' basement as i will call it, that was just full of toys, books, used furniture, china. Oh you name it, it was in there.

Have never had an attic though, but i have a friend in the US, that lives in her parents attic

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#326637 - Mon Oct 16 2006 08:10 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
tiffanyram Offline
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Registered: Tue Jun 13 2006
Posts: 2502
Loc: Tennessee USA
I don't have a basement or attic in my house, but growing up I've had family members who had them.

My Uncle's basement scared me for the longest time because it was dark and cold even though they used it as a game room and bar. We always had to sleep down there when we visited which didn't help my fear any. I hated being the first to go down there when the lights were off.
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#326638 - Mon Oct 16 2006 08:23 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
skunkee Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 16 2003
Posts: 10543
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada  
We don't have a usable attic, but we do have a full basement. Because the house is built on a grade the basement has a regular door and a sliding glass door that open out into the backyard. They let in a lot of light.
There is one section with a work table for my husband's odd jobs, and another walled off room (but not finished) that he uses as a sort of an office.
There is a large storage area, a futon bed for younger overnight guests, a couch, lots of games, a freezer, a dart board and a pool table in our basement. Oh yes, there is also a large punchiung bag that is rarely used.
It is unfinished (concrete floors, ceilings where you can see insulation, and any walls are plywood sheets), however many people finish their basements and use them as family recreation areas.
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#326639 - Mon Oct 16 2006 08:37 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
aginor Offline
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Registered: Sat Nov 19 2005
Posts: 976
Loc: North Carolina USA
We have an attic but no basement. We live by the coast (Cape Fear coast in North Carolina) and houses here are not constructed with basements due to the proximity of the ocean and the fact that this area is hurricane-prone. Our attic is rather small and one can't really stand up straight in there. It is nice for storage but always so hot! We store a ton of stuff there and when it gets really full, we know that it is time to give things away (which we should have done in the first place). The controls to the air-conditioning etc are in the attic, though I don't know a whole lot about that.
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#326640 - Tue Oct 17 2006 01:19 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
JaneMarple Offline
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Registered: Fri Jan 30 2004
Posts: 14480
Loc: North West of England
We've got a attic, and goodness know what is up there! I am pretty sure there is a upright hair dryer (those hair-dryers in shops, with a hood) and there might be old books. There is probably old off-cuts of carpet, bedroom doors and old kitchen utinsils - pots, pans etc. And there is definitly a "Millenium box", what I made up myself, which is full of things what is important to me, what I put over there in December 1999. I put a label on it, that it's not to be opened until December 2050 But whatever is up there can stay there for now
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#326641 - Tue Oct 17 2006 01:28 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
Kuu Offline
Prolific

Registered: Mon Jun 03 2002
Posts: 1037
Loc: Hobart Tasmania Australia     
I am another Australian who has never lived in a house with an attic or a basement nor do i ever remember being into a house with either.

This is why Australians are so fond of their garden sheds and I have seen some enormous sheds.

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#326642 - Tue Oct 17 2006 01:43 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
nic1990 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 07 2006
Posts: 412
Loc: South Australia
Quote:

And there is definitly a "Millenium box", what I made up myself, which is full of things what is important to me, what I put over there in December 1999. I put a label on it, that it's not to be opened until December 2050 But whatever is up there can stay there for now




Wow... That sounds like a good idea. I wonder who else has a 'millenium' box?

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#326643 - Tue Oct 17 2006 03:19 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
sue943 Offline
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Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37344
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
In the UK, and here, modern houses do not tend to have 'basements' and actually in those older houses which do have one, they are called cellars. My daughter has one, heaven alone knows what she keeps in there. Her attic has been converted into two more bedrooms.

I have a HUGE room under my house, it is a German bunker built during the occupation of Jersey (1940-44). Mine is carpeted, has power and a telephone extension point. The children used to use it as their space, they had desks, a tv linked to a vcr (no signal down there), seats, gym equipment and all manner of stuff. I have tossed lots of junk down there. When they were young the children also had a few parties and sleepovers there.

I also have a loft, an attic, but it is not 'floored', that has old junk up there, mostly left by the previous occupants. I also have old carpet offcuts.
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#326644 - Tue Oct 17 2006 03:41 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 12414
Loc: Kowloon Tong  Hong Kong      
Quote:

old junk up there, mostly left by the previous occupants.



Have you even looked at that stuff, Sue? It could be priceless antiques or something...
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#326645 - Tue Oct 17 2006 03:59 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
sue943 Offline
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Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37344
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
You have to be joking
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#326646 - Tue Oct 17 2006 05:05 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
Santana2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8728
Loc: France
well I have a huge attic, unfortunately. I say 'unfortunately' because as any sane person knows well, the more space available the more 'stuff' you find to store in it. I have two spare beds set up in my attic, a huge wardrobe full of my clothes and my husband's clothes. There are several suitcases, the unused baby's cradle and cot, various out of season stuff, like sun loungers, parasols and beach things in winter, an exercise bike (obviously I use it every day :P ) a huge box full of model railway stuff, paperwork, christmas, halloween and easter decorations, wrapping paper, clean linen (in plastic packing crates)...the list just keeps on growing....

As for a cellar or basement, I have what is termed a 'sous-sol' here in France. I think I would call it a cellar at home, even though it's on the ground floor. In fact the living area is on the first-floor level and the bedrooms are on the ground floor which is semi-underground. Half the 'downstairs' is a cellar area, and in there I keep the washer and drier, a clothes line, coats, shoes, wine, a fridge and freezer, the patio chairs and table, the guinea pig cage, lawnmower, garden tools, sundry building materials and tools (my husband's domain), spare batteries and charger, hosepipe, workbench......oh, and we manage to squeeze the car in there nightly as well.
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#326647 - Tue Oct 17 2006 08:11 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
lothruin Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
Posts: 2165
Loc: Nebraska USA
I have a small house, but a full basement, and a full attic. The attic is unfinished, and the plan is to finish it and add a staircase to make a nice big bedroom up there. Our roof has a steep pitch, so the finishable space isn't the same as the main floor, but with 7 foot ceilings, we can get 13' x 25' of floorspace, and if we allow a slightly sloped ceiling, down to the minimum of 5' (special rules just for finishing attics!) we can get a total of 16' x 25' of floor space, which is a NICE BIG room!

The basement is unfinished, because it leaks a little, but I've got tons of shelves down there for storage, plus the laundry space, and a little nook that I put down carpet scraps in over the only corner that doesn't get water, where I have shelves for craft storage and my sewing machine and such.

Our garage also has an attic, where we mostly keep the original packaging for Katherine's big stuff, like the baby swing, crib, carseat, stroller, big toys, etc. It's quite handy.
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#326648 - Tue Oct 17 2006 02:33 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
argus9 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 855
Loc: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada   
I have a basement, my daughter's in it.
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#326649 - Tue Oct 17 2006 05:09 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
Bruyere Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18793
Loc: California USA
I've lived in most of the population centers of the States and basements tend to depend on the area of the country. If there's a reason to have one, the traditional ones will have one.
I think the East Coast tended to have them all over the area where I lived. I remember lots of typical row houses, or townhomes or whatever they call them now, with basement rooms that were comfy and looked out over the yard area. Some were just laundry and storage areas. Some people could let their kids ride around on bikes in their basements.

California's newer homes don't tend to have basements. But the older style homes, the California bungalow for example, has one.
My sister has an entire apartment downstairs with at least five or six rooms. It has windows so it's not that dark, and they have a woodworking shop, a guest suite with full bathroom and kitchen and a sewing and art room. It's not even counted for tax purposes though because it's a basement.

My grandmother's older home in Northern California had about three levels if not four. Grandpa's domain was an enormous wood and metal shop in the basement and this was where he would fix things and work on projects for anyone who needed him to help out. They had an attic, but that was accessible by a secret door and my cousin and I went up there once or twice.

My two story townhouse now has an attic space where we've put the contents of our four bedroom home we bought coming back over here to the States. We've gone down to half the size of the first house and one third the yard space.
The attic has a fan, and carpeting and a tiny light...so, I suppose you could finish it and make a hiding space. It is cram packed now.


My brother has a different California style older home and they completely remodeled their attic and doubled the room. The kids have an enormous play space with all sorts of things, dressups, costumes, toys...and they get up there on their step ladder. He has a basement but I've never ventured down there. I hear it floods in the winter.

I always read about attics and thought how wonderful they'd be too.

Snake skin...yuck. Copago, you really have an old snake skin?
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#326650 - Wed Oct 18 2006 04:31 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
THe cellar walls don't quite meet the floor of the house, Heather, so it's easy for anything to crawl in there, snakes, lizards and there are also rabbit warrens as far as the eye can see. It was only used as a space to keep food in the days before electricity. I haven't been down there for years, I moved away for a while and since I've come back just recently I don't want Conor to know it's there and want to start exploring it just yet. God knows what he'd find.

I think I want to explore Agony's and Janes attics.

What's the usual way to get to them? Staircase is a seldom used part of the house or a hidden ladder thingy?

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#326651 - Wed Oct 18 2006 04:34 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
JaneMarple Offline
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Registered: Fri Jan 30 2004
Posts: 14480
Loc: North West of England
Well usually people have a ladder built into the loft/attic. But for those who aren't rich enough...e.g. me! ...you use a step ladder and then haul yourself into the loft/attic very carefully.
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#326652 - Wed Oct 18 2006 05:16 AM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
nic1990 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Thu Sep 07 2006
Posts: 412
Loc: South Australia
Quote:

I have a basement, my daughter's in it.




I hope to god you mean that her room is in there, otherwise i think we might be calling child services

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#326653 - Wed Oct 18 2006 01:18 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14839
Loc: Western Canada
Yep, we use a stepladder, too.

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#326654 - Wed Oct 18 2006 02:35 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
argus9 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 855
Loc: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada   
Well Nic, her room is upstairs but her tv etc is in the basement, she's gone back to school and so moved back home. Ah well, I hope this schooling leads to a good job so she can fly the nest....Again!
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#326655 - Wed Oct 18 2006 02:53 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
lothruin Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
Posts: 2165
Loc: Nebraska USA
My attic doesn't have a little stair thingy, we just have to use a ladder. But when we finish the space, we'll build a nice stairway up to it.

In a house we used to live in we had a "crawl space" under the house, but it was probaly more like a cellar. The back porch had a trap door in it with a 4 foot drop you had to let yourself down into, and then a couple steps down into the space, which was cinderblock walls, but dirt floor, and all manner of critters lived down there. It was spooky, and my sister and I were sure a ghost lived down there. But we named the "ghost" George, and fed him rocks from our driveway... so every time my dad needed to get something out of storage, he'd have to clear a pile of rocks from the stairway first...
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Goodbye Ruth & Betty, my beautiful grandmothers.
Betty Kuzara 1921 - April 5, 2008
Ruth Kellison 1925 - Dec 27, 2007

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#326656 - Thu Oct 19 2006 01:56 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 14839
Loc: Western Canada
Hearing about Lothruin's crawl space reminds me of the house my best friend lived in when I was a girl.

It was what we call a two and a half storey house - a ground floor, with bathroom, living room, kitchen and one bedroom, an upstairs, with bedrooms with real walls and ceilings, and then another floor, where the little bedrooms all had sloping ceilings. The closets in these little rooms had, if you went to the very back of them (they were long and narrow) tiny little doors, maybe four feet high on the tall end, and two feet on the short side. If you went through there, you found a narrow crawl space running the length of the house, with rafters to walk on. Of course, we were very 'reading' children, and this reminded us so much of the space in "The Magician's Nephew", which led Polly and Digory to the Uncle's room, and led, eventually, to Narnia. Nothing magic ever happened to us there, though, alas.

When we moved into our present house, I was so pleased with the sloping ceilings in the kids rooms - they have the same sort of narrow funny closets, but unfortunately, no secret doors. My kids are not as charmed by this as I am, probably because they grew up with it (I believe they would just love to live in a modern bungalow with attached garage, how boring) - my son is now 6'2" and can't stand up in his bedroom.

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#326657 - Thu Oct 19 2006 07:45 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
Gamemaster1967 Offline
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Registered: Wed Dec 18 2002
Posts: 6086
Loc: Richmond TX
I have an attic, I have Beth stashed there, she is NOT really away on her honeymoon....



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#326658 - Sat Oct 28 2006 04:57 PM Re: Do you have an attic/basement and what's in it?
fuzzypeg Offline
Explorer

Registered: Thu Jun 01 2006
Posts: 64
Loc: South of England
Lol.
Haven't a clue what's in mine, haven't been up there since 1989!
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