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Cape Cod dilemmas

I have always wanted to live in a Cape Cod style house and this week I got my wish.

I purchased a small Cape (slightly under 1100 square feet) built in the 1950s. There is a bedroom on the first floor and then of course, two bedrooms on the second floor on either side of the staircase up.

My problem is this. The upstairs is undormered and I don't have the money to put on dormers (front or back) anytime soon. So I'm dealing with the sloped ceilings. I want to make my master on the second floor. One room is up there is about 16x12 and the other is about 12x12. I'm having trouble visualizing where to frame out the closets (the existing ones were in ackward places and we gutted the upstairs to the studs because it wasn't even sheetrock up before). I don't want to block too much of the natural light coming in from the one and only window in each room.

Also, I had hoped to SQUEEZE in a half bath at the top of the stairs - just a toilet and sink, perhaps behind a pocket door. But there are two issues. First, the chimney is right at the top of the stairs, slightly off set toward the smaller room. It is right at the top so in the part where the ceiling is actually higher. Second, the ceiling begins sloping almost immediately here. I'm 5'7" and could easily have the toilet right at the taller side and be fine but anyone taller than that would have issues here.

Any advice on layout suggestionson this second floor?


Re: Cape Cod dilemmas

The classic remedy for space upstairs in a cape has been a shed dormer across the back. It makes the bedrooms 30% larger than at present, and permits a full-height bathroom with light & air.
It's a lot of work and planning, OTOH. You'll need to incorporate a load-bearing ridge beam, both that and the new rafters appropriately-sized (by an engineer).
It costs, but it's probably close to a full return o the money.
A denying factor would be if the foundation was deemed unfit to carry the additional weight, as its remediation is costlier still.

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