Friday, June 29, 2012

Dormer decisions

Garry and I have been mulling around the idea of adding a dormer to our attic so we can turn that area into a master suite (complete with skylights, claw-foot tub, soft rugs...) and increase our bedroom and bathroom count and our property value as well.

We got a quote back and it was about what I expected - $5,700 to install a 12 ft. shed dormer on the back of our house. It's actually not as bad as I thought it would be (by the time we'd be done with everything it would cost around $12,000 - $15,000 to completely finish the entire attic considering we've already spent $3,000 on the insulation).

It will be a while before we can save up enough to have a dormer put it, I thought that we might as well get an idea of how much it would cost so we can decide whether or not it's something we want to continue entertaining.

Considering we have a lot of other projects that are more of a priority, it's still on maybe status. Keeping that in mind, we may end up finishing the attic to the specs it's at now and a few years down the road (if we decide to go for it) end up demolishing that 12ft of drywall. In the grand scheme of things, we wouldn't be taking a huge loss, and it allows us to get another project "out of the way" without waiting for a few years to make a decision. Also, we may need that room to be functional before we make a hard decision on a dormer.

Going along with the attic theme - here is an inspiration photo:
Photo from

Now I really love rustic elements, but I don't necessarily know if we would have a beam situation (our ceilings are kind of low up there), but I am in love with the idea of having two wardrobes and a built-in set of drawers. We would have a window right smack in the middle of the bed, so flowy curtains would be a must, as well as some bamboo blinds. I don't think we'll end up installing enormous sky lights like in the photo above (but wouldn't that be cool?) so good lighting will be important. We'll probably end up with a fancy-type ceiling fan (since we're in the attic and all) and put an AC unit all the way on the OTHER side of the attic (a good 20 ft) so it's not blowing right behind the bed or just get a portable floor model. 

Best part is - we already have the bed! Yay! Once we get the space finished and all of the storage items moved to where they belong - we can move furniture up there and tweak it as we go. I'm probably going to stay with a neutral color palette, and I'm definitely looking into doing some stenciling on the lower parts of the side walls.

Maybe something like this:

With the lighter color going on the gabled walls... that could be pretty. (It won't be brown and white...) Add that with some simple woodblock print linens and that would be quite lovely. Since the room doesn't get a whole lot of light - I want to keep the colors light and airy. We use a lot of blue in the house in general, so I'm not sure if I'm going to keep with that or try something else. Since this area will also be home to our office area, I want to keep it neutral enough that Garry doesn't feel to "girlified" when he goes up there, but ultimately, I get the final say in how we create that space (fun!) 

Some other inspiration items:
Photo from charancreations on - useful for making prints, but can also be decorative

Photo from SpademanPottery on

Photo from

Photo from

Photo from

Something like that... but make it an office and bedroom and with the colors fairly neutral (but I can tell you right now there will be pops of turquoise and kelly green here and there - think pillows, trim on curtains... small items). It will certainly be interesting to see what we manage to get accomplished this year. I have so many "ideas" for everything and of course, the budget is the ultimate dictator over what we accomplish.