Dormer renovation

This homeowner had an older, one-and-a-half-story brick home, the upper level of which was in need of extra space and additional natural light to make it a more livable and enjoyable space.

Palmer’s Project Goals and Challenges

  • The upstairs of this home felt closed in and dark. The homeowner wanted to gain space while holding the line on costs. The home originally had two dormers, one of which had never been cut through to an adjacent interior room.


  • To make the room feel and live larger, we converted the walled-off dormer into a true dormer. We re-engineered the space by cutting into the walls and adding the correct structural bracing to adequately support the roof and the frame.
  • Since it had not initially been designed as a true dormer, we added the proper wall and ceiling insulation to ensure energy efficiency.
  • To help the homeowner save on costs, we mudded and sanded the new sheetrock and repaired cracks and imperfections of the existing sheetrock in other areas to create a smooth surface that is ready for him to paint himself. To further reduce costs, an existing wood floor inside the dormer will be finished to blend with the tone of the wood flooring throughout the remainder of the space.
  • Another nice benefit of finishing off this space was that the additional insulation and sheetrock barrier created further soundproofing for the master bedroom below,  reducing the noise from outside traffic.

Project Duration

  • One week. We had some very tight scheduling on this job and effectively brought in the proper crews to complete each stage at the appropriate time, which allowed us to complete this project in what may seem like a surprisingly short time.

The result of this project is a more open space that takes full advantage of plentiful natural light. The additional square footage gained by opening up the dormer creates a better flow and larger feel, while the removal of dated wallpaper and the future application of a single paint color on all four walls will create a more cohesive and modern look.