All Projects Roslindale, MA

Contemporary Meets Cape

Bathrooms Energy Efficiency

This 1950s cape had a cramped finished attic, which made its two small bedrooms and storage spaces difficult to use well. The old wood paneling and ceiling tiles were also tired and leaked air, so it was time to get rid of them and work out how to make a more comfortable and functional top floor. We designed a single shed dormer along almost the full length of the back of the house to bring in more natural light, increase the head height, and make space for a half bath (previously there was no bathroom upstairs). This level of work also gave us the opportunity to thoroughly insulate and air seal the top of the house and add a heat pump for heating and cooling the second floor.

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By the time we started designing this work the homeowners had been living in their home for three years already, which helped them develop a clear vision for the project.

They were committed to some creative and fun ideas... a side window to frame a view of the Boston skyline, and central uplighting along an exposed beam.

They previously lived in loft style apartments in Boston and missed that open feel, so they asked us to create a more contemporary look on this floor despite the modest cape cod style architecture. Both the homeowners and the Byggmeister team are really happy with the surprisingly modern 2nd floor — which you wouldn’t know is there until you walk up the stairs.



The total home air leakage was reduced by almost 40%, and both the roof & 2nd floor walls are now insulated to modern construction standards.  We expect the combination of those envelope improvements and a new single ductless heat pump for the 2nd floor will reduce both gas and electric consumption as these clients work their way towards a goal of net-zero.

A year before we started this work the homeowners installed a 9 panel solar PV system on their garage. By keeping the new dormer on the rear north-facing roof, we've left the front south-facing roof available for additional solar panels down the road.  The existing gas boiler and water heater still had some life left in them, so we left those in place. When the time comes, our clients plan will be to replace them with high efficiency electric options to complete the decarbonization process.