Tips For Adding Dormer Windows To Your House

16 November 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Dormer windows are very useful. They serve as a bump out in top-floor rooms, adding a bit of welcome space. They also increase the natural light streaming inside. Done right, dormer windows can also add pleasant variety to your home's façade. Utilize the optimum size, shape and style of dormer windows to increase the value of your house.

Keep Dormers in Proportion

The roof takes up a large portion of your house's façade anyway. While it's true the windows break up the roof line, the top of the dormer adds more shingling. For that reason, it's necessary to keep the dormers in correct proportion. This Old House suggests limiting the area the dormers occupy to under half the depth and width of the roof. Likewise, select windows that are smaller than the ones below.

Echo the Shape of the Architecture

Just as important as proportion, cohesion makes the dormer addition seem original to the house. When considering what shape you want your dormer to be, look at the existing shapes in your home's façade. For example, if your entryway features a peaked roof, utilize gabled dormers for your addition. The same goes for the windows. While they should be smaller than the original windows, they should still feature the same shape.

Follow the Roof Line

Going along with proportion and shape, the dormer addition should also echo the roof line. Similar to a peaked entryway blending well with a gabled dormer, a gabled roof in general calls for such a construction. Likewise, many contemporary roofs slant back as they rise to a point. Called a hipped roof, such a set up looks more cohesive with hipped dormers.

Add Architectural Interest

Conversely, if your house's façade feels a little bland, consider changing up the style with the dormer shape. For example, add arched dormers to a wide hipped roof. Alternatively, change up the look with the windows themselves. Dormers can be a space to get a little creative, so it's fine to add an arched window, porthole or even stained glass to the space.

Adorn the Dormer

Another way to add architectural interest is with decoration. For example, consider installing a flower box in front of the window. You can access the flower box from the inside, which also creates a charming exterior look. It's also possible to decorate the façade of the dormer itself. In fact, quite a few historic homes feature dormers with truss decorations, a series of complementary board lines that echo the skeletal structure of the home.

Select dormer window styles that either blend seamlessly with your house or add architectural interest to the façade. For more information, talk to a window specialist like Port Orchard Glass.