I Spy a Bump Out

Small Home Gazette, Spring 2012

I Spy a Bump Out

In the world of construction, a bump out is an “expansion option” that is limited in that it can only provide a small amount of additional space. Unlike other home additions, a bump out does not need its own foundation. It can rely on the home’s existing foundation and structure to carry the weight.

You may have a bump out in your dining room to accommodate a built-in buffet or a window seat. A bump out can be an excellent solution if you need just a couple more feet added to your kitchen to make the room function more efficiently—to hold a wall of cabinets, for example.

And then there are the structures protruding from many of our older garages. With Model T’s on the road in the early 1900s, garages were being built—just big enough to get one car inside. As cars got bigger and the garage was still in good shape, one option to save the garage (and to save money) was to add on to it.

Some garage bump outs provide extra room for the nose of the car while others extend the garage door wall. For some reason, bump outs seem to be sided with material different from the body of the garage, making them easy to spot.

Next time you’re out for a drive, take a few alleys and play “I Spy a Bump Out!”

Garage bumpouts.

Two examples of a bump out added to the door end of the garage.


Garage bumpout.

A bump out to provide room for the nose of a car requires careful aim when parking.



While not technically a bump out, the addition to the side of the garage door provides a place for the lawn mower, snow blower, bicycles, etc. A new coat of stucco ties everything together.



Two bumpouts.

And then there are nose-to-nose bump outs. Wonder which homeowner gets to tend the narrow space left between?