Bungalow Remodeling in Silver Spring, MD
From Online Remodeling Book Chapter 4: “A Discreet Upgrade for a Classic Bungalow”
The classic bungalow before the remodel.
Sometimes part of the success of an addition project is that you can hardly tell it happened. Such was the case with a 1922 bungalow in Silver Spring, Maryland. Once the work was complete, a glance from the street showed a residence very much in the familiar bungalow spirit, with a big front porch, suitable materials and windows, and a front dormer for an upstairs bedroom – all framed by the home’s original shade trees. Without before-and-after photos, a casual observer might not notice any change at all.
As an architect who often remodels historic as well as more recent homes, I am well aware of the special world of bungalows and bungalow enthusiasts. Often built during or before the 1920s, American bungalows are loved by many owners for their distinctive style, which includes a full-width front porch, low-sloping roof and large, overhanging eaves. A bungalow is typically a one-story home with an attic, which has often been converted to living space. The limited room means that bungalow interiors have plenty of built-ins, another feature of this architectural style.
The owners of this house were not bungalow enthusiasts when they first bought it; they were simply looking for a home in the area for themselves and their infant son and liked the look of the place. But once they moved in, they got interested in the style and appreciated how well it fit the neighborhood, which included a mix of bungalows and Colonial Revivals from the 1920s and 30s.
Among the many details included in the project are a
heightened brick chimney, all new gutters and
downspouts, and a new front door better suited to the
style of the house. New Prairie-style windows match
those already on the first floor.
Several years later, with their son in elementary school, life in the bungalow was fairly cramped. The family’s bedrooms in the converted attic were particularly snug, with inadequate space, low, 6-foot-10-inch ceilings and springy floors (attic floors aren’t framed as sturdily as those intended for living space). Both parents were 6 feet tall, making the low ceilings particularly irksome. As with many projects, it was a repair problem – in this case, a major required roof repair – that ultimately triggered the process of remodeling. Rather than rebuilding the existing roof and locking in those unsatisfactory attic rooms, the couple decided to combine the new roof with a greatly improved second floor, all while preserving the look of the original house. After reading an article of mine in American Bungalow magazine that described another bungalow project, they asked me to meet them at the house to explore the possibilities.
To read about how we preserved the style of the bungalow during renovation, download the eBook!