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This slideshow will help you select a dormer style, whether gabled, shed, or any of the hipped versions between.
When a sprawling one-story ranch receives a shed dormer window atop the entry, the addition not only adds height and light to the interior, but it also adds a needed visual break to the block of roofing material. A dormer window addition provides an excellent opportunity to introduce a new material to your home's exterior.
Here, cedar shake shingles add a fresh texture, while using the same paint creates visual cohesion with the rest of the house.
For homes with Victorian style, give a gabled dormer window some extra attention with decorative touches. A flowerbox installed at the window's base brings a splash of color to the top of the house and ties in with landscaping below. Spandrel brackets found on the front porch frame the dormer's corners.
Nothing says triple dormers all have to match. Not only do these add height and visual interest to this once-bland roof, but they also add a surprising touch. The homeowners wanted their traditional addition to have a hint of the unexpected, so they opted for an arched shed dormer topped with a fanlight, framed on each side by a traditional shed. It is unique and echoes the round shape found on the cupola.
When unused attic space is repurposed with a remodel, sometimes light from the existing windows is less than adequate for the space. Let sunshine in with a hipped dormer.
Keeping it proportionate to the main roof in pitch and width makes it appear original to the structure, not interrupting or distracting from the home's already-strong architectural lines.
The addition of an eyebrow dormer to a simple pitched roof on this classic Colonial home adds an element of elegance and sophistication to the home's exterior.
When selecting a dormer shape, look for existing shapes in your home's architecture. Echoing what you already see and repeating it in the dormer window makes it look original to the home. In this home, the dormer's shape took its inspiration from the roof over the front door.
If a new roof is in your home's foreseeable future, consider how different roofing materials will impact the look of your dormer windows. Select a shingle that reflects your home's style and decide how the shingles should lay over the dormer to further highlight its architectural contribution to the home, rather than hide it.
These arched eyebrow dormers playfully peek out from the roof, and the curve from the top lingers across the roof before blending in with the rest of the shingles.
These dormer windows not only provide much-needed light to an attic-turned-guest-suite, but they also serve as bump-outs for a bed and reading nook. From the exterior, these tall windows draw the eye upward, making the home appear taller (and larger) than it is.
Shaped to echo the fanlight found on each dormer window, an artfully displayed fanned semi-circle of siding stretches between the two columns gracing the home's front porch. Look closer, however, and you'll see the siding on the gabled dormer radiates off of the fanlight, as well.
While such subtleties may go unnoticed at a glance, incorporating these details adds texture and interest and puts materials to use in a clever way.
This added gabled dormer may be the new kid on the block, but its incorporation of design elements and building materials make it look original to the home. The crisp white vergeboard highlighting the strong triangular shape over the entry is applied to the dormer, as well, along with the box cornice treatment.
When first purchased, this home was flat and lacking flair. But the addition of a bumped-out entry under a pergola and sunroom to the side gave it some much-needed charm. The roof, however, still looked bare. A hipped dormer window proportionately shaped to the roof and centered over the entry added height.
While the homeowners considered a gabled dormer to match the pergola below, a hipped one blended with the roofline more, and tied in well with the roof on the adjoining sunroom.
Adding a dormer isn't just about adding light to your interior space; it's also about balancing the home's exterior elements. Prior to the addition of these twin gabled dormers, nothing drew the eye over to the right side of the house. The new dormer windows, though, balance well with the windows over the front porch.
Placing these gabled dormers on either side of the entry draws the eye toward the front door, and makes this cozy bungalow look larger than it is. The soft arch found on the portico over the front door is repeated in the arch over the windows.
The first inclination may be to cover a new dormer top with shingles used elsewhere on the roof, but it's an excellent chance to introduce a new material.
This arched shed dormer window is dressed up with copper roofing material to tie in with hardware found elsewhere on the exterior, and the window box was constructed to match ones gracing windows on the main level.
While the homeowners appreciated the shelter provided by the heavy overhang above the front door, they weren't fond of the fact that it hid the entrance, making the garage door the focal point. An added arched eyebrow dormer window, however, gave the darling entry some much-deserved attention and made the once-dark entry hall full of natural light.
Strong geometry highlighted with striking windows and good placement sets this house apart from the rest. But what really makes it a beauty is the combination of sharp angles and the occasional gentle curve found in the eyebrow dormer and arched window tops.
Look carefully and you'll see a strip of copper roofing stretch across the portico, below the louver vent. It's also installed below the twin gabled windows, which adds an element of warmth and works as a sophisticated alternative to simply using the same roofing material.
While the homeowners of this darling Tudor home loved the large windows that let light flood their first floor, the two stark windows on the front of the second floor left that level dark.
A shed dormer window turned out to be the perfect solution: It flooded a once-dark hallway with natural light, and created a perfect reading nook, as well. From the exterior, it provides a needed visual break from the block of roofing and added a splash of color by incorporating shingles painted to match the rest of the home.
Dramatic and eye-catching as the roofline on the right of this Tudor-style home may be, the lack of windows in combination with the wall's steep incline limited the usable floor space and light in the room. The addition of a shed dormer provided a simple solution: a cozy window seat where sunshine flooded the room to create a light, inviting room.