A dormer is a roofed structure, often containing a window, that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. Dormers are commonly used to increase the usable space in a loft and to create window openings in a roof plane. The term “dormer” is commonly used to refer to a “dormer window” although a dormer doesn’t necessarily have to contain a window. A dormer is often one of the primary elements of a loft conversion.

Different Types Of Dormers

Dormers are like the eyes of a house. Resting on rooftops, dormers add headroom and light to upper stories as well as interest to an otherwise plain roof. There are 5 types of dormers, as outlined below:

A Gabled Dormer incorporates design elements and building materials that make it look original to the home. A simple gabled roof on your dormer helps shed water away from the window and down its sides. These are found on most any type of house and are probably the most common dormer style because of their simplicity and the fact that they add the most vertical headroom of most dormers. You’ll often find these in groups of multiples like 3, 4 or even 5 across a roof.

A Shed Dormer can be just a small addition for some added light, but often they are almost as large as the entire roofline. Shed dormers often blur the line between a dormer and simply being a second story.

When an unused attic space is repurposed with a remodel, sometimes light from the existing windows is less than adequate. A Hipped Dormer lets in more natural light. This type of dormer should be proportionate to the main roof in pitch and width so it appears to be part of the original structure.

An Eyebrow Dormer is typically a half circle or a triangle, and eyebrow dormers are more to make an architectural statement than a way to add headroom. They serve to add light to the upper stories and are often found with a unique window element.

A Segmental Dormer is essentially a fancy way of saying arched roof dormer. This dormer type is similar in scale and size to a traditional gable dormer.

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