Bump-Out Additions — Small Spaces , Big Impact

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!

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Comments

  1. says

    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. says

    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?

  3. says

    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!!

  4. says

    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!!

  5. says

    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.

  6. Juli says

    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.

  7. says

    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?

  8. Sylvia says

    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?

  9. Jemmie says

    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!

  10. Linda says

    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!

    • says

      Hi Linda,

      There are a number of ways to hold a 3′ deep bumpout in-place. A structural engineer can design something for you, I’m sure. Probably a few hundred dollars for design and plans that would save you quite a bit in the long run. A few ways that come to mind are:

      • Brackets – similar to ‘corbels’ under a fireplace mantel or a countertop overhang, you could use structural brackets underneath the bumpout that run back to the wall. Think about how you’ve seen garage shelving supported. All you have to do is make it pretty.
      • Hangers – Probably used in conjunction with brackets, steel hangers (simpson strong-tie or similar) can create very strong structural connections.
      • Custom Structural Steel – Not frequently used in residential, but very strong and not very expensive is actual steel construction. An engineer can design a structure that could still accomplish the cantilever effect without taking away a significant portion of your current wood flooring system, which runs the other way. I’m thinking the top of the joists could be notched for steel tubing (square or rectangle, not round) or plate connected to a flat bracket in-turn connected to your floor structure well back inside the existing room. (complicated, but a possibility)
      • Lightweight Construction – Kind of forward thinking here, but there are a number of lightweight building products that can be used to greatly reduce the weight of the bumpout and therefore the structural strength required to hold it up (and down). Find a structural engineer who builds kit airplanes for fun and you’ll find a composites expert who could design an addition you could attach to the side of your SUV.

      Just a few ideas. The common denominator is a structural engineer. Lots of load calculations required to do this right.

      Good Luck!

      Tim

  11. Linda says

    Jemmie;

    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 . . .

Trackbacks

  1. […] A long time member of the Remodeling Guy Crew (regular readers and commenters), Denise who blogs at Journey to Maggie May, has been building an addition all summer.  It’s a beautiful project and she has pictures on her blog.  Denise posted a comment today on a post about Bump-Out Style additions that got me to thinking. (See: Bump-Out Additions – Small Spaces, Big Impact) […]

  2. […] Bump-Out Additions — Small Spaces, Big Impact Remodeling Guy The Remodeling Guy offers some thought-starters on what a little bump-out addition can do for your home. In part, he writes: “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?” […]

  3. […] A long time member of the Remodeling Guy Crew (regular readers and commenters), Denise who blogs at Journey to Maggie May, has been building an addition all summer. It’s a beautiful project and she has pictures on her blog. Denise posted a comment today on a post about Bump-Out Style additions that got me to thinking. (See: Bump-Out Additions – Small Spaces, Big Impact) […]