Have you ever been to a beautiful old house, and in their finished attic space, they have a cute little reading nook in the window? Maybe another one has a writing desk and some plants? These cute offshoots of the attic are thanks to them having a dormer roof. Dormer roofs are like a standard gable roof but with small roofed window additions that jut out the sides of the roof.
They’re a great way to add extra space and functionality to your home. However, it’s so much more than that. In this simple guide, we’ll cover everything about dormer roofs, from their pros and cons to how you can decide if one is suitable for your home.
WHAT IS A DORMER ROOF?
A dormer roof is a type of roof that has one or more dormers. Dormers are small, roofed additions that stick out from the main slope of the roof. They usually contain windows that help bring light into the otherwise dark attic space.
Dormer roofs are most commonly found on older homes. They were originally designed to add extra space and light to attics, which were often only used for storage. Nowadays, dormer roofs are still used for those same purposes. They’re also a popular choice for homeowners who want to create a more unique look for their home’s roof.
8 TYPES OF DORMER ROOFS 🏠
There are many different types of dormer roofs. The most common are gable dormers, hip dormers, and shed dormers.
1) GABLE DORMER
Gable dormers are the most popular type of dormer. They have a triangular-shaped roof that resembles a traditional gable roof.
2) HIPPED DORMER
Hip dormers have a hipped roof, which means that the dormer slopes down on all four sides.
3) SHED DORMER
Shed dormers have a single-sloped roof. They’re the simplest dormer type and are often used to add extra light and headroom to attics.
4) EYEBROW DORMER
Eyebrow dormers have a curved semi-circle-shaped roof on the top— resembling an eyebrow. They’re often used for decorative purposes rather than to add additional space.
5) FLARED GABLE DORMER
Flared gable dormers are similar to gable dormers but with flared sides like a miniature hipped roof. This gives them a unique look and can help guide more rainwater away from the dormers and windows.
6) RECESSED DORMER
Recessed dormers are set back into the roof’s slope rather than sticking out. This gives them a more subtle look and can help to preserve the architectural integrity of older homes.
7) WALL DORMER
Similarly, a wall dormer sits almost flush against the rest of the roof and is most often found on very steeply sloped roofs. It helps create a usable attic space where even though there’s no dormer space; there is still a covered window to allow natural light into the attic.
8) POLYGONAL DORMER
Polygonal dormers have a multi-sided roof (usually 3-5 sides) that looks like, you guessed it, a polygon. This shape is far more decorative than anything else, but still a very viable type of dormer. They’re very aesthetically pleasing and offer something other dormer windows can’t.
All these dormer types can be made from various materials, including:
Most often, homeowners choose to use the same roofing material on their roof as they do the dormers, but it’s not necessary. For example, some homes might utilize a metal or copper roof on the dormers themselves as an added design element and to ensure more durability.
✅ WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DORMER ROOF?
There are many benefits to having a dormer roof. The most common are:
1) EXTRA SPACE AND FUNCTIONALITY
The most significant benefit of dormer roofs is the extra space and functionality they add to your home. Dormers can be used for various purposes, from extra storage to a small office or guest bed space.
2) MORE LIGHT
Another big benefit is that dormers help to bring more light into your home. This is especially true if you choose to add windows to your dormers. The extra light can help to make your home feel more open and airy while maintaining airflow in an upper-floor attic space.
3) IMPROVED VENTILATION
Dormers can also improve the ventilation in your home. This is helpful in hot weather (or cold) when you want to open the windows and let some fresh air in.
4) ENHANCED CURB APPEAL
Dormers can also enhance the curb appeal of your home. They add character and interest to an otherwise plain roofline. This can be especially beneficial if you’re trying to sell your home.
5) INCREASED PROPERTY VALUE
Finally, dormers can also increase the property value of your home. This is due to the extra space and functionality they add as well as the enhanced curb appeal.
🚫 ARE THERE ANY DOWNFALLS?
Yes, of course. There are always pros and cons to things like this. When adding a dormer roof to your home, you’ll want to consider some of these potential downfalls first.
Adding a dormer roof to your home can be expensive. It requires an addition to your roof, which means more materials and more labor. This can add up quickly, so it’s important to consider your budget before you move forward and add a dormer to your roof.
2) STRUCTURAL CHANGES
Another potential downfall is that dormer roofs require structural changes to your home. This means that you’ll need to get the proper permits and have a professional do the work to avoid any issues.
3) RISK OF LEAKS
Dormers are basically an addition to your roof, which means they come with all the same potential problems (leaks, drafts, etc.). To avoid this, make sure you choose a reputable contractor and use high-quality materials and always make sure there is proper flashing installed around the dormers to seal in those creases.
Finally, dormers also require more maintenance than a regular roof. This is because they have more parts (windows, flashing, etc.) that can break or need repairs. Be prepared to do some regular maintenance on your dormer roof to keep it in good condition.
MAINTAIN YOUR DORMER ROOF THE RIGHT WAY
Just like any roof, you’ll want to ensure you maintain your dormer roof with immense care. Dormers can create a very susceptible spot for leaks to happen, especially if it’s not installed or maintained properly. Find yourself a team like MARS Restoration to help keep it in tip-top condition.
Our roofing experts can offer regular inspections and maintenance of your roof to ensure you catch issues early and uphold the integrity of your roof and home for years to come. Interested in learning more? Or want to see what a dormer roof might look like on your home? Schedule a FREE consultation today!