Four Things to Know About Dormer Windows

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Real Estate

See the yellow arrow pointing to the windows above that are jutting out of the roof? Those windows are called "dormers." For some reason, I've always loved dormer windows. They are common on Cape Cod style homes, which are very popular up North. Growing up on Long Island and attending undergrad school in Connecticut, I've seen my share of homes with dormers -- I even lived in one. I guess when I picture neighborhoods back home, I picture homes with dormers. Here are four fun facts about dormer windows.

1. Let's first address the origin of the word. The Latin root dorm pertains to sleeping (think: dormant, dormitory), so take a guess at what one function of a dormer window might be? When a home needs to make room for more people, an attic space can be converted into a bedroom by adding a dormer window that will add light and ventilation to the space. What do you do in your bedroom? Sleep -- hence the dormer window.

2. Another function of a dormer window is to add height, and I know all about this. When I was fourteen years old, my parents and I moved into our Cape-style home. I was so excited to have the upstairs all to myself. The entire second floor had sloping ceilings, and the bedroom walls and ceilings were covered with knotty pine. It made everything feel cozy and had a shabby chic vibe at a time when shabby chic wasn't even a thing. The issue, however, was the sloping ceilings in the bathroom. There wasn't enough room for a shower head, which meant baths only upstairs. The solution? My parents added a dormer.

3. Dormers aren't purely for function. Simply adding a dormer to a home can increase the curb appeal by breaking up the roof line, which adds some character to the house AND adds height. Added height makes the home appear taller, i.e., LARGER, from outside.

4. When choosing a dormer window, you have many options. The dormer windows I am most familiar with were referred to as "doggie dormers" because they do resemble dog houses attached to the roof. Another type of dormer is an "eyebrow dormer" because it has an arch over the window, and I like this name because whatever the type, dormer windows are like eyes peeking out from the roof of the home.

Interested in finding a house that has the function and visual appeal of window dormers? Give us a call! While not nearly as popular in Florida as they are up North, you can find a home down here that has them.