Time for some Remodeling - Pop-The-Top

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kenna Real Estate ER40035749

Time for Remodeling - Pop-the-Top

One popular remodeling method is to add some much needed square footage to a house . This is type of remodeling is the so called "Pop-the-Top".
This is where the existing home is built up (the top is popped) and a new 2nd story is added to the home.
There are a few areas in Denver where this Pop-the-Top model is very popular. These neighborhoods are usually older, have ranch style homes and not much room to expand on the lot, therefore making pop-the-top the method of choice. Most of these ranch homes are gobbled up by investors who usually get a good return to their invesment after the remodeling is completed.

So, what is going on here?

Remodeling in Denver - Pop-the-top

This must be Pop-The-Top taken to the Extreme...

Remodeling in Denver - Pop-the-top

The idea is to build on, add on to the existing structure. However here the existing building, house, is totally left on the inside of the new construction.
Wonder if the old house is going to be demolished after the new one is completed (which would make sense) and how are they going to get the pieces/scrap out? Through the new door?
The above pictures do not demonstrate the usual way to pop-the-top...

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about remodeling using Pop-the-Top method.

  1. You will need a permit, check to see if you can build up in your neighborhood (zoning office)
  2. Decide what you want in the 2nd-story (bed, bath etc.)
  3. Make sure you can afford the project: budget and calculate associated costs

Once you have a permit

  1. Find a right contractor/crews for your project

Disclaimer: Kenna and Co. Blog does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.  Blog posts on the Kenna and Co. Blog represent the opinions and ideas of the author(s). Kenna and Co. Blog does not express the views of Kenna and Co. or those of the broker.

Copyright 2008.© Kenna and Co. Rita Burke. All Rights Reserved. Sept 21th 2008. "Time for some Remodeling - Pop-The-Top"


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Bubba Fife
Complete Property Maintenance - Nashville, TN

Gosh Brian, I saw pop-the-top and said there is music to my ears... Kinda like the old country song, ya know... Nothing like poppin'the top and power tools... Yeah Buddy! Let 'er rip...

Sep 21, 2008 12:08 PM #1
Brooke Shepherd
Keller Williams Partners - Colorado Springs, CO
Speak With Honesty~Act with Integrity

Thanks Brian,

I had no idea that they had a term for that.  Good information!


Sep 21, 2008 02:50 PM #2
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging

Great advise on getting the permits!  The property value will be so much higher this way than a non-permitted add-on! 

Sep 21, 2008 03:01 PM #3
Jean Groesbeck
Coldwell Banker Bain - Anacortes, WA
Broker, CRS, e-PRO, ABR, ASP, CNE, IMS

It is done all the time here, but I have not heard pop the top.  Cute phrase!

Sep 22, 2008 02:53 AM #4
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Our older 900-SF Craftsman home neighborhoods here are turning into 2,500-SF two-story stucco homes. It's too bad because those old Craftsman homes are beautiful.

Sep 22, 2008 02:39 PM #5
ama hender
Lone Tree, CO

There are definitly mixed reviews on this in Denver. I had a client move out of University Park Last year. She had a charming remodeled house. The one behind hers popped and it was looming down on her house, she had no privacy anymore.  She had such a nice garden too.  I wonder how many other places this is a trend.

Sep 23, 2008 01:41 AM #6
Real Estate Virtual Assistant
Christine Wade - San Marcos, CA

OH - I wish my husband would let me pop the top on our home, but instead we added on to our existing level.  We have a large lot so it didn't take too much away, but I was really dreaming of higher ceilings, a formal entryway and a great room!  But I got a complete remodel with travertine floors, new kitchen, new master suite, etc...so I really can't complain.  We are now working on our outside entertainment area.

Amanda - it's really sad that people don't think about how their remodels will affect the neighborhood around them.

Great post.

Sep 23, 2008 05:42 AM #7
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Bubba - funny, Bubba, very funny

Brooke - I am not sure if the have a name for what they did on the house in the pictures though, LOL.

Michelle - permits are required for sure. Hate to see somebody put addition and face problems for not having a permit

Jean - I personally like the term, it explains it perfectly

Russel - some of the areas here the homes really were built smaller and this is a great way to add on some needed square footage

Amanda - University Park and University Hills for sure are popular areas here for popping-the-top.

Christine - Sounds like your remodel was a successful one. Enjoy - even without the higher ceilings (I like them too) ~Rita

Sep 23, 2008 06:10 AM #8
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Hi Brian and Rita: That is indeed an unusual way to pop the top. I used to live in Mayfair over by Lowry. There were a lot of pop tops being built. Now I live in Los Angeles - not so many pop tops. Thanks for the interesting pics.

Oct 11, 2008 04:54 PM #9
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Brian Burke

Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate
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