Key Aspects of Creating an Addition to an Antique Home

What are the key aspect of creating an addition to an antique home? How about I tell you the story of this sweet antique home located in Durham, NH.

This home is owned by a young couple with three small children. The original house was a 1700’s Antique Cape, two bedroom, two bath, 1800 sf house. Since there was one larger bedroom, all three children were sleeping in that room, while Mom and Dad used the smaller bedroom. Therefore, the goal: to add two bedrooms. That simple. With a budget of $200k.

It’s actually fairly rare for a client to stick to Scope of Project and Budget but they were very focused on keeping the project simple to achieve a 4 bedroom home. Therefore, the goal was to add two bedrooms above the existing kitchen, family room – an addition put on in the 1980’s. Note: The only change they made was to not put the walls in to create the 4th bedroom and instead create a playroom/ library. Adding those walls will be simple if they decide that that in the future.

Here are some Key Aspects to adding on to an antique house in order to keep the historic integrity

Roofline Height is Essential

The main roofline was relatively low with a 5’interior knee wall. Therefore, I let that height set the height of the new roof.

Roof Pitch

I wanted to match the roof pitch and eave height over the existing kitchen / family room to have all the lines of the addition to blend with the original house.


It was decided that we would put on a dormer on the back of the house in order to hit code with head height in the hallway.


We had to beef up the structure seeing that the original house used old and undersized lumber for today building standards. This created a step when moving from the existing house into the new bedrooms. The kitchen remained untouched.


In order to stay with the scale of the existing windows, we installed the windows on the second floor low to the floor in order to align with the windows below. My favorite window being the one in the corner tucked under the roofline.

Important to note

The windows on the gable end of the roof are the egress windows for the kids bedrooms.

Interior Finishes

We created three closets and tucked in storage and spaces for the kids. The flooring stayed true to the house with the wide pine wood floor – the least expensive floor on the market.

The happy family plays, reads, sleeps and spends quality family time together. I’m always thrilled to see the joy in my clients in their new spaces!



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