Bump-Out Additions — Small Spaces , Big Impact

by Tim Layton on September 29, 2009 Google+

in Dream,Room Additions,Small Spaces

Have you ever looked with slight contempt at one of those exterior walls and thought “If I could just bump that wall out a little bit...”? I know I have! I guess I don’t count, but you’re still not alone! I wrote a post back in January about small spaces and one of the most commented features on that post was the Bump-Out Room addition. (see the post: Making The Most of Small Spaces)

bump-out addition

Bump-Out Additions Make a Big Impact

It’s really kind of amazing how much of a difference a space like this can make. The uses are only as limited as your imagination! Here are a few ideas:

  • More cabinet or seating space in a kitchen
  • A light filled breakfast nook
  • A window seat in a bedroom or office
  • A small little corner to paint or do crafts

The list could just go on and on. What would you use it for?

Easy To Build

Generally speaking, projects like this aren’t anywhere near as complex as full-scale additions. Sometimes the work can be done without even the need for a foundation, as-in the photo above. A small bump-out can be just built to “hang” on the side of the house.

These cantilevered style structures aren’t without their limitations though. For some jobs, the only way to go is build from the ground-up, just smaller!

bump-out home addition

This addition (photo courtesy: Marvin Windows) blends very nicely with the house and clearly adds a dramatic amount of light. Just imagine the change that takes place when you transform two regular side-by-side windows to this! Talk about night-and-day!

A Light-Filled Nook

I found another picture that shows an example of what type of use might work inside a bump-out addition. (photo:Natural Home Magazine)

Check this out:

kitchen addition

In this case, a bump-out has created enough room in the kitchen to allow an island. The designer of this project did a great job of dealing with some very thick walls (probably concrete block) using beautiful wood trim to create a panel look. Looks like a great place to stand at the sink and look outside!

Imagine The Potential

Small budget, small yard, not enough time… all sorts of challenges start to look a little less daunting when the scale of the project is brought back a little bit. Imagine all the places you could gain a little more space!

What sort of bump-out would you do? How would you use it? Tell me about it in the comments!

Article by Tim Layton


1 Astrid September 29, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I’ve been thinking about this very thing! I’m nervous to bring it up to my husband though. I can already hear him say NO WAY! LOL!

2 living with lindsay September 29, 2009 at 9:48 pm

We have a bumpout in our breakfast room and I love it!

3 Jenni September 30, 2009 at 2:03 am

Love, love, love this!!
We had talked about doing a remodel a few years ago… We have a huge lot – but, a small house. We wanted to push out the entire back of the house into the backyard about 15 feet… but, found out that we would have to move our septic tank if we did. Then we talked about bumping it out only 7 feet… but, ended up not doing it due to financial constraints. This would be an amazing way to make our kitchen bigger… love the last picture you have! Hmmm… so how much cheaper is it to really do this kind of thing?

4 Denise September 30, 2009 at 9:11 am

Hey there, we have been busy with our addition…go check out some pics on my blog. I am so ready for it to be done. I have to say that our biggest mistake was signing up to do all of the painting…never thinking of filling nail holes, caulking, etc…we have bitten off WAY more than we can chew!!

5 Kira =] September 30, 2009 at 10:28 am

As much as I’d be tempted to do it in one of the bedrooms it just wouldn’t make sense for us because we really only sleep in them and live in the rest of the house. So we would do it in the dining “section” of our kitchen or in the living room. They would become more seating & help add just a bit of length/depth to the room.

Tim, you are absolutely rotten for dangling this in front of us! But what a wonderful idea it is especially for small budgets!!

6 Barbara September 30, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I would love to create a bump out on one of the exterior walls adjacent to my kitchen in order to create a laundry room. Our washer/dryer currently reside in the basement. Although it is much more pleasant to do laundry in the basement now that we’ve finished it, I’d much prefer one less flight of stairs to have to lug baskets down.

7 Juli September 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm

I love this idea. We’ve been talking for a couple of years about bumping out our living room so that we’d have room to add a fireplace. My husband is very handy and I’m wondering if this is something that we could ourselves.

8 Abbie October 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

OK, the kitchen would get a bump out to house appliances. Then the table would have more room in front of the windows. :) But really, we’re talking about making a “bump” into an unnecessary staircase for the fridge to sit in. Would that work?

9 Sylvia April 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I’m thinking of extending my kitchen/dining room 3 feet. There is an overhang roof so I wouldn’t need to add roofing. I would just put sauna tubes for support, rather than have a full foundation. I am just afraid of it being so much colder. What do you think?

10 Teri September 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Ideas on landscaping 2 bump outs in the front of my house? They are very ugly and need to be covered up.


11 Jemmie July 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I would love to do a bump out in my master bedroom. Our room is small, and no place for a chair, so I would like to bump out the window and create a window seat!

12 Linda August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I’m deep into thinking about this :). But . . . don’t want piles and can’t use the cantilever system (as our joists run the wrong way). How else can we do this?? The bump-out would be approx 5 feet off the ground (split level), it would run 12 ft wide and ‘bump out’ apporx 3 ft. Is there another method to do this?? My husband is used to my ideas haha!

13 Linda October 1, 2012 at 11:38 am


Just re-reading your post and our master is also small and that’s exactly where we want the bump-out. Same idea – bump out the window only instead of a window seat we want the floor space and would push the head of our bead up into the new space. Contractor is looking over some ideas . . .

14 Jemmie October 1, 2012 at 11:52 am

Awesome idea Linda. I’m interested to know how that goes for you!

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