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Bungalow Additions: Two Approaches by a "Bungalow Expansions Project" Architect

Frank Michalski, Principal Architect at Northlight Architects LLC, is one of three American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago architects who contributed design schemes to our recently released Bungalow Expansion Project. Frank has years of experience renovating historic Chicago bungalows, and here he shares with us two of his favorite approaches to bungalow additions.

Many bungalow owners throughout the Chicago area are faced with a dilemma: they love their house, but might feel a bit challenged on space. As families grow, more bedrooms (and bathrooms) are needed, as well as extra living space. The attic space is usually available, but presents a few more challenges:

  • Stairs are awkward or poorly located

  • The attic floor joists can't support new use

  • Considering how to heat and cool the renovated attic space

  • Incoming water service big enough?

  • Since we're doing the attic, what about the kitchen?

... and so on. There are different ways to get the extra space, and impact how the renovated bungalow looks from the outside. It is appropriate to set the enlarged attic space back from the front of the house (required in the Chicago Bungalow Association's Design Guidelines) and have the materials be compatible with the original building.

This first approach is to minimize the impact on the roofline by installing a full bathroom and full height storage area, to make the two attic bedrooms more functional. Closets were also added in the bedrooms:

New Second Floor Plan

New Renovated Second Floor Plan

Front Left

Exterior View of Addition

Front Right

Exterior View of Addition

Another approach is to add space to the rear of the house. This involved expansion of the kitchen, adding a family room, and reworking those access stairs to the basement. A full second floor was added towards the rear, complete with three bedrooms and two bathrooms:

New Second Floor Plan 2

New Setback Second Floor Addition Plan


Exterior of Existing Bungalow

Proposed Addition

Exterior of Proposed Addition

For more bungalow addition designs—complete with cost estimates, floor plans, 3D renderings, and important things to consider—check out the Bungalow Expansion Project.

2823 N Milwaukee Ave, Suite B 773.252.2900

Chicago, IL 60628

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