A growing Mount Lookout family put their 1927 Tudor/Craftsman house up for sale in early 2009, reluctantly so because of a 2003 addition to the rear of the home by Sean Keith of SMK Designs.com. The addition expanded a kitchen, added a breakfast room on the first floor as well as a bedroom and Jack-and-Jill bath to the second floor. But they still needed another bedroom and bath.

Not finding what they wanted on the market and reluctant to get into the buy-without-selling-first scenario, they sat down in May 2009 with Keith, a residential designer, to see if the current home could be further expanded without the loss of its cottage appeal. Hesitant to eat up more of the backyard with another rear addition, they turned to the front of the house with its small center dormer.

By popping out and expanding the dormer, Keith was able to add about 300 square feet upstairs carving out another bedroom, bringing the upstairs count to four bedrooms and two baths. The newly configured dormer space is divided into a playroom and bedroom with an extended common hardwood floor and adjoining wall with no utilities to facilitate the creation of one large space in the future.

At the same time, the original second floor bath was remodeled and the first floor master suite was reconfigured to create wardrobe-style closets and an additional powder room. Bauscher Construction and Remodeling of Loveland did the work that finished up in June.

The sticky part was introducing a new architectural feature into an existing aesthetic, Keith says. "You don't want it to be overwhelming and you want to make sure it goes with the original lines of the house," he says.

We were at a point where we had almost settled on a design after going through about 25 to 30 different elevations for the front when I saw an old house with a similar size dormer that was different from anything we had looked at yet. Turned out it was just what they were looking for, so Keith modified it to fit the site.

"We did consider just a plain shed dormer and several dormers with large arcs instead of the eyebrow design. The challenge was always how to give it a center because the center sets of windows are actually two different spaces (the playroom and bedroom with a common wall)."

Now the family is able to stay in their home and has upstairs flexibility as their

needs change.

"Given the current real estate market, it seems easier and easier to add onto an existing house versus finding a new house and relying on selling your old one," he says.

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