5 Tips for Pop-Top Home Additions

It’s fun. It’s functional. It’s economical. And it pops right out of your roof.

A pop-top addition rises from the top of your home to add livable space at the roof level. It’s a smart and resource-savvy option for increasing your home’s square footage without disturbing the existing footprint.

Plus, pop-top additions are enormously flexible in terms of potential design and functionality. You can do something as small as popping out a dormer into a full skylight, or you can convert your entire dark attic into a bright, window-filled top floor of your home. The sky’s the limit.

Curious about popping out the top of your house? Here are Truth Design Build’s top tips for pop-top home additions.

Tip #1: Reclaim Empty Space

Start envisioning your pop-top addition by standing outside your home and looking at the dead spaces along the roofline. Pay particular attention to height changes in the roof where a room might naturally nestle into an empty space.

  • Is there an existing window or attic space that could be reimagined?
  • Could something be added on top of your garage, outbuilding, or carriage house?
  • Do you have a one-floor Denver bungalow or ranch home that’s practically calling out for a second-floor addition?
  • Does your house already have two floors, but you’d love to pop out a space for an additional room, or even a whole-home makeover?

Try to picture how and where new space could be added to the exterior of your home. Now do the same indoors, standing inside the top level of your home and picturing what you saw from the outside.

Consider which room could afford to lose a little space to an entryway that leads upstairs. Work with a home designer-builder who can help you picture your pop-top and make informed choices about architectural changes.

Tip #2: Respect the Original Structure

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a home addition is to add something that isn’t cohesive with the overall structure of your home. You’ve probably seen plenty of home additions where the add-on looks awkward and off-kilter from the rest of the house.

Here’s a tip: To envision the future, go back to the past. Denver’s neighborhoods are dotted with homes from distinct historical periods. In fact, the area’s housing history is so varied, the Denver Public Library maintains an online home history database to assist curious homeowners.

It’s worth your time to do a little research into the history of your home and determine its time period and design style. An experienced home remodeler should also be able to provide much-needed insight into the home’s original structure and your building priorities for the addition.

Tip #3: Build With a Strategy for Stairs

The stairs shouldn’t be an afterthought for a pop-top addition. They might be boring, but you’ll use them thousands of times, so take care with this part of the planning.

Stairs should always be easily accessible, safe, code compliant, and integrated with the overall design of your home. They should also be well-lit with sturdy handrails and safety features. This is especially important if your household includes someone with mobility challenges.

Tip #4: Meet Your Regulatory Responsibilities

Installing an addition is complex in a regulatory sense. Every city and county has codes that require the proper materials, layouts, and approvals for adding to your home. Below is a helpful list of relevant codes for the Denver area.

It’s risky to ignore the rules. A code enforcement officer can intervene in a home-building project to halt construction that doesn’t meet the code. They may even force you to tear down a fully-finished addition that doesn’t comply with local regulations.

Tip #5: Work With Design-Build Pros

The simplest and smoothest route to a well-designed pop-top addition is working with an industry pro. At Truth Design Build, we have some of Denver’s most experienced designers/builders, and we’ve finished lots of outstanding pop-tops.

To learn more, take a look at our portfolio and contact us to describe the pop-top addition you’re picturing for your home.

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