9 Key Top Pros and Cons of Dormer Windows | Types of Dormers

9 Key Top Pros and Cons of Dormer Windows | Types of Dormers

What is a Dormer Window | Pros and Cons of Dormer Windows | Types of Dormers | How To Add a Dormer to An Existing Roof

Dormer Windows

A dormer window is a type of window that projects out from the sloping roof of a house. It is often used as an eave, to provide additional space in the attic for storage or other purposes.

Dormer windows come in many different shapes and sizes, but they are typically rectangular shaped with one side angled upward until it reaches perpendicular to the roof line.

hey can be covered by either shingles or another layer of siding material which may also cover any gables on the outside walls below them.

These types of windows are popular because they allow natural light into spaces where there would otherwise be no access to sunlight at all.

A dormer usually has three sides and is designed with sloped surfaces so water will run off quickly when it rains outside.

These features make them very popular among architects, builders, and homeowners today because they help create an inviting atmosphere inside while providing natural light through many angles during daytime hours.”

Types of Dormers

Flat roof dormer

The basic flat roof dormer is one of the simplest to construct and generally provides the greatest additional internal space.

Shed dormer

A shed dormer, like a flat roof dormer, has a single-planed roof that slopes downward at a shallower inclination than the main roof.

Gable dormer

The gable dormer, also known as a gable-fronted or dog-house dormer, features a basic pitched roof. It is a common alternative for historic homes since it is regarded a more conventional and appealing option than the flat roof dormer.

Hipped dormer

A hipped or hip roof dormer, like a full-size hipped roof, has three sloping planes and is typically added as a complementing feature.

Eyebrow dormer

An eyebrow or eyelid dormer is distinguished by the absence of sides; rather, the roof covering bends up and over a low, broad window.

This classic design, which was originally seen on thatched cottage roofs in the Middle Ages, is stunning on the appropriate property.

How To Add a Dormer to An Existing Roof

To add a dormer to an existing roof, you must begin by accessing your attic. Your dormer can be built to match the dimensions of an existing room in your home, but if you have multiple rooms in your attic, it is possible to increase the square footage of these rooms by adding a dormer.

To ensure that your dormers do not leak, it is important that the walls are built at least 12 inches thick. The walls must also be made up of insulation, which should be covered by siding sheets or plywood.

You can use virtually any type of wood for the roof, whether it is treated pine, cedar or redwood.

Once you have decided on the size of your dormer, you must determine how much you will need to access your attic. To ensure that enough room is available for the dormer, you must calculate this before beginning construction.

To calculate the amount of room needed, multiply the width by twice the depth and then divide by half the height.

You must also determine whether or not an existing roof is in place and how it can be altered. If there is no existing roof, your house will need to be raised approximately 2′ in order to add a dormer.

STEPS: How do you build a dormer on an existing roof?

Adding a dormer to your existing roof can be an easy way to add more space, light, and creativity. Here are the steps you should take if you want to create this added on top of your house.

1) Get a roofing contractor out for an estimate- they’ll know what type of materials will work best with the weight load that is currently present on your home’s structure.

2) Determine where you want the dormer to be located- it needs to fit in aesthetically but also make sense structurally (consider how much additional weight it will need to handle).

3) Draft up plans for the project and get them approved by city officials before construction begins.

4)  Have the dormer done starting from laying out the dormer on the attic floor before opening the roof.

5) Once construction is finished, have the roofing contractor inspect the job- it needs to be done to code.

6) Have your home inspected by a structural engineer. This is very important for safety reasons.

7)  Finish the interior and have your existing roof repaired, if needed, by a certified roofing contractor who specializes in adding dormers.


To ensure that your dormer windows remain sufficiently ventilated without negative effects such as heat gain, moisture accumulation and damage from harsh weather, it is important to follow these tips:

1. Install Right-Size Windows

There are two types of window sizes: those with a nominal size and those with actual size.

For dormers, the size of the window is important because it will determine how much light will enter your attic space.

Window sizes are measured in nominal sizes, which are the sizes recommended by the manufacturer. Actual size windows are more likely to fit properly on your home’s walls, but they may be more expensive.

2. Add Insulation

Insulation can be used to decrease heat gain through windows. It also helps keep heat inside the home during cold weather.

To ensure that windows remain sufficiently ventilated, windows can be installed with only 1″ of insulation. For deeper dormers, you must install insulation, which can be done by adding shutters or adding storm windows to the shutters.

3. Insulate Windows from Heat Gain

Windows will lose heat through the roof and through their sashes, particularly if they are exposed to direct sunlight in extremely warm weather. To avoid heat loss to the exterior, you must insulate your windows from heat gain.

To prevent excessive heat transfer from rising warm air into your attic space, you should insulate your dormer windows with a 1/2″ sheet of foam weather stripping to prevent air circulation.

To insulate from being heated by rising warm air, you should install insulation around all four sides of the window panels.

4. Use Crown Molding and Finish the Trim

To prevent moisture buildup, you must install crown molding and finish the trim around your windows with a vapor barrier.

If your windows are situated in a high humidity area, installing a vapor barrier will help control condensation and keep out moisture.

5. Use Weather Stripping

While rain can cause problems for some windows, wind can cause problems for all windows.

To prevent windows from being damaged from wind, you must install weather stripping around your windows.

6. Ensure Safety for Exposed Edges

To prevent accidents and damage, you must ensure that all exposed edges of your dormer windows are properly secured and protected.

While they may not be visible, these edges can adversely affect the safety of your home and cause water penetration into your home’s foundation if the gap is not sealed properly.

7. Cover Dormer Windows During Storms

While dormer windows provide extra ventilation during hot weather, they can cause your home to become damaged by storms if the windows are not covered properly.

To protect your home, you must cover your dormer windows during storms. However, you should not cover the window permanently with material because it will decrease air flow.

To permanently close the window, you may use plywood that is 1/2″ thick or more. You can also use fiberglass insulation sheets.

8. Properly Insulate Window Frames

To ensure that the window frame is not damaged from extreme weather, you must properly insulate it.

You should install insulation on the outside of the frame, avoiding placing it directly against the wood trim.

You should also add 1″ of fiberglass or other insulating material to the surface surrounding the window frame.

Pros and Cons of Dormer Windows

Pros of Dormer Windows

1. Increase Space

A small dormer window provides additional living space in a small room, increasing the amount of square footage available for living.

2. Ventilation

A dormer window allows fresh air to circulate into the attic through the attic access, which can help reduce moisture buildup, improve airflow and keep your home more comfortable when they are not being used.

Dormer windows provide greater ventilation and are the ideal option for houses without an air conditioning system.

Consider a double-hung style, which allows you to open windows at both the top and bottom, enabling fresh air to enter and hot air to exit your room.

3. Enhancing Design

Dormer windows will enhance both the internal and outward character of your property, increasing its value.

Furthermore, because such windows come in a variety of forms, sizes, and designs, you will be able to install windows that match the decor of your home, making it appear comfortable and distinctive.

4. Double the Use

By adding a small dormer window, your home can double its use.

Not only are you able to use the extra space for the same amount of square footage as every other area of your home, you will also be able to use it as an extra room, which is commonly referred to as an attic room or sunroom.

This may be useful for your home if you have a lot of children or live in a very hot climate.

5. Windows Increase Resale Value

Because the most notable feature of your home is its structure, having dormer windows can help raise your home’s resale value.

Dormer windows will make it easier to sell your house because they will attract those who want to live in a more aesthetically pleasing home and will also increase the square footage of your house, making it easier for them to move into and fit into their new lifestyle.

Cons Dormer Windows

1. Restrictive

Although the purpose of dormer windows is to allow fresh air to circulate into your home, they may not be the best option for those with respiratory illnesses who want to ensure that they receive adequate amount of oxygen.

2. Expensive

For homes without an attic access, adding dormer windows will be an unnecessary expense. However, once you have added an attic access, installing windows will be cost effective because this change will make your home more desirable, thereby increasing its resale value.

3. High Maintenance

For those who reside in a more humid climate, installing dormer windows will require a higher level of maintenance since they may be prone to leaking.

4. Housing Code Requirements

To ensure that your home is not unsafe, you must adhere to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUC).

You must comply with these requirements to ensure that your windows are fire safe and will not be falling off roofs after heavy storms.

5. Difficult Installation

It can be challenging to work within an attic space and install windows. Moreover, you must ensure that the windows are placed properly to ensure that they will not be blocked by insulation or stored items.

Dormer Windows FAQs

What is a dormer window?

A dormer window is a type of window that projects from the top of a building. The purpose for this is to let in more natural light into the living space below.

Dormers are often seen on homes built before electric lights existed, as they were originally intended to provide additional lighting at night.

They can also be used for ventilation purposes if it’s not possible or feasible to put windows near the roofline.

Do dormers windows add value to the house?

Dormers give architectural flair, accent, and detail to a building. Having one or more dormers as part of a roof’s structure might improve the curb appeal of a property that would otherwise be unappealing.

The new design elements might also look excellent on the inside. Dormers have a higher-than-average return on investment or recouped value of more than 60%.

What is the benefit of a dormer?

A dormer window can provide many benefits for your home. This type of window can help insulate the home even better than it would be without one.

The slanted roof design of the dormer window can focus airflow to improve air circulation. The slanted design also allows for more natural light to show through, which can help brighten up a room.

One thing that many people like about dormer windows is their ability to allow in daylight into a room. This can be beneficial in a multitude of ways.

For one, this can brighten up an otherwise dark space, which is great if you are trying to get things done in your home office.

This can also be used to brighten up a space in the basement, which is always good if you are trying to get the laundry done.

If you have a dormer window that faces towards the east, that will be an ideal window for you to have if you are trying to get some work done.

Are dormer windows expensive?

One thing you will notice about dormers is that they can be expensive to install or buy for your home because of the angles and the way they fit into the roof.

There are many things that go into choosing a dormer to match the style and function of your house.

There are different kinds out there that can fit all types of homes and styles. If you choose one that is not as expensive as other options, then it will be much easier for you to pay for it.

If you want to create a nice look for your house, then you will have to pay a little bit extra for it. Dormers are sometimes the only way to give your home a cool look that is not as cheap as other window types can give.

This can sometimes be a problem if you expect to move into a home and be able to sell it in the same condition that you bought it because dormers can be pricey.

How much does a full dormer cost?

Professional dormer installation generally costs between $2,600 to $20,000, or around $100 per square foot.

Dormers come in a variety of styles, including shed, flat, gable, and hip. Smaller improvements, such as installing a window dormer, run around $3,000. Larger remodels, such as adding a bathroom dormer, cost around $20,000.

Adding three dormers during new construction can increase the price of the roof by 15 to 20 percent

Are dormers worth it?

Dormers are an architectural detail that some people find to be aesthetically pleasing. They also provide additional space for rooms, which can be used for anything from storage to bedrooms.

They can also provide an additional living area or bedroom, which can be really helpful if you live in a house with limited square footage.

Dormers are typically added to the exterior of a home and they make it easier to enter or exit the house by providing more access points.

Many homeowners choose not to install dormers because they think it will cost too much money or take up too much space on their property.

However, this is not always the case! For example, if your roof doesn’t slope down enough at one end of your home then you may need a dormer in order to create usable living space on that side of the house.

There are numerous compelling reasons to install a roof dormer: Dormers are used to give architectural flair, emphasis, and detail:

Having one or more dormers as part of a roof’s structure might improve the curb appeal of a property that would otherwise be unappealing.

Dormers have a 65-70 percent average return on investment or recouped value.

What is the advantage of a dormer?

Dormers are an architectural detail that is designed to provide additional living space.

This can be a great way of adding an extra room onto your roof, and also helps to make the most of any available space.

If you’re considering adding a dormer, it’s important to know what the benefits are before making a decision.

Dormers can make use of otherwise unusable space and add more value and charm to your home – but there are downsides as well!

Do dormers leak?

Dormers are often built on the roof of houses to provide more living space. Dormer roofs can be difficult to design and build because they must be strong enough to withstand snow, rain, and wind while also being lightweight.

The leak is generally caused by badly placed or nonexistent flashing around the dormer area. Step flashing is the best technique to fix a roof leak around a dormer. Step flashing is a steel barrier that connects the dormer walls to the roof.

Do dormers need gutters?

The design of your dormers determines whether gutters are required. A gutter is not required for an architectural addition such as the eyebrow dormer.

Dormers, on the other hand, require gutters to avoid wear on the spaces underneath them and flow into the windows.

What are some types of dormers?

Dormers are a type of roof that is added to the back or front of a house. They often extend out from the slope of the main roof and maybe angled in different ways depending on what they’re used for.

Roof dormers can offer extra space for storage, add architectural interest to the exterior, and provide ventilation for attic spaces.

They come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what your needs may be. Some dormers can double as a sunroom or even function as attic space for storage.

There are four types of dormers: side gables, front gables, rear gables and hip roofs.

Side and front gable dormer styles have slanting sides with steeply pitched roofs while rear and hip roof dormer styles have straight sides with lower-pitched roofs that usually extend beyond the plane of the eave line.

Rear Gable Dormers also usually include louvered shutters on each side to help regulate air circulation within it.

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