living in a "loft" type apartment

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by shecky, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    my girlfriend and i are about to embark on our first apartment together, and i am curious to hear from anyone who has lived in a loft type space before. i am referring to the former mill building turned wood floor exposed brick open plan type thing. my concerns are thus:

    -i like my alone time on occasion (as does she) and a loft space usually seems to offer no closed door rooms (other than the bathroom.) we are both designers so working in a big open apartment with music going when someone is trying to sleep seems like a problem waiting to happen.

    -i am curious about utility costs, some include heat, etc. but the ones that don't sound like the kind of space that would cost and arm and a leg to heat (in northeastern USA.)

    -security and safety, since often these kinds of spaces are in industrial areas it seems like the "neighborhood" would be nonexistent. she is a runner so for her to do 6 miles around a bunch of warehouses does not sound like it makes a lot of sense.

    anyone who has done this have any thoughts? i am wondering if a loft space is too tough on a first-time cohabitation situation.

    but they are so freaking cool, tho. doh!
  2. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    I love lofts, but what if you and your gf get in a fight? Are you gonna hide in the washroom? :D
  3. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    Good questions, you've done your homework.

    I'll try...

    For the Closed door issue. Often a loft’s only door is to a bathroom, maaaybe a closet too. To solve this, you can create moveable partitions. Hospitals use this idea. Maybe a wood frame with colored cloth (thicker the better) with wheels on feet perpendicular to the frame. Make the feet rotatable and create hooks on the back and bingo! Wall art when not in use!

    Sound issues. Yeah, lofts can be ‘bangy’. Trebel is your enemy here. Thick rugs, (thick material on afore-mentioned partitions) and actual foam sound insulation to the walls can help. Headphones too. Your biggest issue will likely come from the TV set. Use fans at night to create white noise, surpressing disturbing ones.

    Utility costs. Well, cooling is pretty neat with these things because of the verticality helps settling of cold air, it’s heating that becomes a problem for the same physics. Again, those fans – I suggest Vornados small, compact, good sound, and very good at creating collimated airstreams.

    The security issue for the property is no different, but personal security can be. Think city, keep an eye, get some training, do the buddy system, communicate where each of you are going. Watch your car. 6 miles around warehouses aren’t really that much of an issue really – can be a great place to run BTW.

    As for cohabitation – biggest issue I’ve ever faced is the food thing. Always solved it by creating a grocery list, and whoever needs something for themselves, grabs the list for the house and gets it all.
  4. lexus macrumors 68000


    Mar 26, 2006
    Depends Greatly On The Weather
    They can get very very cold, sometimes half of one will be very hot due to the heating and another can be freezing. Also a two floor one may solve your personal space issue.
  5. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Looks very cool... but in reality, it's not great unless you like living in each others pockets. If you're both living and working in it, I'd avoid it.

    I lived an old converted warehouse with a mezzanine for the bedroom.
    The problems that you've already outlined are definitely there. It's tough to have your own space, the heating bills can be very high and it can be noisy.

    Another problem on occasion was when we cooked, the smell ended up throughout the house - unlike in a traditional apartment/house where you can at least close the doors to the bedrooms.

    It can be tough to furnish - if you end up in one with very large windows, then it can cost a fortune to put any kind of curtain or voile up.

    There wasn't really a sense of community - it was a little weird. They tend to turn the warehouses into lots and lots of flats but it's a little insular - unlike a regular neighbourhood. The one I lived in had identikit hallways so there was no real sense of personality until you got into the apartment. The hallways could get a little noisy too - think of Saturday night in a hotel and you get some idea.

    Another thing to watch for is high service charges. The complex I was in was great in that it had concierges to take in deliveries, a little shop, a small bar and a gym BUT the annual service charges were very, very high if you don't see yourself getting much use from them.
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    loft spaces definitely come in different varieties.

    The one I lived in back in Minneapolis wasn't a commercial development but just an old building that people had turned into living spaces. My space was so big that I could ride my bike around inside it. It was also the warmest place I lived in during my time in Minnesota, but I knew other loft dwellers that suffered due to the cold. Not being a commercial development, the heating equipment was rather random in a lot of the lofts.

    yes, privacy can be a problem. And if it's not a commercially developed loft then that can mean noise issues with the neighbors too.

    In those days, there weren't a lot of people living in the warehouse district and the few that were there all recognised each other. You saw somebody walking a dog and you always stopped to chat. Thursday nights at the bar of the New French Cafe was kind of a community get together. Security was pretty good since there were so few people around, but that's going to vary from city to city.

    If you're young and ready for a little adventure, or if you have a chunk of cash to spend on improvements, then loft living can be great

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