What is a Dormer?

A dormer is a structural element of a building that protrudes from the plane of the sloping roof surface.  Dormers are used, either in original construction or as later additions, to create usable space and height within the roof.  Dormers are a valuable addition when designing a loft conversion, enabling the addition of windows and balconies.


Types of Dormers

Flat roof dormer:
The roof of this dormer is flat and almost level with a frontal eave that parallels the main roof eave.  A slight fall to the top is required for rainwater drainage.  They are usually large in size creating a large living space within the roof.

Pitched roof dormer:
The roof of this dormer is pitched.  They are always smaller than a flat roof dormer because the Apex cannot protrude above the main roof.  They are usually designed for the larger roof and are mainly positioned on the front elevation.

Designing Dormers

Keeping the style consistent.
If more than one dormer is planned for each elevation then they need to be identical.  If a dormer already exists then we will match the style so they don’t look out of place.

Keeping the size consistent.
Not only the style of the dormer is important but the size too.  Other than the occasional larger central dormer, sizing should be consistent throughout the elevation.  The massing of dormers should always be in proportion to the property so they do not overshadow the story upon they rest.  For instance, a massive dormer on top of a small bungalow will look out of character.  Planning restrictions/ permitted development rules will apply, for more information see our Designing Your Loft page.

loft conversions usually need a dormer constructed

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