Building Homes or Extensions/addition


We are looking at addition to a bedroom to allow for a larger walk in closet and additional bathroom.  Our home is a ranch style with a gable roof with a garage also with a gable roof on the right side.  We were wanting to extend the left side, where a bedroom is located, so that the front would be even with the front of our garage.  This would provide an additional 200 square feet.  My purpose in e-mailing is for ideas on how the roof line could be tied in.  Any suggestions would be welcome.

Ranch Home with two new dormers
Ranch Home with two ne  

Ranch Home with overlay showing new dormer
Ranch Home with overla  
Hello, Lillie.

The only way to achieve an addition to the front of your house so the front wall is in the same plane as the garage wall, is to create another dormer with the same roof pitch. I'm concerned about how two dormers will look on the front of the home, so they don't visually fight one another. I have done a quick overlay, showing a smaller dormer over the left bedroom. The depth of the extension will determine where the dormer attaches to the main roof, and will affect the overhang of the "point" at the adjacent bedroom.

This project will affect/involve the foundation, the exterior walls, the roof (framing and roofing materials), the window, the heating (if there's a register under the existing window), and the finish flooring surface.

I had a project several years ago where we created two new dormers to break up a never-ending gable ranch roof that dominated the home. The major difference between that design and the one you're proposing is that the large dormer included only an addition to the side; the front wall remained where it was. The Homeowners requested another (smaller) dormer to extend the front porch. So, in that project, the larger dormer would be equivalent to your garage, and the smaller dormer would be equivalent to the addition at your bedroom.

Consider this, too, that you'll need matching brick to tie the addition to the existing brick. To get the best results -- something that looks like your home was designed with a smaller dormer and larger bedroom originally -- requires a lot of thought, attention to detail, and hiring the best professionals to help you consider all of your options. Before you decide to go ahead with the project, you should know what your total investment is going to be, and what the comparative square footage investment will be.

Good Luck with this project!


Diane Plesset, CMKBD, NCIDQ, C.A.P.S.
D. P. Design

Building Homes or Extensions

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about designing and building a new home, building an addition, remodeling a home, sustainability ("green" building and remodeling), aging-in-place, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling. The goal is to help homeowners achieve ultimate satisfaction with all of their choices and decisions.


Over 25 years in residential design, construction, improvement, and remodeling. Hundreds of completed projects in all ranges of investment. Author of the award-winning book "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling," host of "Today's Home" on Lifestyle WebRadio, and public speaker.

National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC)

THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling. Designer's Illustrated, Gentry, Interior Coordinator (Japan), Kitchen-Bath Business, Kitchen-Bath Design News, Oregonian, Portland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, Statesman Journal

Degrees in residential interior design, bath design, kitchen design, and lighting design. To improve knowledge about codes, products, and trends that will affect homeowners, I regularly attend tradeshows, conferences, classes, and seminars, and read 7 major trade magazines and newsletters.

Awards and Honors
Certified Master Kitchen-Bath Designer (CMKBD), Certified Interior Designer (NCIDQ), Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (C.A.P.S.). AWARDS: Henry Adams, Chrysalis, Best of the Best, CoTY, Master Design, HBA Excellence. 2003 NABE Award for best how-to book.

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Please see the portfolio in my website,

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