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View into the attic of the front castle of Mildenstein Castle, used as a granary . The floor, made of fir wood in 1394/95, has one of the largest and best-preserved medieval roof trusses in Germany.

The attic (also called floor for short ; in Swiss screed , called winch ) is a mostly only primitively insulated and hardly furnished room under the roof of a house . In some regions it is also called storeroom , attic , beam , Söller , Oller , Zolder or stage .

If, on the other hand, the attic space is insulated and converted into a living or working space, it is called an attic . The loft is the Undeveloped roof space above an attic.

The attic of a barn can be called a hayloft, straw floor or grain floor depending on its use.


Usually stairs or ladders lead to the attic . In apartment buildings, it is usually accessible from the top landing of the stairwell, unheated and often only poorly lit through glass roof tiles or skylights. In the inner-city apartment buildings of the Wilhelminian era, the attic was usually made available as a drying floor to the residents (tenants) who could dry their laundry there. In other buildings, the attic often serves as a warehouse or archive; in the typical rural farmhouses in many regions, supplies or seeds were previously stored there. In the past, attics were repeatedly the location of estates or works of art that were believed to be lost.


The attic is often the breeding ground for birds and sometimes bats . Also, mice , rats , marten and raccoon like to take part in attics; the latter can devastate the thermal insulation. There used to be a hole in the gable of many old attics and old barns , the owl hole , through which owls and other birds could fly in and out.


In the past, laundry was often hung up to dry in the attic . Mainly things are stored there that are rarely needed or that you want to keep for a longer period of time; in older houses with damp basements, the attic is often the only suitable space for this. In multi-party houses, barred, lockable sheds were built for the locked, but visible storage of things not needed in the apartment. The grids of these crates were mostly made of wooden slats, sometimes wire mesh was also used. These perforated walls allow good ventilation of the roof space, while at the same time the roof can be checked for damage without opening the crate. Often, were also to house servants or refugees in the days after the world wars, small attics or attics divided as enclosed spaces.

Many single and multi-family houses leave their attic unused. This unused space reserve is a way of creating new living space, especially if major repairs to the roof are required anyway. However, there are a few things to consider when extending the roof. A sufficiently dimensioned insulation layer that protects against the cold in winter and against heat in summer is crucial for a good indoor climate . This also improves the energy efficiency of the house, as heat is lost through an uninsulated roof. A room or apartment in a converted attic is called an attic . With all insulation measures, however, one must ensure that the room moisture can escape easily and that there is no dew point in the construction, this is particularly important if the attic is to continue to be used for drying laundry. In the case of an attic conversion, the respective building regulations must also be observed and requirements for the second escape route and the clearance heights, for example, must be observed.

In order to create a light attic, the number, size and arrangement of the roof windows is crucial. Another way to brighten the attic and gain additional space is dormer windows .

Use of language

The main variant of the attic has increasingly replaced other regional terms, especially the former North German sole use of the floor . In Switzerland , screed is still the sole key word and is not identical to the meaning of screed in Germany or Austria; Likewise, the term memory used in the Rhineland and the Upper Rhine Plain as a key word should not be confused with identical terms in the rest of the German-speaking area. There are also a number of regional varieties, especially the stage in southwest Germany / Swabia. The sub-roof can only be found in small areas in Valais and South Tyrol ; older, small-scale variants such as Söller and the Westphalian bar are only rarely used.

See also

Web links

Commons : Lofts  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Loft  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Dachkammer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Screed  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden | Attic | Spelling, meaning, definition, synonyms. Retrieved April 16, 2019 .
  2. Attic at
  3. Second round - attic . In: Atlas of German Everyday Language (AdA), Phil.-Hist. Faculty, University of Augsburg, November 10, 2005