7 Popular Styles Of Dormers Used When Remodeling

Seven Types of Dormers for Home Remodeling, Madison, WI

Seven Types of Dormers for Home Remodeling, Madison, WI

Seven Types of Dormers Explained

If you live in a home that is less than two stories high, for example, a Cape Cod or Craftsman style, one way to turn your awkward attic into usable space is by adding dormers. Dormers are like the eyes on top of a house. They rest on the roof and depending on the style you choose, can add additional headroom and floor space to your attic increasing the usable space in your home. They also allow natural light in and can add an interesting architectural element to an otherwise plain roofline.

Dormer styles are named based on the style roof they sport. As home styles and architectural designs have shifted, builders have developed several new styles of dormers to accommodate modern homes. Some are classic and traditional harkening back to Victorian style homes, while others offer modern lines and contemporary flair. Let's take a look at the seven most popular styles of dormers used when remodeling a home today.

Seven Popular Dormer Styles

The style of dormer you choose to incorporate into your home will rely on several factors including the style of your house, your needs, and your budget. Some dormers are more architecturally significant and can be expensive to construct. Others, like shed dormers are extremely functional and can add a significant amount of height and floorspace to your attic.

Here are seven of the most popular styles of dormers used in new construction and home remodeling.

Gable Dormer Interior View

This photo shows an interior view of the same dormer in the header photo at the top of this page. This gable dormer happens to have a flattened ceiling above the window.

Gable Dormers

The most common style, gable dormers will work on almost any style home. If you look at the side of your home, the area from the peak of your roof to the gutters/eaves is called a gable. These dormers replicate that peak on the front or back of the house, and it's how they got their name. They are popular due to their simplicity and the fact that they add the most vertical headroom to the interior.

Typically, you'll find this style in groups of 2, 3, or 4 across a roof. This design works with a number of home styles including Queen Anne, Victorian, Tudor, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and Gothic Revival.

Flared Gable

A variation of the gable dormer, the flared gable features a roof that flares out much the same way that the main roof of a house might flare out to accommodate a porch or addition. The flared roof helps to shade the windows. This is a plus if the dormer faces south or west in areas where the summers are hot.

Intricate corbels are often an added architectural element used to support the overhanging roof.

Hipped Dormers

Almost as common as the gable dormer, the hipped roof dormer is one of the defining characteristics of the American Foursquare style home. It typically sits higher up (more towards the peak) on the front of the home.On a hipped dormer the roof slants back as it rises and this occurs on the front as well as the sides.

Hipped Dormers are commonly found on houses in the Prairie, French Eclectic, and Shingle styles.

Eyebrow Dormer

Unique eyebrow dormers were included in this Storybook Lake House built by Degnan Design-Build-Remodel.

Eyebrow Dormers

Eyebrow dormers feature gracefully curved roof lines and are a popular addition to homes like the shingle style homes typically found in East Coast shore communities.

They are related to Arched top dormers which are typically associated with architectural styles that originated in France including the Second Empire style (1855 – 1885), Beaux Arts style (1885 – 1930) and the French Eclectic style (1915 – 1945).

Recessed Dormers

Also known as inset dormers, this style has one or more walls that are “set into” the roof rather than placed on it. This style of dormer allows the windows to be deeper than they might otherwise be and can be designed to include a “walk out” balcony adding some exterior space to the home.

Pedimented Dormers

Similar to gabled dormers, pedimented dormers incorporate details rooted in the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Buildings in ancient Greece and Rome both had rows of columns across the front that supported a horizontal beam that held up a triangular wall called a pediment that was under the roof peak. On pedimented dormers molding is used to emphasize a similar triangular shape. Vertical molding on either side of the windows replace the columns.

Shed Dormer

Shed Dormer

A Shed Dormer as viewed from the interior

A shed dormer has a flat roof that slopes in a single direction towards the front. The roofline can be small with one or two windows, or run almost the entire length of the house from just below the peak, to just above the eaves and can add a wall of windows to the attic, and a tremendous amount of interior space.

Shed dormers are typically characteristic of the Dutch Colonial, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival Houses.

Adding a dormer can increase your home's curb appeal, bring natural light into your attic, while raising a low ceiling height, increasing floor space and adding additional usable square footage to your home. Your design build remodeling contractor can help you to create the perfect dormer to meet your families needs and compliment the style of your home. With a number of interesting designs and levels of functionality, with a little planning, you can add this beautiful, functional architectural element to your home.

This blog was updated by Abe Degnan on 7/25/2018.

About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.