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5 Things to Consider When Thinking of a Dormer Addition

This dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth, stayed under the 12' size restrictions.

This dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth, stayed under the 12′ size restrictions.

There are many things to think about when designing a dormer addition. Here are 5 things your designer will take into consideration.

1. Size

The size of your dormer addition can determine whether you will need additional permits and upgrades. By keeping it under 12′ you can typically avoid major seismic upgrades like sheer wall upgrades or adding posts and footings.

Designed by Chelly Wentworth, this dormer addition has new windows stacked.

Designed by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth, this dormer addition has new windows stacked.

2. Stacking

Stacking a bath over an existing is the most cost effective way to add a bathroom to a dormer. By tapping into the existing plumbing from below you will avoid major plumbing costs.

To avoid sizable seismic and structural challenges, stack new windows over existing ones. By doing so, the load of your house will not change significantly.

3. Joist Depth

The depth of existing joists can play a large role in whether or not your dormer addition will allow for a bathroom. The joists must be a certain depth to accommodate plumbing lines, specifically for a toilet. Converting an attic into a dormer may also require structural improvements for the purpose of resisting wind or earthquake load and floor live loads (people, furniture).

A plan by Chelly Wentworth shows the insulation in a dormer addition.

A plan by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth shows the insulation (pink area) in a dormer addition.

4. Insulation

When building a dormer the required roof insulation is rated at R-38, which requires a minimum 2×8 rafter size. If you are planning to install recessed can lighting fixtures you will need a 2×10 rafter to meet insulation requirements. This can provide challenges when you are dealing with existing framing members that are smaller and if you are trying to keep a continuous roof or wall plane.

This main floor addition by Kristyn Bester fits seamlessly with the aesthetics of the house.

This main floor addition by Arciform designer Kristyn Bester fits seamlessly with the aesthetics of the house.

5. Aesthetics

Make sure the type of dormer you are selecting is appropriate for your house – will it work with the existing roof lines? The two most common dormers are sheds and gable.

A shed dormer designed by Anne De Wolf.

A shed dormer designed by Arciform designer Anne De Wolf that ties into the existing roof lines.

Shed Dormer:

Typically off the back of the house, has a flat shed-like roof and allows for more headroom. These aren’t always aesthetically pleasing so adding character to the side will help to keep it appealing.

This dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Anne De Wolf, is a good illustration of a gable dormer.

A gable dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Anne De Wolf.

Gable Dormer:

A more expensive option and does not have as much headroom. These are a great option for adding more light to your room.

Are you ready to start planning your dream master suite or art studio? Schedule a design consultation to begin planning your next project here.

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The Suite Life

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You know how you feel when you snuggle into bed in a truly great hotel suite? One that has all those little conveniences and surprising luxuries that make you feel cocooned in a peaceful web of relaxation? Wouldn’t it be great to feel like that every time you retreat to your own master suite?

This month we are exploring design ideas to incorporate into a master suite renovation, and we thought we’d start by stealing some of our favorite hotel suite design elements.

Here’s what our designers would steal from their favorite hotels for your master suite:

Kristyn Bester

My fantasy is a built-in espresso machine in the bedroom.  Very hotelesque.

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In a London hotel we loved the button that you pushed for instant fogging of the shower glass panel….now you see me, now you don’t.  I’m including a similar element in the master bath for one of our current clients.

 

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I also like iPod/iPhone docks for easy music access in the bedroom/bathroom – it makes for a seamless transition between the two, which is nice if you are like me and listen to NPR while you get ready in multiple areas.

 

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The Japanese have a much more civilized approach to the toilet. Add a bidet/washlet for a whole different experience.

 

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Last but not least, consider a dedicated spot for your bathrobe… something that will make the robe a part of the decor.

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Chelly Wentworth adds:

Towel warmers make your morning a pleasure.

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A soaking tub should have a great view. Maybe not as great as this one below… but consider natural light, window location and a restful/lovely vista for the eye when planning a soaking tub.

 

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A seating area with en suite fireplace is a great feature of hotel suites on the coast. Nothing is more cozy than a good book and a fireplace…

 

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Anne De Wolf would steal:

Well insulated windows and walls to control sounds! A full night’s sleep is so important and a quiet space makes a huge difference.

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Also a dressing area with nice chair/ottoman to sit on or toss things onto as you pass and a full height mirror to check every detail before you leave for the day.

 

And last but not least…

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Room service – naturally!

What suite features would you steal from your favorite hotels for your own master suite renovation? Join us February 18th for a Master Suite Design Workshop to get inspired for your next project. Details and RSVP here.

 

 Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation

 

 

Help Pass the Revitalize Main Street Act and Save Oregon’s Historic Buildings!

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Since the Historic Preservation Act in 1966, state and federally funded tax credits specifically directed towards supporting historic preservation and rehabilitation projects have become the financial backbone for many ventures.  Oregon is currently one of five states that, while having an income tax, does not offer such incentives for preservation related construction.

With your help Restore Oregon hopes to turn that around when they bring the Revitalize Main Street Act to legislation in the January 2015 session.  Once passed the Act would lead to a 25% state tax rebate on historic preservation and rehabilitation construction projects.

What’s in it for Oregon?

While it’s easy to see benefits for individual buildings, a study by EcoNorthwest determined that with just a $10.6M investment by the state of Oregon we would see 1,369 jobs generated per year, a $2.3M net increase in property taxes to pay for public services, and a $35.8M net increase in the state GDP by 2018.

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What are the Rules?

  • The 25% state tax rebate can be applied to any costs directly related to the historic rehabilitation.  This includes any costs incurred during construction, but does not cover superfluous purchases such as hotel lobby chairs or drapes.
  • Funding would come from money generated by the state income tax at a yearly capped amount.
  • If passed, this 25% state tax rebate can be used in conjunction with the 20% federal Historic Tax Credit.
  • There must be a minimum investment of $10,000.

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Who Can Use It?

  • The credit can only be applied to income producing properties such as apartments, theaters, hotels, factories, stores, etc.If any portion of the structure being rehabilitated is non-income producing, any work done in that area would need to be separated out from the remaining cost of the rehabilitation and would not count towards the tax credit.
  • The credit can be used on properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This includes approximately 2,600 buildings in 77 Oregon towns.
  • Only work done within the guidelines outlined by the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for an appropriate rehabilitation may be applicable.  An addition to a historic building may be allowed so long as it is reversible, but any costs incurred do not count towards the state tax rebate.

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What are the Benefits?

While there are tangible benefits to preserving our historic landscape that include a sense of identity, community pride and aesthetics, there are also many economic benefits on a state and local level.

  • Thriving main streets and historic attractions bring in tourists who give an added boost to the local economy.
  • Several studies have shown that construction waste can make up more than half of a city or town’s overall landfill composition.  Simply put, the reuse of existing buildings will keep more waste out of our nation’s landfills.
  • The rehabilitation and maintenance of older buildings create more sustained jobs for local businesses, while new construction materials are increasingly comprised prefabricated parts that are shipped in.
  • One study from Profiting from the Past: The Economic Impact of Historic Preservation in Georgia showed that between 1992 and 1996 the rehabilitation of historic properties created 7,550 jobs, $201 million in earnings, and had a total impact of $559 on the state economy.  as our current economic outlook brightens, imagine how the Main Street Revitalization Act could keep creating jobs and keep Oregon’s economic growth headed in the right direction!

Arciform and Versatile Wood Products are proud sponsors of Restore Oregon and the Revitalize Main Street Act, but they need public support to get the ball rolling in the right direction.  Click here to show your support and learn more about the Act so we can start saving Oregon’s historic buildings!

Support the Portland Baroque Orchestra

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Arciform values fresh interpretations of history in all its forms and is proud to support the Portland Baroque Orchestra who “produce fresh and historically informed interpretations of music composed before 1840 for a wide audience.” Join us in supporting their education and outreach missions by donating in support of their year-end campaign.

When you make a gift of $75 or more today, and enter Arciform in the notes, you will receive a copy of the Portland Baroque Orchestra in Concert CD (while supplies last), recognition in an upcoming playbill and your name will be entered in a March drawing for a pair of tickets to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in April 2015.

Click here to donate today.

Support the Architectural Heritage Center

Volunteer Leslie Hutchinson leading a tour in Piedmont

Arciform has been a proud sponsor of the AHC for many years, and we invite you to support this wonderful organization.

The Architectural Heritage Center is all about saving historic buildings – and shaping the public policy and opinion to do so. As “home base” for historic preservation in the Portland metro area, the AHC loves to welcome people to their 1883 building, where they host programs, exhibits and research. When they “take history to the streets” with their popular and educational neighborhood architecture tours, they help show how our communities have been shaped in the past and inspire people to save them for the future.

Your tax-deductible gift by December 31st will help fund development of a new walking tour in 2015, and training for the dedicated volunteers who lead it. We invite you to accept a complimentary ticket to a walking tour in the coming year as a thank you for your contribution. We look forward to getting to know you in the coming year.
Click here to donate today.

Volunteer Tom Hubka leading a tour in Eastmoreland

Who Do You Support?

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What organizations do you support in Oregon?

Tell us in the comments and we’ll choose one organization to receive an additional $500 gift from Arciform.

Thank you for everything you do in our community!

Update: Thank you to everyone who participated in our “Who should we support in 2014?” contest. The staff of Arciform voted on your suggestions and we elected to give an additional $500 gift to the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center through the Willamette Week Give!Guide. Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions and we invite you to take the opportunity to give one last gift in honor of a cause you believe in before the year ends.  Thank you!

Support Snowdays

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Arciform’s Client Services Manager, Spencer Fransway, is the Founder and Executive Director of an amazing organization that provides life skills through snowboarding for middle and high school students.

Spencer explains:

By working through challenges on the mountain, students gain self-confidence, strengthen friendships, and also have an opportunity to become more aware of their natural surroundings. The organizers of Snowdays have all reaped vast benefits from snow sports, learning to respect and care for the mountain environment, understanding the benefits of  healthy lifestyle choices, and appreciating the joy that snow sports can bring. It is our hope to pass on this knowledge, excitement and passion to the students.

Snowdays is 100% volunteer run by those involved in the snowboard industry or passionate about the benefits of snowboarding.

Click here to make a donation. Be sure to mention Arciform when you donate.

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Support Restore Oregon

Richard Restore Oregon

Richard De Wolf, owner of Arciform and Versatile Wood Products, is a proud board member of Restore Oregon which works to protect the historic bridges, barns, homes, neighborhoods, churches and Main Streets that make Oregon Oregon. We join them in believing that building reuse “honors culture, revitalizes neighborhoods, resurrects downtown’s, creates jobs and reuses materials.” Versatile Wood Products is a proud sponsor of the De Muro Awards that honors successful historic rehabilitation projects throughout Oregon.

Donate $100 or more before December 31st through the Willamette Week Give!Guide and receive an Oriental Car Rug Mat from Atiyeh Brothers. Donations will be matched dollar for dollar by Versatile Wood Products up to $1000. Plus, if you make a gift of $500 or more, you’ll be entered to win $1000 of custom product from Versatile Wood Products.

Click here to make your donation, and be sure to mention Arciform & Versatile Wood Products.

Atiyah car rugs for Restore Oregon

 

Support Team in Training – the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Jennifer Barrow Leukemia & Lymphoma

Arciform’s Manager of Finances and Administration, Jennifer Barrow, has been raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of her friend Lisa who lost her battle with cancer. She works with a team called Team Change through the Team in Training program that raises money for research and patient services. In return, her team is given the opportunity to run marathons and half-marathons throughout the region. Although Jennifer has already raised over $15,000 in support of this important work, she is not one to rest on her laurels. This year, she and her 15 teammates have set a goal to raise $100,000 in order to have a grant named after their team. You can help her reach her goal by contributing here, and remember to mention Arciform when you donate.

 

Support Portland Center Stage

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Arciform is proud to sponsor an organization whose transformation of the 100 year old Armory building into a vital hub for culture and exploration helped to redefine a neighborhood. They also put on some pretty delightful performances that “bring stories to life in unexpected ways.” They have offered a very special opportunity just for the Arciform family:

When you make a gift of $75 or more today and enter Arciform in the notes, you will receive:

  • An elegant coffee table book filled with the history of the Gerding Theater at the Armory
  • Recognition in an upcoming playbill
  • Your name entered in a drawing at the end of the season to win dinner for two at an exclusive restaurant in the Pearl

Donate now to Portland Center Stage.

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