Washington Heights

A mom, dad, and a son and daughter make up this happy family. A sturdy 1-1/2 story, 1920’s Bungalow on Milwaukee’s west side is what they call their home. Only two bedrooms and one bathroom on the first floor cramped their living space and life style. The second floor was unfinished attic space and seemed to be an attractive area to expand as finished living space to meet their needs.

The projects objective was straightforward. Add three new bedrooms, a ¾ bathroom, and closet space in the unfinished area thus creating a five bedroom, two bathroom home. As in most 1½ story homes with unfinished space, the head room above the stairs did not comply with codes and in order to accommodate all of the requirements of the project additional space had to be added up stairs. The solution was to add a 15′ dormer that spanned the stair well and created the space for the new bathroom.

Aside from the usual challenges of working on a 75 year old home, mostly structural issues, matching the exterior components to create the look and feel of the dormer always being there was significant to the success of the plan.

All of the exterior elements of the existing conditions of the house were reproduced with natural materials. Decorative rafter tails were hand cut, beaded soffits material was added to match, all of the windows on the second floor and dormer were replaced or installed with simulated divided light double hung windows, and the exterior of the dormer was finished with stucco. The shingles on the dormer were matched with the remaining dimensional shingles on the house as well.

All of the client’s goals were accomplished. Their living space was basically doubled; everyone has their own bedroom, an additional bathroom gives them improved convenience, and from the outside, (and inside), the new space appears to have existed since the very beginning of this home.