A Guide to Different type of roof with dormer windows

A dormer window, commonly embedded vertically within a sloping roof, often resembles “the eyes” of a house. This feature includes its distinct roof, which can vary in style—be it flat, arched, a hipped roof, sharp, or decorated. These windows are not limited to the sloped roof, but can also be integrated into a wall, and they present a wide array of shapes and sizes. Originating from French and British architectural practices in the 17th century, dormers were primarily introduced to enhance natural light within homes.

The type of roof with dormer windows can either echo the main roof’s design or mirror other architectural elements of the residence. While dormers enhance the aesthetic appeal and potentially increase the value of a property, their design and placement require thoughtful consideration to ensure they harmoniously blend with the home’s overall appearance.

What is a dormer roof?

type of roof with dormer windows

A dormer roof, an integral addition to a home, serves to expand both the space and ceiling height in an attic. This investment is popular for its ability to convert cramped and dim attic areas into airy, well-lit living spaces. Despite the significant modifications needed for the roof’s structure to accommodate a dormer roof, the benefits of enhanced living space and increased natural light often justify the undertaking.

Dormer Meaning and History

The term “dormer” shares its etymology with “dormitory,” both deriving from the Latin dormitorium, which translates to “a sleeping place.” Dormers are often featured in attic conversions, providing extra space and a window for cross-ventilation, thereby transforming the space into a more livable area.

Externally, dormers are a common element across a variety of styles, including Neo-Colonial, Colonial Revival, Stick, Chateauesque, Second Empire, and American Foursquare, to name a few. They not only add to the aesthetic diversity of these designs but also offer a vertical dimension to houses that are predominantly horizontal in layout.

A well-designed dormer can highlight a house’s architectural beauty, complementing features such as Victorian scrollwork, pediments, and the symmetry of windows. By mirroring the detailing found on the main body of the house, a dormer can significantly enhance its overall architectural expression.

Why Add a Dormer?

photo 2024 04 24 20 41 24

Dormers not only enhance the external appearance of a home with their unique or matching window styles, featuring captivating glass designs and shapes, but they also add significant aesthetic and functional value to the interior. A dormer window, strategically placed in the hipped roof, can transform a gloomy attic into a bright, usable space by providing extra ventilation.

Such an addition is perfect for creating additional living areas, like an attic bathroom, which can serve as part of a primary suite or as an extra bathroom, thereby increasing the home’s functionality and value.

The introduction of light and improved airflow through a dormer can make the home’s interior spaces more welcoming and healthier to live in. For those considering the addition of a dormer, it’s advisable to consult with a window specialist and a master carpenter for the installation rather than a roofer, to ensure the best outcome in both aesthetics and functionality.

Types of Dormer Windows

When contemplating the addition of a wall dormer or window to your home, delving into the various types wall dormer is available is crucial. Each dormer style offers a distinct aesthetic, impacting not only how it will look but also the degree of light, ventilation, and additional space it can contribute to your home. The choice of a dormer type should align with your architectural preferences, functionality requirements, and how you intend to utilize the newly created space, ensuring it meets your needs both practically and visually.

Gable Dormer: The Classic Choice

Each home showcases a unique charm, enhanced by the two gable dormers that blend seamlessly into various traditional architectural. The scene captures the welcoming atmosphere of the neighborhood, complete with lush greenery and mature trees.

l intro 1652451077

Hip Roof Dormer: A Sleek Option

These dormers, with their three sloping planes, lend a subtle elegance to the homes, integrating smoothly with the rooflines for a polished look. The gentle sunlight and the soft shadows from the nearby trees add to the peaceful and beautiful ambiance of the street.

Flat and Shed Dormers: Modern and Spacious

The flat roof dormers and wall dormers add a contemporary flair, optimizing the space beneath, while the shed dormers, with their slight slope, increase headroom and bring in more natural light, showcasing a neighborhood that embraces both modern design and functionality.

Eyebrow Dormer: A Curved Appeal

This unique architectural feature, with its low, wide structure and gently curved roof, adds a distinct aesthetic touch to interior space while also allowing natural light into more compact areas of the home.

Nantucket Dormer: The Trio

These dormers serve as a prominent feature, adding a layer of elegance and uniqueness to the home’s design against a clear blue sky backdrop.

What are the advantages of a dormer roof?

The Benefits of Adding Dormer Windows to Your Home

Installing a few dormer roofs or roof flares on your property comes with a multitude of benefits. Beyond giving an ‘ordinary’ house a distinctive and enhanced external appearance, dormer roofs expand the usable space in your attic, potentially increasing the overall value of your home. Additionally, they offer several other advantages:

  • Add natural light: Dormer windows usher in sunlight, brightening up spaces that were once dim and unwelcoming.
  • Improve ventilation: With their ability to open, dormer windows can significantly improve airflow, making attic spaces fresher and more comfortable.
  • Provide more room and headspace: The structure of a dormer can transform a cramped attic into a spacious area, perfect for various uses.
  • Provide a new emergency exit: In some configurations, a window can serve as an emergency egress, enhancing the safety of the home.

As illustrated in the transformative project led by our Phil, a dormer window and roof addition can reclaim an extensive amount of space in a customer’s attic. What was once a barely usable area has been converted into a wide-open, bright living space, showcasing the significant impact a dormer and own roof top can have on enhancing the functionality and livability of a home.

Do I need planning permission for a dormer? 

If you’re considering the addition of a shed dormer roof, there’s encouraging news regarding planning permissions. Typically, you won’t need to seek planning permission if your project meets the following criteria:

  • The extension doesn’t exceed the highest point of your existing roof.
  • The shed dormer roofs doesn’t project more than 15cm beyond the slope of any roof facing the road, whether it’s the principal or a side elevation of your house.
  • The shed dormer roofs is situated at least 0.5 meters away from the roof’s ridge, eaves, any partition wall, or ridge.
  • The materials chosen for the dormer roofs match the original style and aesthetic of your property.
  • Any window within 15 meters of a boundary shared with another house must be made of obscure glass and be non-opening, unless its opening parts are situated more than 1.7 meters above the floor of the room in which the window is installed.
  • Lastly, your property should not be located within a designated conservation area.

Meeting these conditions means you can proceed with your dormer roof flares installation without the need for formal planning permission, simplifying the process and allowing you to enhance your home with less bureaucratic hassle.

Mansard Dormers: Classic and Functional

Mansard roof dormers that, integrated into mansard roofs, embody the quintessential French architectural design featuring four dual-pitched sides. These roofs and their dormers excel at maximizing living space, effectively adding an entire new level beneath the roofline. The mansard roof’s design not only enriches your home with additional living quarters but also enhances its aesthetic appeal with a touch of classic French elegance.

When selecting the ideal dormer type for your home, it’s essential to weigh its impact on both the appearance and functionality of your dwelling. The right type of dormer can significantly improve natural lighting, increase available space, and enhance air circulation within your home. Carefully considering your architectural style and personal requirements will guide you in choosing a dormer that complements your home’s character while meeting your living space needs.

For those seeking further guidance on aligning dormer choices with various architectural styles used, exploring specialized resources can provide valuable insights and assist in making an informed decision.

Design and Aesthetics of Dormer Windows

Incorporating dormer windows into your home’s design offers more than just functional benefits; it’s a strategic aesthetic choice as well. A carefully selected dormer can not only enhance your home’s architectural harmony but also provide a unique touch that sets your property apart, particularly in communities where house designs often mirror each other.

This addition can introduce a visually appealing feature that complements the existing style of your home, elevating its overall appearance and distinctiveness within a uniform neighborhood. Whether your home’s architecture is modern, traditional, or somewhere in between, the right dormer design can amplify its charm and character, making a significant impact on both curb appeal and personal satisfaction.

Complementing Architectural Styles

Dormer windows offer a versatile solution to complementing and enhancing a wide range of architectural styles, skillfully bridging the gap between functionality and aesthetics. For instance, gable dormers, with their pitched roof design, naturally complement homes that embody classic and traditional aesthetics, adding to their charm and historical value.

On the other hand, flat roof dormers, known for their sleek and minimalistic appearance, are perfectly suited to modern and contemporary homes, providing them with an additional element of sophistication and clean lines.

Aesthetic Appeal

Indeed, dormers serve as more than just practical additions for space and light; they significantly contribute to the aesthetic appeal of your home’s exterior. By interrupting the uniformity of a plain roofline, dormers introduce an element of visual interest that can enhance the curb appeal and distinctiveness of your property.

Customization and Personal Touch

Dormers indeed present a unique opportunity for personalization in your home’s design. Through various aspects such as the type of window you select, the size of the dormer, and its specific location on the roof, you can tailor these architectural features to reflect your personal style and preferences. This level of customization ensures that your home not only meets your practical needs for additional space or light but also aligns with your aesthetic vision.

Whether you opt for a traditional gable dormer with classic windows to add a touch of elegance, a sleek, modern flat roof dormer for a more contemporary look, or strategically place them to capture the best views or sunlight, these choices allow you to significantly impact the character and appeal of your home. By incorporating your personal touch through dormers, you make your living space more uniquely yours, enhancing its design and making it more enjoyable and reflective of your style.

Energy Efficiency and Natural Light

Incorporating dormers into your home design offers significant benefits beyond aesthetic enhancement. By increasing the influx of natural light, they reduce the reliance on artificial lighting during the day, leading to lower energy consumption and improved energy efficiency. Furthermore, the additional ventilation provided by dormer windows promotes a healthier and more comfortable living environment, allowing for better air circulation and temperature regulation within your home.

In essence, the value of dormer windows extends well beyond their visual appeal. They play a crucial role in enhancing both the functionality and sustainability of your living space. By carefully selecting the right type of roof dormer in terms of design, size, and placement, you can achieve a balance of style, natural lighting, and ventilation that not only boosts your home’s charm but also its overall efficiency and comfort.

Installation and Maintenance of Dormer Windows

photo 2024 04 24 20 46 20

When adding dormer windows to your home, it’s paramount to maintain the integrity of the roof’s primary function of water exclusion. Given the complexity that these types of dormer windows introduce by altering the main roof part’s structure, there are several key aspects to consider to ensure they remain both functional and enduring:

  1. Waterproofing: Ensuring proper waterproofing around the dormer is essential. This involves the correct installation of flashing and sealing around the dormer’s edges, where it meets the roof, to prevent water infiltration.
  2. Roofing Material Compatibility: The materials used for the dormer should be compatible with those of the existing roof to ensure a seamless and effective integration. This compatibility helps in maintaining the uniformity and effectiveness of the roof’s water repellency.
  3. Structural Integrity: The addition of a dormer should not compromise the structural integrity of the roof. It’s crucial to ensure that the roof can support the weight of the dormer and that the dormer itself is structurally sound.
  4. Proper Drainage: The design of the dormer should incorporate adequate drainage solutions to prevent water accumulation around the base of the dormer, which could lead to leaks and water damage.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Regular inspections and maintenance are vital to ensure that the waterproofing remains intact and that any potential issues are addressed promptly before they lead to water damage.
  6. Professional Installation: Due to the complexity of properly installing dormer windows and ensuring they are watertight, it’s advisable to work with experienced architects and contractors who specialize in this type of work.
  7. Compliance with Building Codes: Ensuring that the design and installation of dormer windows comply with local building codes and regulations is crucial for both safety and legality.

By focusing on these key aspects, you can ensure that your dormer windows enhance your home’s aesthetics and functionality without compromising its ability to keep water out. Proper planning and installation considerations, professional installation, and ongoing maintenance are crucial to the success and longevity of your dormer windows.

Cost to Install a Dormer  

photo 2024 04 24 20 47 38

The cost of installing a dormer can widely vary, reflecting the diversity in styles, architectural considerations, labor costs and the intricacies of each project’s design. On average, prices might fluctuate from as low as $2,500 to as high as $30,000, with the median spending hovering around $12,000. The cost per square foot for these installations is approximately $115.6. This variation in price underscores the importance of considering several factors that influence the overall cost, including the dormer’s style, the materials required for both the dormer and the integration with the existing roof, and the labor involved in the installation.

Given the potential complexities, especially related to maintaining the roof’s integrity and ensuring proper insulation and waterproofing, consulting with a professional is crucial before undertaking a roof dormer installation. The specifics of your roof’s material and design could introduce additional challenges that need to be carefully managed.Labor and materials represent significant portions of the overall cost, highlighting the need for careful planning and budgeting.

A professional can provide a detailed assessment and ensure that the project aligns with building codes, aesthetic goals, and functional requirements, thereby safeguarding your investment and enhancing your home’s value and usability.

Value Addition

In spite of the initial costs Dormer windows are able to significantly improve the property’s value. They provide a functional space as well as enhance the aesthetic appearance of your house and can appeal potential buyers.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The ROI of false dormers may vary however, most dormers offer an attractive return, especially due to the added living space and more daylight. It is generally considered to be an investment that is worthwhile in the long term.

Energy Efficiency Impact

A higher energy efficiency rating is a further important benefit to dormers. They can increase the amount of natural light and increasing the ventilation they will lower energy bills over the course of the course of.While the initial expense for dormer windows may be significant but the benefits over time from increased room, beauty, as well as energy efficiency, often outweigh the price. The homeowner should take into consideration these aspects in deciding if they want to add dormer windows into their home.If you’re unsure then you should talk to a real estate agent in order to gain a better understanding of what the house will be worth after the completion of your project present market.

Challenges and Solutions with Dormer Windows

loft conversion mansard grey slating lead dormers barnes sw14.jpg

The integration of dormer windows in your house comes with particular problems, however using the correct method proper installation, they are easily handled.

Dealing with Structural Challenges

  • Assessment An in-depth analysis of the structural structure is essential for ensuring that your roof is able to be able to support the weight of a dormer.
  • Professional Assistance: Work with an architect who is a certified builder to help you navigate the complexities.

Balancing Aesthetics and Functionality

  • Design Options Choose an architectural style for your dormer that is compatible with the architectural style of your home while also meeting your needs for functional lighting and space.
  • Customization You can work with your contractor on the tiniest details of the design of your dormer, making sure it is in line with your personal preferences as well as functional requirements.

Leak Prevention and Maintenance

  • High-Quality Installation Correct installation and sealing is crucial to stop leaks from dormers.
  • Regularly scheduled inspections Perform routine maintenance checks to detect and resolve any problems immediately.

Energy Efficiency Considerations

  • Insulation and glazing Choose energy efficient windows. Ensure enough insulation to boost the efficiency of your dormer.
  • Window Size and Orientation Size and Alignment: Adjust the sizes and orientation of dormer windows in order in order to maximize sunlight and heat. Windows facing south can absorb more light in winter and reduce the cost of heating. However, east and west-facing windows must be shaded off or blocked to reduce heat gain during the summer.

To tackle these issues, you need to take care in preparation and consulting with experts. If you do this it is possible to ensure that the windows in hip roof of your dormer aren’t just appealing visually but are also sturdy and practical.


What is the type of roof with dormer windows?

Mansards are like hips however they have less sides. This permits the building of a fully-functional attic which is why it’s not a surprise to see a dormer on the mansard roof’s roof.

What is the best roofing for dormer?

One-piece EPSDM roofing membranes are the perfect choice for dormer roofs. EPDM is tough and puncture resistant and is able to withstand many extreme weather conditions. EPDM is also extremely simple to put in.

What is the roof over a window called?

Dormer windows, also referred to as dormer windows come with distinct roofs which are either flat roof, arched pointed or decorative. Dormer windows are positioned over pitched flat roofs, and provides an extra dimension. Dormers can be beneficial for allowing airflow into your house. The dormer allows airflow to flow through.

What are the two general types of dormers?

Dormers are divided into five types: A Gable hip roof dormer. Gables dormers are similar to each other. … Sheathing Dormer. Shed Dormer is a simple fashion. … The Pigeons of Dompers! The roofers who have a high ridge share the same features similar to the gabled dormer roofers with the exception that the ceiling’s peaked shape is designed into an arcuate. … Eyebrow Dormer. … Segmenting Dormer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top