Five Common Types Of Dormers
Dormers are windows or other small roofed structures that protrude from a sloped roof. They are typically used to add extra head room or light to sloped attic spaces or loft conversions. There are five main types of dormers including the following:
Gabled dormers are the most common type of dormer. They have peaked roofs and typically are just large enough to hold a window. There may be several gabled dormers positioned along the length of the roof, depending on the architecture of the home. The sloped roof of these dormers not only allows them to add a lot of head room to the interior of the space, but also helps direct water away from the window.
Shed dormers are the simplest style of dormer. They have a relatively flat roof with a single plane that slopes gently away from the larger structure. Although this style of dormer can be used to add a single window, they are also sometimes used to add large additions to the attic of a home. In fact, sometimes shed dormers extend the entire length of the home, acting more like a second story than a dormer. They are commonly seen in Colonial Revival and Arts & Crafts architecture.
Hipped dormers are similar to gabled dormers in that they have a peaked roof. The main difference, however, is that they have a third plane on the roof that starts at the front of the dormer and slopes back toward the house. This type of dormer is common in Prairie, Craftsman and French Eclectic style architecture. They are also often seen on American Four-Square houses.
These unique dormers feature an arched top that gracefully rises up out of the slope of the roof. They are typically relatively flat and don’t do much to add head room. Instead, they are often used to add architectural detail or to add windows to bring additional light into the space. Their curved top makes them an interesting addition to the architecture of the home since most homes typically feature sharp angles rather than gentle curves. This makes them an excellent choice for adding unique charm and character to a home.
Like eyebrow dormers, segmental dormers have arched roofs. However, the arch is generally much more subtle. Additionally, segmental dormers protrude further from the roof and typically have flat walls on two of the sides that lead up to the roof. The front of the dormer typically contains a window that has an arched top that matches the curve of the top of the dormer.
These are the five main types of dormers. When deciding which type to use on your home, you need to consider both the architectural style of your home as well as how you want to use the space. If you just need to add a little bit of light, an eyebrow dormer might be a good choice. Alternatively, if you want to dramatically expand your space, a full-length shed dormer would be a better option.