We recently purchased a house with dormers. Between the window and the
rest of the room there is six foot recess in the two bedrooms. Is
there a way to cut them back so I get most of the space back? The
dormers look like a U with the window at the bottom of the U. On each
side of the window, there is a large empty cavity. Thanks!
You can do whatever you want. Only thing is how much is it going to cost?
The walls in place may be structural, in which case you can't just remove
them. Would need to replace them with some kind of support.
I would have a pro (architect) look at it and tell you what your options
are. Perhaps shelves or cabinets could easily be built in? Maybe the entire
walls could be removed? Maybe they could be moved back?
He is talking about the knee walls, which may or may not be structural,
depending on how roof was framed. Utilities are often run through those
spaces, but reclaiming them somewhat by adding doors and using for storage
is not unknown. Either simple doors, or cabinet carcasses set into the knee
wall. They are pretty useless for living space, since there is no headroom,
the reason dormers were invented in the first place. That, and people get
disoriented in rooms without vertical walls.
Any competent home remodeling contractor could take a look, and tell you if
there is any practical way to reclaim the space. Is there any access at all,
like in the back of a closet, or from the upper attic, or sometimes the
garage attic? Good builders try to avoid making totally inaccessible dead
spaces. McBuilders, trying to save a buck, aren't so fussy.
Based on your clear explanation below, both of my choices are bad
here. It's not a space he has use of. It is something like what I
meant by a recess in the opposite direction, but it's not caused
because the roof is there. It's because short walls are built there,
after the roof is finished.
The word recess confused me, because once it is covered by the knee
walls, I wouldn't call it a recess anymore. The dictionary calls a
recess a bay or an alcove.
I get it. The right word makes all the difference.
When I was in H.S. English, we had to take some device, maybe
mechanical, and explain how it worked. I chose a manual can opener.
Then some some of us had to read his paper in class. One guy chose a
cylinder lock, and until he read his thing, I didn't know how they
worked and afterwards, I knew. Then I had to read mine. It was very
hard even for me to understand, and I wrote it. I doubt most of the
class could understand it at all. After 45 more years I'm not that
much better. I'm also getting dumber so I need extra clarity.
"Shed dormer" seemed like it would be all I needed, but at the two
websites I went to, even ones with drawings, the dormer was the bulge
out of and above the roof where the window is. "Knee walls" is the
phrase he was looking for.
No, the empty space is on each side U shape I described. I believe
they are called shed dormers. The previous owner had made a "closet",
using the word loosely on one side. When you look in the closet, you
see the where the roof runs and the framing for the dormers.
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