These two doghouse dormers had been installed as part of an 80s "remuddle."
Unfortunately, they made the interior space of this 1700s house
cramped and barely usable. The dormers themselves were also in
Tearing open the ceiling revealed a terrible mess of framing that
was poorly conceived and even more poorly executed. Rafters
were too short, cut at the wrong angle, and hanging in mid-air.
This close-up reveals how the original 1700s timber rafters were
just hacked off mid-span. The newer rafters in the upper left
are just barely resting on plywood. It's a complete disaster.
This view shows how the 80s remodel had created a low ceiling
plane that made the room cramped.
After removing all of the 80s framing, we first built up a
triple LVL structural beam to hold both the old timber rafters
(right) and the new shed dormer rafters (left).
Here's another view of the beam. A video of the same
can be seen here.
With the beam in place, we framed out the new shed dormer.
We re-used the old dormer walls on either end, connecting them with
another LVL beam on the window side.
This view looks out to where the new French casement windows
will be installed.
With the framing and insulation completed the new shed dormer
is sided and roofed with standing seam metal. The casement
windows are installed along with a new shingle roof. Not shown
are the copper gutters that will be hung to protect the new
On the interior we hang drywall, install old oak timber beams
for looks, and construct storage boxes under the windows which are
required for egress code. Now my clients can walk through the
room with eight feet of headroom and with a flood of light from the
My client had been after me for several years to reconfigure a
set of dormers that rendered the interior room almost unusable, but
I was hesitant. What about the cost? What was hidden
Finally we agreed the time was right to correct these old
mistakes and make this part of the old house a better place.
--John Painter, Owner