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Seattle whole house remodel - Dormer Addition Seattle

dormer addition


A West Seattle couple faced a problem endemic to the typical architecture of the 1940s. Their solidly built home had a functional first floor, but the second floor was little more than a long, narrow rectangle with low-slung ceilings and windows at each end. The addition of a bath in the ‘70s did little to improve it--in fact, it begged for improvement more than the rest of the space. A desire to create two livable bedrooms and a comfortable bath led to a dormer addition that literally transformed the place. Completed 2015. dormer addition seattle

project features


  • small-footprint dormer addition with new ridge beam
  • two bedrooms with closets
  • bath in dormer area for optimum head room

project photos


Click on the thumbnails to read the story of this dormer addition.
The upstairs had been finished at some point with paneling for ceilings and walls, and some kind of sheet flooring. With the ceiling fixed below collar ties, the head height was a real challenge for the clients, who are both tall Even worse, the bath was shoe-horned into a space between the chimney and the top of the stairs.  Setting aside aesthetics, the bath was barely functional because of the declining head height across the space The solution was to add a small dormer to the bath and master room areas. Making that footprint as small as possible eliminated the need for extensive structural work below or in the floor system and it still created enough functional space to make it work The other key element of this project was installing a new ridge beam in place of the old 1x4 ridge along the entire roof line. This allows the ceilings to be vaulted throughout. Left exposed, the beam also brings nice natural wood color to the rooms, which are otherwise painted In the master bedroom, the nursery and the stairwell, large skylights were added to the side of the roof opposite the dormer.  While they don’t create more space, they do create the illusion of space by bringing in more light The nursery also benefits from added closet space carved out of the side attic The bathroom is placed squarely in the corner of the new dormer, where it benefits from windows and bright interior colors. It includes a custom vanity and Pental cappuccino counters A small window in the shower area brings in even more light A pocket door with frosted glass is the entry, making it possible to have natural light in the stairwell even if the door is closed The final piece of the project is the stairwell.  The original stair plan included a wall closed to the living room, with a closet-like door leading to it The new configuration includes a safe railing and handrail and a skylight, plus new treads and other finishes. Viewed from the living room, the stairs are now an architectural feature and an attractive invitation to go upstairs instead of an afterthought New carbonized bamboo flooring throughout the upstairs along with bright paint colors make this a comfortable and light-filled space the whole family can now use


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