Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Hello New Dormer!

In new construction, framing a dormer would be done in a couple of days.  But renovating an old house is a lot trickier - and this one especially so.  The new dormer took a full month.  Why you ask?  Well the hip dormer on the back of the house has been failing for years.  Over the decades its structural integrity was compromised by overzealous carpenters and it's been sinking down inch by inch (actually 4 inches, but who's counting?). 

We had to remove the old porch room that was attached to the dormer, before dormer demo could begin

Our solution was to remove it and build a new shed dormer (to match the shed dormer on the front) that will transfer the roof weight to the exterior foundation wall.  It probably sounds simple, but it means we had to create a whole new building structure to fix all the old issues and properly carry the load of the new dormer.  It's a pretty major project.  
Farewell old dormer!!

Our framer, who has done countless renovations over the years, said this was the trickiest job he's ever done.  It required building temporary supports all over the house, to hold it up while the old dormer was removed and the new one installed.  And because there were so many additions to the house over the years, it means a lot of temporary supports.

This diagram shows the new post and beam structure that we needed to create for the right exterior wall.  Similar structure needs to be added on either side of the center fireplace and the left exterior wall.  It's a lot of structural supports!

Triple LVL's = lots of work to install!
Some of the beams are huge - 19 inches tall by 25 feet long engineered lumber that will create a strong new ridge to carry the new rafters.

Good thing the team has lots of muscles 😂!  The guys even let my husband lend a hand! 

It also needed steel beams to hold up the dormer over the dining room.

And then we had to reframe the ceiling over the dining room.  Seriously, we are practically rebuilding the house and that was not the original plan!  

With the temporary supports in place, the dormer came off and the structural ridge beam was installed, along with another major beam to support the attic floor/bedroom ceilings.  Then the guys could build the walls.  

The new rafters went in and suddenly we had a new dormer.

Now that it's assembled, the space feels huge!  It's hard to believe, because we only extended 8 feet from the old dormer.  But once we get the new ceilings framed in, it will start feeling like a regular room and the attic space be clearly defined.  

I was surprised how much you can see the dormer as you turn down our street. 

Have I mentioned I don't like heights?  Thankfully this was very temporary

The windows are starting to go in and it's starting to look like a house again!  Yay!  So much progress!

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Wow! It looks promising and the engineering sounds tricky. Thanks for sharing as I wouldnt have guessed the complexity. Lovely to learn you are revitalizing that part of Portland.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...