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Adding Dormers to Your Home During a Roof Installation

Do you have a room in your home that you just wish had more natural light? It’s not uncommon, especially in older homes, to struggle with spaces that seem dark and closed in. Adding dormers could be an excellent solution. If you plan to replace your home’s roof, that is the perfect time to consider the investment in dormers. Doing this at the same time will save you time and money while creating a stunning new look for your home. 

What Are Dormers?

Dormers are a type of addition to the structure of the roof. They are not skylights or sky tunnels but openings in the home’s upper floors along the roofline. They allow for you to add a lot of light into those spaces. They can also add architectural interest to the exterior of the home. They change the landscape of the roof and add value to your home. 

Can You Add Dormers to Your Home’s Roof?

It’s more readily possible than ever to add dormers to a home. In many areas, you will need to seek a permit to do so, which often requires an investment in structural planning to ensure safety and code requirements are met. This is typically done in addition to the regular roof planning tasks. 

Keep in mind that dormers will cost more to add to your home than just replacing the roof. They also take more planning. You can expect to pay for the addition of a window for each dormer as well as updates to the home’s siding to ensure everything has a finished look. 

Planning for the Addition of Dormers on Your Home

If you’re thinking about the investment in dormers, there are a few steps to take. Your first should be to meet with your roofing contractor to discuss your project needs. You’ll then be able to start working on making some big decisions.

Which type of dormer is best for your needs?

There are several types of dormers, and the type you select depends on the structure of the home and your budget. A common option is a gable dormer, which allows for a nice boost of natural light into the home. Named for the triangular shape at the top of the roof, with both sides sloping downward, this type of dormer is typically positioned along the slanted sides of the roof eaves. Most often, they do not fill in the full slant on the roof, and you can add as many windows as you like to them.

Another option is a wall dormer, which will sit flush with the exterior wall of the home. It works to raise the existing wall upwards, creating the triangular shape of the dormer. These are good options for those who want to add a finished look and architectural design element to their home’s roof line.

Why do you want to add a dormer?

Another good question to ask your roofing contractor is why you may wish to build a dormer, as well as the extensiveness of the project you are considering (and whether that’s possible with the home style you have). There are a number of reasons to add them, including:

  • Adding a full dormer addition would allow you to add square footage to a home. That is going to provide you with more space in your attic, such as more headroom there, to turn that space into an area that better meets your needs.
  • They can add value to your home. Done professionally and with attention to the details, they can add value not just by adding space but also by adding interesting detail to the area.
  • Dormers can also work to finish the attic space if there’s already enough headroom present. This may include providing more natural light into an area that is otherwise without windows. A beautiful view could be just what you need.

Do you need a permit?

Not every area requires the use of a permit to add dormers, but many do because of the importance of ensuring the work is done properly and safely. To find out if you need a dormer permit, turn to the local building department. Often, your roofing contractor can also provide you with guidance on what to expect, as well as help you get the necessary permits in place.

Consider proper roof draining 

When you change the roof line in any way, that can impact the way water drains from it. Your structural engineer on the project will work closely with you and your roofing contractor to ensure the proper adjustments are made. You may need to update your gutters.

Consider your home’s siding

Depending on the overall design of your home and the way you plan to add dormers, you may want to consider updating your home’s siding. Most often, you’ll want the siding to match well or to otherwise complement the rest of the home. Your contractor can help to prepare you for those updates and give you ideas on how to save money.

How to get a quote for adding dormers to your home during a roof installation

Before you can move your project forward, you will need to contact your roofing contractor to discuss the project. A full inspection of the roof, including the structural integrity of the roof, will play a role in the work that needs to be done. You will also need to take into consideration the material options that work for your goals.

Set up a consultation to discuss the addition of dormers to your home from a trusted and experienced roofing contractor. Look for one that has specific experience adding this structural change to homes like your own. That can help to minimize the risk of delays or mistakes made along the way. Done well, the addition of dormers can be a fantastic way to boost the aesthetics of your home and get more natural light coming into your home.

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