Roofing Dormer Types

Many Roofing Dormer Types Home Roofing Dormer Types 

Have you ever wondered about those different roofing dormer types that you see protruding from a roof on a home? Here in this post we will go over the many roofing dormer types and give a brief description of each. 

Intro on Roofing Dormer Types

A roof dormer is a structure that extends your current roof. Often adding space and the possibility of windows. These types of roofs are also a great way to add a little more style to your house. There are many different types of dormer roofs. Each style is different, they look different, have different properties, and are installed different. This article will help you learn about each of these differences and decide on which type of dormer roof you would like to see on your home. 

Types of Roof Dormers

  • Arched Top 
  • Eyebrow
  • Gabled 
  • Flared Gabled 
  • Pedimented 
  • Shed 
  • Steep Shed
  • Hipped
  • Pyramidal 
  • Recess 
  • Polygonal 
  • Wall Dormer Roof

Arch Top Dormer RoofArched Top Roof Dormer 

The arch top roof dormer style originated from France, it was most often seen in France from 1855 to 1885. The style soon came to America in 1915 and is still seen in a lot of the older houses to this day. This arch top roof protrudes outwards horizontally from a slanting roof to accommodate a window. Its roof is arched and the base meets with the sloping roof. This roof will add creativity to your home and a very unique appealing style.

eyebrow dormer roofEyebrow Roof Dormer

This style of eyebrow roof dormer is most popular in east-coast sea-shore houses. They are mostly used to mimic the look of thatch. The shape of this roof is very different, it mostly looks like a curious eyebrow, hence the name. They also add more of architectural statement then they add head room. Their main focus is to add light to upper stories and are often found with a decorative fan light. The installation of this roof can also be complicated, it all depends on the shape of your current roof. Even so it is a beautiful style.

Gabled Roof DormerGabled Roof Dormer 

This style of gable roof dormer is the most commonly used and is very popular in America. It has a peak at the top, and the base meets with the slanted part of the roof. It mostly represents the shape of a triangle. The reason it is the most commonly used is because it fits with most architectural style. This roof has many pros, such as the ability to shed water and snow. They also add space to attics or vaulted ceilings. There simpler style makes them more affordable and easier to build. However, they can be problematic in places with high winds and hurricane areas. Fun fact, another name for this type is Doghouse Dormer. 

Flared Roof DormerFlared Gable Roof Dormer

Very similar to the original gabled roof, this flared roof dormer has a strong peak and the base meets at the slanted part of the roof. However, at the gable end of this roof it flares out to create shelter for a porch or a balcony. It is most commonly used for shade on windows in a place where it is extremely hot during summers and the sun shines directly in the window. The flared end of the roof dormer can project out up to 24″ or more depending of the needed support further casting a greater shadow and more shade. 

pedimented roof dormerPedimented Roof Dormer 

This pedimented roof dormer is also very similar to gabled roofs, however the details of this roof represent more of a classical architecture. This style originated in ancient Greece, and Rome architecture, it was mostly used for decoration and was almost always held up by pillars. This roof is mostly seen over porches and held by pillars, it adds a fancy touch to any home.

shed roof dormer Shed Roof Dormer 

The shed roof dormer is very different from the roofs we have talked about so far. It only slopes in on direction, towards the front. This roof represents the shape of a freestanding shed, hence the name. The characteristics of this roof is colonial styled and originated in West Europe. This roof is also used to give you more head roof in homes that have slanted roofs that don’t give you much space. It also adds opportunities for more windows. They also look great on houses that are more long then they are wide. While it isn’t the best against snow and rain, it is great against high winded areas.

steep shed roof dormer Steep Shed Roof Dormer 

Often found on mansard type roofs, this steep shed roof dormer sits almost flush against the surrounding roof. It is also meant for very steep roofs and helps give you a little extra head room. While it is a simple style, it can be a great way to add space and extra room for windows. In this case of roof, bigger isn’t better. Most people make the mistake of over extending and creating quite the boxy blemish. This can be avoided if you don’t become greedy with space, and make sure that it doesn’t extend past your already existing roof.

hipped roof dormerHipped Roof Dormer 

In the hipped roof dormer, the hip roof slopes upward on all three sides of its structure. This means there are no vertical ends. The outer angle where all the sides meet is called the hip. This type of roof provides stability and comfort, while also providing utility. The also provide a clean aesthetic look. This type of roof is also stronger in withstanding wind pressure in a hurricane. It is most suitable for the Gulf Coast region in the south east. However, the don’t provide as much space as the gable roof does. This because of their slanting plane on the front hipped roof side. They are also more complex to install, this making them costlier. 

Pyramidal Roof DormerPyramidal Roof Dormer 

This type of roof is very much like a hipped roof, it has no vertical sides, instead all the roof sides slope towards the walls. It is called a pyramid roof dormer because all sides of the roof are equal with the resulting roof, forming a pyramid. There are many advantages that come with this roof such as, improved resistance against high winds, it helps keeps the home cooler because it eaves on all sides, and they look good. There are some disadvantages though, they cost quite a bit due to the increased surface area, they have less space than other styles, and they don’t shed water as well as other roof types.

recessed roof dormersRecess Roof Dormer 

This style of recessed roof dormer sits inside the roof instead of on top of it. It basically looks like the roof is indented and or set back in. This allows the window to be deeper in than they otherwise would have been. It also gives you the option of installing a balcony. A roofing pan is needed to move any water that might collect in the recessed areas out to the roof line. The roofing pan for the recessed dormers can commonly have leaks when not installed correctly. This style can also add a unique look to your home. 

Polygonal Roof Dormer 

Similar to octagons with the back three sides missing. This type of polygonal roof dormer gives you an amazing view, due to the fact it looks out in five different directions. Due to its shape it is a great place to install bay windows, and also a great place to look out in the morning with a cup of coffee (or tea, whatever your preference is). This style can add a great look to your home.

wall roof dormerWall Roof Dormer

This wall roof dormer style isn’t surrounded by the roof, instead they rise from a wall and projects flush up from that wall. Even with this style they can still have any range of dormer roofs added to them. Wall roof dormers are less commonly seen than the typical dormer types, they locate the window flush with the wall plane. They are also not as unique as most styles, but they are less expensive to build, and much easier to install than most dormers.

Reference Roof Dormer Types Links:

This Old House – Dormer Types

Angie’s List – Consider Adding Dormer 

Modernize – Types of Dormers

The Craftsman’s Blog – Types of Dormers  


Closing Thoughts On Roofing Dormers

As you can clearly see, there are many roof dormer types that you can choose for your home. Each one has it’s own distinct style. Having said that, choose wisely what roof dormer is matching and appropriate for your home. We hope that this article was helpful, and gave you some ideas. Thank you from all of us at, Texas Home Exteriors INC. 

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3 Responses to Roofing Dormer Types

  1. Cristian says:

    Brilliant roof dormer list, without a doubt the most comprehensive one that I`ve found online so far! Thank you so much for sharing this, I can finally have a open dialogue with my wife on our roofing option thanks to this resource!

  2. Dave Perrin says:

    Thank you so much for this listing. I am building a home now and this was very valuable to me. We are currently thinking of placing two arched top roof dormers in our home. One builder told us not to put shingles on an arched dormer but instead would need a metal roof and tried to talk us into going with a gabled roof dormer if we wanted shingles. Another builder told us shingles were better. You have an opinion?

    • Dave,

      Thanks for your question. I will agree that an arched top dormer should have a metal roof. Shingles are better off being on a gable roof and not an arched top roof. What part of the country are you building your new home in?

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