In a frantic effort to keep busy, despite the snow storms keeping us inside our house in the first two weeks of January 2017, my Mom and I did something we’d meant to do for a long time, but hadn’t gotten around to yet.
In hindsight, we probably should have waited.
The Beginning of the Attic Nook Renovation!
We decided this would be a great time to work on the nook to the side of the attic stairs. When I was in elementary school, the nook had been used as a reading area, complete with a futon mattress and a shelf for some books. I spent a lot of time in there reading, as did my Mom, but as I grew it became less and less comfortable to sit or lay in.
Eventually we removed the futon mattress and filled up the nook with boxes, and it sat as a storage area for at least ten years – until January 7th, 2017.
We began by going through the items that had accumulated in the nook throughout the years. These items included books, magazines, office supplies, my childhood projects and some toys, and some remnants of a mouse infestation – yuck!
After a thorough vacuuming and wipe down of the area, we began tearing out the threadbare, dark green, low pile carpet with a pry bar, two different types of nail pullers, bare hands, and burning determination to be rid of the stuff.
We ended up with bare, but roughed up, wooden floors – much like those throughout the rest of the house. Though still much better then the previous carpet.
We vacuumed, scrubbed the floors with wood cleaner, and left it to dry.
Looks better! But was it a good idea during a snowstorm?
Short answer: Not really.
In our haste to be doing something, we neglected to think about the fact that the carpeting, despite being ugly and in really bad shape, was acting as an insulation layer to block some of the cold coming in from a crawlspace to the right of the nook, and the outside wall itself, which is on the left and back sides of the nook. It turns out the floorboards are a bit drafty too.
We choose to keep the house fairly cool, normally, with a top temperature of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the Winter, but several hours after we had decided to quit for the day, the house had dropped to 51 degrees! Since the only change in our house was the removal of the items in the nook, and the carpet, we decided that must be where the problem lay.
I figured we could stop some of the problem by lining the edges of the nook, where the carpet had been tucked in before, with rags from our rag towel collection. That raised the temperature to 53 degrees, but it was still pretty cold. We decided the next step was to layer spare bathroom rugs over the floor space in the nook.
Much better! The temperature rose to 55 degrees, which while still colder than usual for us, was well within our comfort zone! Even the cats approved!
The next day we filled in the area with some of our book collection so we can have some space for another project in the Dining Room – stay tuned for more on that!
So What’s the Plan for the Nook?
We’ve been back and forth between remaking the area into a more comfortable reading nook, or building in a storage unit in that space. Realistically, I think my Mom and I both agree, there is no easy way to make the space usable as a reading nook that we could comfortably sit or lay down in for long periods of time. Also, it makes more sense, in the small space of our tiny home, to put in as much storage as we possibly can!
- Paint the attic stairs (probably dark brown)
- Do something interesting to the stair risers (vertical)
- Paint the walls in the attic stair & nook area (maybe gold?)
- Put in some thin insulation on the walls where possible
- Construct built-in storage for the nook
What did we learn?
To conclude this post on our Snowpocalypse-Trapped-in-our-House-Renovation-Adventure, I hope my readers will come away from this with more knowledge then I came into this project with! Snowstorms are not great times to be removing materials that act as potential insulation!
Especially when you already know, from previous experience, that your house is lacking in insulation, as I mentioned in my first post!
Next post, I hope to bring you more insight into a few of our future projects in our home renovation adventures – we have a LOT in the works!
Note: If you’re interested in seeing how the snow looked in my area during Snowpocalypse 2017, here is a video by a fellow Vancouver resident, paulo songpro, showing locations fairly close to my house!