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  1. #1
    Jenny Zervakis's Avatar
    Jenny Zervakis Guest

    Default adding dormer to attic

    We have had an experienced carpenter work on our house (adding flooring, renovating master bath, working on foundation/crawl space) and I like his work. We are considering remodeling our attic into a living space. The biggest part of this would be adding a dormer (thinking 10 feet wide off back of house). Now the carpenter did say that we will need a structural engineer to inspect the house prior to doing this. My question, is an experienced carpenter qualified to put in a dormer? We are extremely happy with the work he has done so far but I'm scared with things dealing with the roof line/support. Going with the carpenter may be the only way we can afford this, because he is comfortable with my husband helping with the work which reduces our cost and him focusing on things we are not qualified to do. Not that my husband isn't handy (he has had alot of experience in rehabbing places and has worked as a roofer and painter).
    What would be the steps we need to do to insure an attic remodel is done properly?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: adding dormer to attic

    Who else are you going to get to do the work, an electrician, plumber?
    A carpenter is the one who is going to do the work no matter who pulls the permits, etc.
    You might want a General Contractor to pull the permits and oversee the project but that is for your comfort level. Chances are the GC would sub it out to a carpenter anyway.
    It sounds like he made the right call, wanting to get an engineer involved up front.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Jenny Zervakis's Avatar
    Jenny Zervakis Guest

    Default Re: adding dormer to attic

    To give you an idea, it is a 1925 bungalow with attic space (not trusses). We have already had to rewire entire house (previously knob and tube) and replace much of the plumbing. When we upgraded the heating/cooling system we got a system that could handle an additional 500 square feet (that's around what this remodel would add) and when it was rewired we had them wire the attic as well (we may need to review electricity needs). Regarding plumbing the handyman/carpenter gave us a reasonable price on the remodel but said adding a bathroom would cost an additional 10K, so most likely we will wait on the bathroom at this time (simply frame out an area for the bathroom, which will be in 1 of 2 places, above exisiting bathroom, or above a closet near other bathroom). We would sub electricity out to an electrician.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: adding dormer to attic

    It is important to understand that there are various types of carpenters. Rough, finish, cabinetry, etc. A good, rough framing carpenter should have no problem framing out a dormer. However, if he hasn't done a dormer before it may be a bit daunting. You should ask him if he has done a dormer before.
    Having sufficient help and timing the blow out is important as well. Scheduling the work around rain is critical to avoid big problems.
    One of the articles on my website addresses various aspects of building out an attic in a vintage bungalow. The article doesn't specifically address dormers but a lot of the related issues. You may find it helpful. The following link should get you to the page, Attic remodeling – Chicago Bungalow | AIC News
    Good luck.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  5. #5
    Jenny Zervakis's Avatar
    Jenny Zervakis Guest

    Default Re: adding dormer to attic

    Thank you. That is very informative.


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