House Dormers – Delightful or Hideous

A large dormer can allow you to add a significant amount of second floor space without having to lift the roof and add a good deal of construction cost. And properly proportioned dormers will add character and style to your house. But a badly designed dormer can be like a wart on the Mona Lisa.

dormer with bad proportions

I was driving through a neighborhood recently and slammed on the brakes when I saw this monstrosity. I’m sure the intent was to add space to the second floor, presumably for a bathroom. But I guess large windows would have been too much of a privacy issue. So instead of putting in appropriate sized window for this big dormer, they used this wide, short window. Wouldn’t a shade or plantation shutters on the inside of a nicely sized window have been a better choice? Instead, with no thought for the exterior appearance, they ended up with a dormer that resembles a concrete lookout tower from World War II.

WWII Lookout Tower

WWII Lookout Tower, Cape Henlopen, Delaware

I hope this information is helpful to you. You might want to get yourself a copy of my best-seller, Designing Your Perfect House. It is chockfull of valuable tips and advice that will save you many times the cost of the book on your house building or remodeling project. You might also like The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live. It will show you how to make your home a happy place.

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Bill Hirsch | Architect

Bill Hirsch

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