Dormer Roof Extensions

Are you thinking of converting your loft space to give you precious extra room? A dormer window is just what you need. But what is it? A dormer is a vertical window positioned within the slope of your roof. They have roofs of their own and come in many different designs. Comprising two sides called ‘cheeks’ and a window at the front, most dormers will be cut into the eaves to sit above the line of the roof.

A dormer loft conversion will make the most of the space in your home and will add more head height than a flat rooflight. Plus, if done right, it will add flair to the outside of your home. However, a bad dormer roof design can have quite the opposite effect to the aesthetic of your property, so it’s important to do your research.

Firstly, it’s essential to check if you will need planning permission. All listed properties will, as will any located in conservation areas. Most front facing conversions will require the go ahead but most rear facing won’t.  Check with your local authority before starting your project, as the rules around the country vary.

What type of dormer window will work on my property?

It’s very important to remain consistent and true to the style of your home. Traditional dormer windows work well because they follow the lines of the house. Similarly, a ‘bad dormer’ is usually one that isn’t in keeping with the original design of the building. If the property is modern, go for a contemporary shape like a hipped dormer.  If you have a more traditional property with gable ends, use a gable dormer. Also, matching the pitch of the dormer’s roof to the house’s will help it to blend.  It’s all about keeping to the style and proportions of your property.

You’ll also want to position it correctly. Place your dormer lower than halfway down the roof but not too close to the edge, keeping to the symmetry of the building. Pretty much any style home can be complemented by a dormer window. Even a traditional thatched roof or small cottage can be enhanced with a curved dormer in matching materials. These are usually called ‘eyebrow-shaped’ and blend so well they can look as though they were always present.

A dormer roof construction is a difficult job. More complicated and disruptive than a standard roof light to install, it is definitely best left to professionals. A section of the existing roof is cut out and supports for the new window put into place.  The newly constructed frame is then positioned. But a lot needs to be considered – not least insulation. It’s imperative this is not compromised or you risk reducing the energy efficiency of the home. Make sure this is discussed prior to work starting.

At Bluelime Home Design, we can offer advice on loft conversions.  We will plan, design and construct the right conversion for your property and can also help with planning permission, building regulations and dormer windows.


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