In our property journey, we often come across Californian Bungalows where hipped or gabled dormer windows have been added to increase habitable space.
Loft conversions have long been popular, brought about by the addition of dormer windows. These days you don’t have to be content with awkward sloping ceilings and small roof windows or skylights. Choosing a dormer window instead adds style and character to your home, as well as increasing the headroom and maximising the useable floor area. If constructed in a sympathetic way to compliment the house and the street presence, dormer windows add value.
However, for loft conversions to be practical, you must ensure you have adequate floor to ceiling height. If buyers feel cramped, you may not get back the money you have spent on the renovation.
What is a dormer window?
A dormer is a vertical window, with a roof of its own, which sticks up from the slope of a pitched roof. It’s a significant improvement over a skylight because it offers views to the outdoors, just like a ‘normal’ window and creates a greater sense of space. Similar to skylights, dormer windows are a source of light and ventilation roof or loft spaces, but unlike skylights, they also provide the opportunity to increase the amount of headroom and allow for more usable space.
Heres some examples but the important consideration is to choose one that is aesthetically pleasing, in the right proportions and complementing the architectural style.
- Flat roof dormer. Possibly the cheapest to build and often creates the most additional internal space.
- Shed dormer. Similar to a flat roof dormer, a shed dormer features a single-planed roof that slopes downwards at an angle.
- Gable dormer. The gable dormer has a simple pitched roof. Considered a more traditional and attractive option than the flat roof dormer, it’s a popular choice for period homes.
- Hipped dormer. A hipped or hip roof dormer has three sloping planes, the same as a full-size hipped roof, where they are typically installed as a matching feature.
- Eyebrow dormer. An eyebrow dormer is unique in having no sides; this traditional style is beautiful on the right property.
In summary loft conversions with the appropriate dormer window(s) will add value to your property; however, a loft addition that has inadequate floor to ceiling height may stop potential buyers from competing for your property.