Washington, DC

A reader writes:

PoP —

Long story short, I moved to Columbia Heights back when it was a
collection of vacant lots, and at the time kept telling all my friends
that some day the place would be jumping and they’d regret busting on
me for moving to the area when the world was outside my doorstep.
Well, that day almost has arrived (I’m waiting for the gym to be
useful before declaring it officially so), and I should be living it
up with a reasonable mortgage for a good home in a great location.
The irony is that circumstances (mostly space limitations in the short
term) now have us looking to move out of the neighborhood. But a
house in the ‘burbs is expensive and might age us prematurely, so I’m
looking for alternate solutions before sealing my fate. One thing
that crossed my mind — and I know this is heresy — is adding a
pop-top to my rowhouse so we could get another bedroom or two, a
second bathroom, and some additional storage space (~ 750 sq. ft.).
Hell, maybe even add a roof deck to the top.

So my questions to a man who has studied the pop-top phenomenon and
his readers who have possibly participated in it are: Assuming I
attempted to do this as tastefully and unobtrusively as possible
(i.e., not an architectural monstrosity, something that respects the
streetscape), what sort of cost would I incur, and how long would I be
displaced while the roof was off my house? Are there good examples of
pop-tops that are particularly nice that people could point to, or
contractors who have done nice pop-tops? And, at the end of the day,
would any of my neighbors ever forgive me if I did this?

Here’s a pop up that I thought was extremely tasteful. This one’s not bad either. So can anyone point out some examples of good pop ups? Can anyone recommend a good architect/contractor? Can anyone forgive this desire?

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