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Crawl Space vs. Attic (The Key Differences to Know)

Crawl Space vs. Attic (The Key Differences to Know)

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It’s very possible that you’ve never seen a crawl space or an attic. Some people live in areas where crawl spaces are uncommon.

Others might live in homes where it’s not typical to have attics. Or perhaps you’re used to living in apartments, and you’ve never lived in a traditional home.

If this is the case, you might be unsure what attics and crawl spaces are. Are they storage spots, or are they used for other purposes?

Continue reading to learn about attics and crawl spaces. This will allow you to better understand what they are so you’ll know what to expect if you move into a home that has one of them.

What is a Crawl Space?

A crawl space is an area underneath a house where people can crawl around. That’s a very simple explanation of what a crawl space is, but there’s a bit more to it.

Sometimes crawl spaces are utilized as a type of foundation for a home. Homes must have a foundation, and there are many foundation styles that you can choose from.

There are homes that are built with brick foundations. Some are built on top of concrete slabs, while others might use pier and beam foundations.

A crawl space is just another type of foundation that people can choose to utilize. It’s among the most common foundation styles that people use for manufactured homes.

The home will sit on top of concrete footings, and it’ll remain elevated above the ground. Footings and walls support the weight of the home.

Typically, the home will be between one and three feet off of the ground. It’s possible for a crawl space to have five feet of clearance, but that’s not common.

You generally have to crawl to get around under the house. There’s not usually enough room for average adult-sized people to stand or crouch.

This is why crawl spaces are called crawl spaces. You crawl around so you can check your pipes or other things that are underneath the house.

Are Crawl Spaces Used for Storage?

It’s not common for people to use crawl spaces for storage. These little spaces under your home are there as a buffer between the ground and your home.

They can be convenient as a way to access the underside of your home. However, it’s not wise to put things under the house for storage purposes.

There isn’t a lot of room in a crawl space. Also, it isn’t generally the most pleasant area.

Sometimes crawl spaces have problems with excessive moisture and humidity. This can cause issues with standing water, mold, and more.

You might even need to install a vapor barrier to protect your home. Otherwise, structural damage could occur.

Needless to say, you don’t want to store your stuff in the crawl space. Your belongings wouldn’t be safe there.

Not All Homes Have Crawl Spaces

Not all homes have crawl spaces. There are many homes that have different types of foundations.

Basements are another type of foundation. Some people mistake basements for crawl spaces, but they’re quite different.

A basement is a space that can be used for storage. You can even use the space for other things, such as laundry.

People often use basement areas to take shelter during storms as well. Having a basement might prove to be helpful if you live in an area that frequently deals with strong storms.

Crawl spaces are fairly common in many areas, but basements are much more common in some parts of the United States. Then there are parts of the US where crawl spaces are more common.

It largely depends on where you live. Of course, you can also have neither a basement nor a crawl space.

Some homes sit on top of concrete slabs. Others utilize pier and beam foundations.

The Pros and Cons of Having a Crawl Space

The best aspect of having a crawl space is that it makes it easier for workers. Plumbers and other types of contractors will have an easy time accessing certain things.

They can take a look at your pipes or your ducts to see what’s going on. So it’s good to have a crawl space for those reasons.

Also, you can make crawl spaces safe by installing vapor barriers. If you do this, you’ll protect yourself from moisture and make it less likely that pests will get into your home.

Crawl spaces can damage your home if you’re not careful, though. Moisture issues can lead to mold, and you might deal with structural damage.

Pests can be problematic in crawl spaces as well. It’s not unusual for spiders, snakes, rats, mice, and bats to live in crawl spaces.

What is an Attic?

An attic is a small room that’s located at the top of a house. It’s different from an upstairs level of a home.

Attics are typically situated just below the home’s roof. These attic areas will typically be small, and they are used for storage purposes.

People put totes, boxes, and other things that they don’t need right away in the attic. You might store your holiday decorations or other types of seasonal equipment in the attic.

Most attics are going to be pretty small. They’ll usually only take up 70 square feet of space, but the exact measurements will differ from home to home.

It’s important to keep attics ventilated properly. You also need to heat them during the winter.

Failure to do so can make your energy bills more costly. For some, having an attic will be a nifty aspect of living in a house.

The Pros and Cons of Having an Attic

Overall, owning an attic is probably going to be a good thing. It gives you an extra storage spot that you can use as you see fit.

Simply having an attic can help you with your heating bills, too. It allows you to retain more heat, and that means you can hang onto more of your hard-earned cash.

The shape of the attic might make it hard to use it for other things, though. Sloped roofs make it so the room will have an odd shape.

If you need to do electrical installations in the attic, it’ll be a bit of a complex job. This might cost you a fair bit of cash to have a professional come in.

Despite this, having an attic is very much a positive thing. You’ll find an attic to be very useful over the years.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned so much about both crawl spaces and attics. Now you know what both of these spaces are used for.

Crawl spaces are not used for storage purposes. They’re spots under your home where workers can access the pipes and check things out.

Attics are used for storage purposes. These rooms are located at the top of a house, just underneath the roof.

Having a crawl space can be beneficial, and so can having an attic. Not all homes are going to have crawl spaces and attics, though.

You might want to specifically seek out a home that has an attic if you need extra storage. Crawl spaces aren’t necessarily features that people seek out when hunting for homes, but you can benefit from having one in certain ways.


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