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Dormer Windows

Dormers are usually built into the roof of a house that has living space in close proximity to the roof, such as an attic bedroom. Light and air flow are essential for the vitality and comfort of attic rooms. Dormers provide more space and dormer windows provide that light and the free flow of air.

Because attic rooms can be very stressful on air conditioning units, it is vital that warm air is not allowed to collect for long. Therefore, it is usually best that dormer windows be double-hung, meaning they open both at the top and bottom of the window frame. This creates a draft that pushes warm air out the top of the window while allowing cool air to flow in through the bottom half.

As mentioned, dormer windows also allow natural light into the room. This, combined with the added view from the highest point in the house, make dormers, and attic rooms in general, great places for desks and famous avenues of inspiration for writers over the centuries.

Light and air flow are essential for the comfort of attic rooms—something dormer windows are excellent at providing. Dormer windows also add a bit of extra headroom, another must-have in an attic or loft space. If you’re considering dormer windows for your own home, we have all the information you need to get started.

Costs

Because dormer windows require more materials than other window types, they come with a higher price tag. Expect to pay around $1,800 plus the cost of installation for a 6x10-foot dormer window. With labor, it could be $3,000 to $4,000 depending on the size of the window and the quality of the materials used. Contact a local professional for more specific cost estimates.

Pros

Help considerably with ventilation.

Unlike a skylight, dormer windows provide more space in a loft or other room.

Bring natural light to typically dark attic rooms.

Cons

Can be somewhat complicated to install, so they cost more.

Smaller than roof windows. Thus, they let in less light.

Can make a home’s structure appear awkward if they aren’t installed correctly.

Durability

Dormer windows can be very durable as long as they are positioned correctly to allow rainwater to drain properly. This means they should be given ample space between valleys and other dormers.

Maintenance

Much like other types of windows, dormer windows require regular cleaning with non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner, warm water, and a soft cloth. In addition, it’s suggested that dormer windows are checked regularly for rips in the joints that allow for humidity and moisture damage.

Common Questions and Answers

What are the most common type of dormer windows?

There are four types that people seem to stick to the most: doghouse (two sloping planes and a central ridge up top), shed (rectangular appearance without a pitched roof), eyebrow (low-curved half circle), and recessed (set back in the roof).

What is the best window style to use for a dormer window?

Because attic rooms can be very stressful on air conditioning units, it is vital that warm air is not allowed to collect for long. Therefore, it is usually best that dormer windows be dou

History

The dormer window first entered the architectural scene in the 17th century, when French architect Francois Mansart began using them to increase living space while adhering to height restrictions of the period. They have since endured a long history in American architecture as well.

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