Few things immediately impact a room like natural light. Increasing natural light does more than just make living spaces welcoming and cozy. It can also increase the curb appeal of a home.
But what happens when the style of your house makes it more challenging to add natural light to all of your rooms? Cape Cod style homes, for example, often don’t have a full second story. In other cases, a remodeling job might plan to turn a windowless attic into a new living room.
That’s why dormers are helpful. Dormers are small additions often used to add usable space in a loft and create window openings in a roof plane. Dormers are mostly small in total area but can provide additional square footage as one of the primary elements of a loft remodel. While they may not always include a window, the term "dormer" is usually used to describe a "dormer window."
Typically (but not always) small, dormers can add those few additional square feet of space you need to make your home exactly how you envision it. Maybe it's a basic doghouse dormer that brings some additional light and a view. Maybe it's a shed dormer that opens extra area for a large bath. Or maybe it's an eyebrow dormer that embellishes your home’s outside while creating additional space indoors. Dormers are a great remedy for space-challenged areas.
What are the styles?
There are many different types of dormers. American homes tend to fall into two common types, based on the type of roof on which the dormer is being added. While the type of a dormer can often dictate what space is available for a window, most dormer styles can handle any type of window. Here’s a look at the most recognized dormer styles and the window types ideal for each:
A modest and relatively minor architectural element from the outside, a doghouse dormer (also known as a gabled dormer) can bring extra light and space inside a loft area. Found on many styles of dwellings, the front of a gabled dormer can be identified by a mini-roof that rises to end in a point at the top. It creates the shape of a traditional doghouse. Inside the home, a doghouse dormer can offer additional functionality, such as a space suited for a built-in seat or storage.
Ideal window type: Due to their unique shape, gabled dormers often need a specialty window or awning window.
Hip Roof Dormer
Found frequently on Craftsman, Shingle and Prairie style homes, hip roof dormers consist of three converging roof sides with a window in the front. Although the sloping planes of a hip roof dormer decrease some of the space inside the room, this style offers better defense against the elements.
Ideal window type: Double-hung windows are often found in hip roof dormers, matching the traditional look of the home’s style. Depending on the size of the dormer, numerous windows can be placed.
Much like the doghouse dormer, this style receives its name from having a shape similar to a garden shed. With a flat roof that slopes down at slightly less of an angle than the rest of the building’s roof, shed dormers are frequently found on Craftsman and Colonial Revival homes.
Ideal window type: Because of the width of shed dormers, it’s easy to install numerous windows. Casement and double hung windows are frequently found installed on shed dormers.
Though the shed dormer can add the most space in a home, the eyebrow dormer is used mainly for decorative purposes or creating alcove space. The low and wide-shaped dormer provides no sides and is highlighted by a curved roof that gives this dormer its name. Queen Anne and Romanesque home styles frequently use eyebrow dormers.
Ideal window type: Eyebrow dormers can be unique from house to house, so the type of window will alter to meet the specific needs. Custom-designed or curved windows are commonly the suitable choices for this kind of dormer.
Dormer additions and dormer windows bring your home more than just curb appeal. If planning dormers to increase space in your room, make sure to consider the same features you would prioritize for when investing in other replacement home windows such as energy efficiency and build quality.
To find out more about the perfect window for a new dormer or consider a replacement window for your existing dormer, get in touch with a Pella® professional today!