Adding Dormers

To gain more headroom and light under the gambrel eaves of the second story, Cratsley has designed two dormers — a small one in the bathroom and a larger one with a walkout in the bedroom itself. The bedroom dormer, which will overlook an arbor and patio, is more than 11 feet wide — eliminating nearly half of the sloped roofline on that side. It also incorporates about 15 square feet of windows, plus a French door. "That's a lot of view from an attic bedroom," says Cratsley, who adds that the dormer also satisfies the egress requirements of the code.

Because dormers are not traditional barn elements, Cratsley is careful to integrate them with the existing rooflines. "Big gables on the dormers would be too houselike," she says. Instead, her hip-roof design gives the dormers a low profile, and also saves on volume. "Conversions are often about making trade-offs," says Cratsley, "but in this case the hip roofs were the best way to go from both a practical and an aesthetic standpoint."

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