Dormers are a common architectural feature found on all styles of homes around the world. Dormers are vertical constructions that jut up and out from the roof of a home. They come with their own roof that’s typically not at the same angle as the rest of the home’s roof. Dormers are added to homes to make them look more interesting and to get some more space into the attics of the homes. They can be added to a home after it’s first built or during the building process, but adding a new dormer will cost a significant amount of money. The size and location of the dormer as well as the roof
The Benefit of Dormers
Dormers aren’t just architectural features that make your home look more interesting, though that is a major benefit of having them on your home. When you add large enough dormers to your house they can add real headspace in attics and dormers with windows that open serve as useful ventilation for spaces as well. Many people choose to add dormers to attics when converting them to livable space, and they can function as useful additions to your home, especially shed dormers.
Why Dormers Raise Your Home Price
Whether you’re adding a dormer to your home later on during a remodeling project, or you’re adding it on as you’re having your home built, it is going to cost you more money than building the home without the dormer at all. That’s because a dormer will use up more materials and take more time to construct them the simple roof that it is taking the place of. Dormers require more framing time and they seriously complicate the shape of the roof that they sit in. The project can take a seasoned builder several additional hours to a few days to complete and that’s the main reason that you pay more to have dormers added to your home.
Types of Dormers
Dormers come in three very different styles, gable, shed and hip. Each has it’s own distinct look and you can find both widely used on homes around the country. No matter what option you decide to add to your home, it’s important to know what it will cost you.
Gable dormers are one of the most common types of dormers used on homes today. When most people think of dormers they picture gable dormers. These dormers are the little peaked boxes that jut up and away from the roof of a home. They have a peaked roof and look like little houses coming out of the house.
These dormers range in price from around $3,000 to $11,500 depending on the size and complexity of it. A small four-foot dormer might only add $3,000 to the cost of your home, while a much wider and taller dormer, say closer to 30 feet would cost closer to $11,500 to add to your home.
Shed dormers are very different looking from gable dormers and they aren’t added to homes quite as often, though they can be the more functional of the two dormer types. Shed dormers don’t have the peaked roof that gable dormers do. Instead they are simple a lower pitch than the rest of the roof around them. This creates a nice flat roof with a slight pitch and creates a more squared off space than what gable dormers can offer. While shed dormers don’t look as intricate and aren’t as much for architectural affect, they can add in a decent amount of space to an attic.
Shed dormers also range in price from around $5,500 for a 12-footer to $11,500 for a 30 footer according to Repair Home. The larger the dormer the more space you’re adding to your home, but in order to function properly the dormer has to be positioned lower than the rest of your roof or right at the peak of the roof so water can run down effectively.
Hip dormers look similar to gable dormers but instead of having a peaked roof with two panels coming together there are three panels coming together. This creates more gentle angles that aren’t quite as noticeable as what you would find with gable dormers. The end result is a happy medium between gable and shed. You get a bit more headspace that you’ll often find with shed, but you get more horizontal space than you would with the more aggressively peaked gable dormer.
According to Angie’s List adding a hip dormer can cost anywhere from $4,000 up to $15,000 depending on what it’s being used for and the size of the dormer. Hip dormers are often used for upstairs additions for small bedrooms or bathrooms.
The Unexpected Costs of a Dormer
Most people realize that adding a dormer to their home will cost them money in materials and labor to get the job done. What those people don’t realize is that there are other costs associated with the work as well that they should be aware of. Things like modifying the roof so it’s strong enough, or spikes in your insurance policy.
Reinforcing your Roof
If your roof system is already close to its limit you’ll have to spend money having it enhanced before a dormer is put on your home. That’s because dormers add weight to the roof of your home that might not be supported properly without enhancements. There is all the extra framing for a dormer, the roofing as well as the windows that are put in. That can amount to a serious amount of weight in larger dormers.
Insurance Policy Increase
Homeowner’s insurance usually goes off the square footage of your home. Adding dormers to your home will actually increase the square footage of your home which can lead to an increase in your insurance premium as well. This is something that you should be aware of. The added square footage could also help you get more for your home if you ever decide to sell it, so the improvement could pay off latter on.
Dormers usually only make sense as additions to homes when you need the added space for rooms in your attic. When used properly they can add a significant amount of space to your home, but larger dormer projects can cost thousands of dollars and even lead to other necessary improvements to your home that will cost you even more.