Adding a Second Story to a Craftsman Bungalow: 6 Things to Know

There’s something special about a craftsman bungalow. Maybe it’s the intricate woodwork, the exposed rafter tails, the iconic dormers, or simply the high-quality design that makes them so popular. Even with so many other styles of home available, craftsman bungalows continue to be a favorite with homeowners. While some parts of the country have more craftsman homes than others, there are plenty throughout the Denver metro in neighborhoods like Washington Park, Park Hill, Sloan’s Lake, and Whittier. Most craftsman bungalows are either one-story or one-and-a-half-story homes. While this makes these homes quaint, our modern lifestyles often demand more space. The good news is that there are several different ways to get the extra space you need. One option is to buy a new home. But, if you love your neighborhood, a move might not be the right decision. This is where an addition could be helpful. But depending on your home’s foundation, or the size of your lot, expanding up is the best way to find more space.  In such cases, it’s worth considering adding a second story to a craftsman bungalow. 

Benefits of adding a second story to a craftsman bungalow 

Adding a second story (or pop-top) can save you the headache of relocating and lets you stay in your same neighborhood and school district. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Popping the top of your craftsman bungalow allows for complete customization. With the extra space, you can change your existing layout and get the home of your dreams. You could move all of the bedrooms upstairs or opt to modernize your home with an open floor plan. Building your home up will also give you a height advantage that simply isn’t possible with the traditional craftsman bungalow, letting you wake up to an even better view of the mountains. 

Having more space can have a major impact on the quality of your life. You’ll also get the added bonus that the additional square footage that you get when you build a second story to your home will increase the overall value of your home. 

In fact, you may find that adding a second story to a craftsman bungalow is more cost-effective than building a traditional addition onto the side of your home. Why? Because many times there’s no need to dig a foundation or do excavation work. This also means that you’ll get to keep all your backyard space for summer barbeques. 

Things to Consider When Adding a Second Story to a Craftsman Bungalow 

Before you decide to add a second story to a craftsman bungalow, here are six things to consider.

  1. Foundation Requirements. Adding a second story generally doesn’t require excavation, but it does need a strong, sturdy foundation. Most Denver craftsman bungalows have load-bearing brick walls on a pore foundation which are great for single-story homes. But, they aren’t always a good candidate for adding a second story. If this is the case, you may be able to reinforce your walls or there’s always the option to pour a new foundation.

  2. Zoning. Confirm that the zoning lot where your home is located lets you add a second story to your home. If there are limitations on pop-top additions, then you’ll want to know that upfront before investing more time or money into the project.

  3. Alternate Housing. If you are adding a complete second story then your entire roof will need to be removed, requiring you to find alternate housing during construction. If you are simply looking to add an additional bedroom or office on the second floor, it may be possible to consolidate to one area of your home during the build.

  4. Timeline. Adding a second story to a craftsman bungalow is a major construction project that can be time-intensive. Make sure to plan your timeline accordingly.

  5. Impact on the Neighbors. When you build up your home you’ll likely have an impact on your neighbors. Not only will they have to deal with the noise during the construction process, but your addition may also change or even block their view. Your newly designed home could also affect the amount of sunlight they get in their home and yard, etc.

  6. Future Plans. Most homeowners that build up do so because they love their home and want the space. But, if you are planning on selling your home in the next few years, you may not see a large return on your investment. Always be sure to compare the projected value of your home after your remodel to other homes in the area, keeping in mind any moves, to maximize your return. 

Factor Design Build 

When it comes to building up your bungalow, you want to work with a team of experts. Factor Design Build specializes in adding a second story to craftsman bungalows. Our Denver team of amazing architects, designers, and builders are here to help facilitate the entire process both on time and on budget. They will work hand-in-hand with you to customize your space to make it exactly what you need. Let us help you reimagine your home as a space that works to support you and your family for years to come. 


5 Reasons Why Adding a Sunroom to Your Home Could Benefit You All Year

If you love spending time outside and want to incorporate more of nature’s beauty in your home, consider adding a sunroom with Factor Design Build. Every person in the home may have their own favorite parts or spots in the house, but a year-round sunroom is an area of the home that can be used and loved by all. Opportunities for function and entertainment are endless when you decide to add a sunroom into your home’s floor plan, but here are just 5 reasons why a sunroom is a solid investment. Read more


7 Key Considerations for When You Want to Remodel Your Home

If your home is starting to feel too small or if the layout doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore, you may start considering a home remodel. Remodeling your home is a big decision and there are a variety of considerations to consider before taking the leap. Here is a guide of questions to ask yourself to help decide if a remodel is right for your house and your family. Read more


Dispelling Cold Weather Renovation Myths: Why Remodeling in the Winter is Beneficial

Winter Home Remodeling & Addition Projects: Benefits & Considerations

It is commonly known that the majority of construction and remodel jobs are done in the spring and summer. But what you may not know is that the wintertime is great for more than snowball fights and the holiday season. Not only can home remodeling projects be accomplished in the winter but in some cases, the wintertime may be the best time of year to take advantage of certain benefits. Here is an informational guide to help you better understand the advantages of home remodeling in the wintertime and how to make any project work, even in the harshest of seasons.

Read more

, , ,

Adding A Second Story Pop Top

When Considering an Addition to Your Home, Look Up!

Building upward with a custom design for a second story pop top could be your best option if you need more space. Consider a pop top if you love your home and your existing neighborhood, and really have no desire to move, but need more room. Whether your family is growing or you need a home office, sometimes adding on horizontally, isn’t possible.

Whether your home is fairly new, or you have an older historical home, if the foundation is solid and the structure has great bones, the designers at Factor Design Build can find the perfect solution for you. We specialize in custom home additions in the Denver area.

Read more

, , ,

Tips for Planning a Successful Home Addition or Remodel

Making the decision to remodel or add on to your home can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. But never fear, Factor Design Build is here to help you every step of the way. Here are 9 tips from our experts to get you started.

Read more

, , ,

Four Reasons Why Remodeling Now Makes More Sense in the Long Run

Investing in a remodel is a venture that benefits your quality of life for many years to come. From simple, money-saving upgrades and layout refinements to full-fledged additions, there are a variety of avenues to pursue when embarking on a remodel. While it may seem like a lot of work on the front end, keep in mind these reasons why remodeling your house now makes more sense in the long run.

Read more

, , ,

Making the Most of Your Home’s Space

How to Optimize your Home’s Floor Plan for Maximum Living Space

Homeowners have a variety of choices when it comes to altering the interior of their homes or investing in a full-on addition. Before making the decision to increase your home’s footprint, consider how you’re already using your space. Adding on to your house is a big undertaking that could offer you major benefits in the long run but there are incremental changes you might be able to make in the meantime.

Read more

, , ,

4 Key Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Building a Home Addition

After much research, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to start planning your home addition. When everything is said and done, adding onto your house will give you more space, improve your quality of life, and enhance the resale value of your property. Before moving forward with your home addition project, consider these key questions.

Read more


Remodeling Strategies

Communication and Managing Expectations

At Factor we believe that remodeling your home will improve your quality of life, and we strive to make the process just as positive as the outcomes. But hey, you’re remodeling for you, not us. We get that. Our focus is on your unique situation to create smart, beautiful designs that improve your daily life.

Creating inspired spaces starts with starting the conversation. Here are some tips for creating open communication and mastering your expectations.

Avoid Rushing the Process

Remodeling is a complicated process and despite careful planning unforeseen changes can come into the fray.  You will run into delays, you will find yourself behind schedule, you will make big decisions under pressure and you will become frustrated. This is an invasive process, and it might feel like a full-time job.  Take the time to think and talk about everything you want with your contractors before you begin anything. Also consider all the angles: understand what implications are included with the construction process.

Start Small

Ambition is admirable, but when it comes to your home it can take on a life of its own. So much so that soon you are completely re-doing your entire home instead of coming to the decision that you should look for a new home entirely. Adjust your expectations and focus on what you can change in you space so that it can enrich you and your family’s lives.

Talk About Your Budget

This can be a challenge, and talking about numbers can be a bit taboo and make you feel vulnerable. It helps to build up to the big “numbers” conversation if you are clear with the other decision makers in your house before discussing your remodeling budget with your contractor. Get clear about what you have to spend and where you can afford to splurge. A united front will make you feel supported and more confident in discussing something so personal. Once you understand your personal budget, you will be more comfortable discussing your fiscal expectations with  a “stranger”. Contractors use this figure to gauge product selections for your project, and to make sure their recommendations are what you can afford. Remember we work for you, and we want you to be proud of your home.

Provide Detail

Explain how you want to utilize each room, provide pictures, show your contractor your Pinterest page, explain what lights you up about this project and what terrifies you! Pictures are worth a thousand words and allows the team you are engaging in an idea of what your aesthetic and personality is.

Avoid Making Assumptions

As much as we or any other person might want to be at times, people are not mind readers. Never assume that someone else will know exactly what you are visualizing unless you explicitly explain it or lay it out. Transparency helps teams avoid mistakes, and will minimize disputes in the long run.


There are going to be aspects of your project that take precedent. (I need more workspace in my kitchen…The kids need more storage in their bathroom) Then there are areas to be considered on the “Wish List” ( Custom cabinetry would look great, a marble island would really pull the room together). . Take the time to consider what is an absolute for your home vs. what you could save for another day.

Build Rapport

Make sure you are a good fit with who you are working with. Do you like their communication style? Do you think they hear you? Do you think this particular contractor that can achieve what you are looking for? Do you respect their problem-solving approach? If you are hesitant about any of these questions it’s okay to take a step back and start from zero. It’s understandable that you are anxious to get underway with this huge undertaking, but your future self will thank you for appreciating who you are most compatible with. Get a feel for who you are working with, their process, and their employees.

Remember, the end goal should always be to fall in love with your home all over again.