Dormers on houses are a common feature of many American homes. They were originally invented by a French architect, Francois Mansart. Dormers are small, protruding structures built on the sloping roofs of houses. Besides being an innovative aspect of home decorating, they create some additional space and headroom, and also increase the ventilation and lighting in the attics and upper rooms. They are useful if you plan to create a living space in your attic. They can also be thought of as windows that have their own roof, and extend onto the larger, overall roof of the house. They can significantly improve the aesthetics of your home.
Dormers can have many different shapes, each of which can complement the architecture of a house. Some of the common types are mentioned below.
It is shaped like a gable. It consists of a pitched roof with a gable at each end. It goes well with the American Colonial, Colonial Revival, Federal, Georgian, Queen Anne, and English Tudor house styles.
This type is characterized by its roof, which has three sloped sides. It is sheltered from the sides by the sloping roof, which looks like a pointed cap over the dormer. It goes well with the Shingle, Prairie, and French Eclectic house styles.
They have a single-planed, pitched roof. They are not in the same pitch as the main roof and require different roof sheeting. They go well with English Tudor, Arts and Crafts, Bungalow, and Dutch Colonial house styles.
As the name suggests, it has a flat roof. It is suitable when the loft space is not very high.
It is set back underneath the roof of the house. It looks good on small roofs, as it doesn't jut out like most of the other types.
The Eyebrow Dormer
This type lacks vertical sides and consists of only a curved roofing. It is also set in the roof, and looks like a half-open eye. It is a feature of Shingle style architecture.
Points to Remember
- The dormer should blend well with the overall structure and design of the house. A huge one on a small house or a very tiny one on a big house will definitely not create a very good picture. So, the correct size and proportioning matter a lot.
- It should not occupy more than half the width of the roof on which it is built.
- It should be placed slightly lower than halfway down the roof. This is necessary because its ridges should be lower than the main ridge of the house.
- The roof should follow the same style as that of the main roof.
- The windows should be smaller than the windows on the walls below in order to create an aesthetically correct structure.
When trying to increase the living space in your home, the most economical options are dormers on houses. They cost much lesser than any other type of home additions, as no extra excavation or foundation work is required. Dormers are a great way to add a new dimension to your home. They are very useful in creating small living spaces, which can provide a good view, as well as some peace and quiet; and at the same time, enhance the appearance of your home.