Dormer Addition Ideas: Add Dormers to Your House!

Looking for dormer addition ideas? If you want to add dormers to your house, we can help you visualize it first, as we did with all of the clients in this roundup! We’ll help you determine what type of dormers, and dormer windows, will look best with your existing roofline and your plan for the rest of your windows. Plus, we’ll factor in your home’s inherent style and your personal taste. Read on to get inspired.

Wondering what a dormer is exactly? A dormer is a structure that projects vertically beyond the plane of a pitched roof. It has its own roof and often contains a window. Dormers are often used to increase livable space in a loft or attic. Beef up on terminology like this by checking out our exterior design dictionary.

Our virtual exterior design service gives our clients the confidence they’re looking for in order to move forward with a curb appeal renovation. We partner with property owners to deliver visualizations of their home with a fresh exterior. Learn more about how it works.

Before and after of a home with a dormer addition visualized

False dormers

This client in Texas reached out with a ton of ideas for updating her 1950s traditional home. She wanted to keep the home’s style but add some visual appeal, including two or three false, or blind, dormers. This type of dormer isn’t functional in the interior — it doesn’t provide any light or extra space — but it does offer an aesthetic update. Here, our designers suggested gabled dormers with HardiePlank vertical siding rendered in Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams, which is the same paint color we used on the brick.

Before and after of a traditional home with limewashed brick and a single dormer added above entryway

Single dormer for European flair

The owner of this home was looking for an ‘upscale aesthetic’ with her new exterior design. She also mentioned she was drawn to European-style architecture. Plus, she had plans to get a new black shingle roof and black gutters and downspouts. With all of this context, our designers suggested a single bonneted dormer window directly above the entryway. This touch not only adds style, it also pleasantly interrupts the large swath of dark roofing material in that portion of the façade. And, because it’s centered above the front door, it helps draw the eye where we want it to go.

Before and after of a home with original red brick painted white and the addition of two dormers

Breaking up the roofline

Once again, we added false dormers to this home. The big goal here was to add interest to the long, straight roofline. Shed dormers mimic both the existing roofline and the slope of the metal roof awning we added in creating the new front porch. Importantly, a new gable over the entrance offers geometric variety.

Before and after of a home with a large dormer added

Big single dormer

This client specifically asked for a shed dormer visualization, and we were happy to oblige. We love how this large dormer addition brings architectural interest to the home’s curb appeal. Plus, the lines on the dormer’s metal roof are repeated on the pergola-style front porch awning, as well as the new vertical board-and-batten cladding.

Before and after of a red brick home with dormer addition visualized

New roof, new dormers

Our next client dormer addition story is a great case study because it shows the home from the front (above) and the side (below). This gave the homeowner the chance to see what their new dormers would look like from both angles. Because this brick ranch needed a new roof, the owner decided it was the perfect time to add dormers. Shed dormers were the natural choice for this roof with a low pitch. We used Benjamin Moore’s Grant Beige on on the cladding of the dormers. This connects them to the columns, fascia, soffits, railings, and more, which are all rendered in the same hue.

Side view of a brick home with updated exterior design and dormer addition

Before and after of a traditional Colonial home with third-story dormer addition visualized

Dormers to further symmetry

Colonials are all about symmetry; as such, our designers made sure to highlight this home’s symmetry as part of the dormer visualization we provided. Gabled dormers give the façade height and keep it from feeling so rectangular. The open gabled portico repeats the triangle shape over the front door.

Before and after of a sprawling brick home with the addition of seven dormers

Seven new dormers!

Moving into the house you grew up in is romantic but can have its challenges. The client above loved her childhood home and the land it’s on, but it really wasn’t her style. She thought it felt too “1980s ranch” with its straight roofline, while she prefers Tudor-style homes with interesting shapes and roofs with plenty of pitch. Dormers to the rescue! We suggested placing shed-style dormers across the width of the roof, roughly mimicking the placement of the main-level windows, for a more time-honored aesthetic.

Before and after of a home that was under construction, with second story dormer and new garage visualized

From under construction to complete

Construction had begun on this new build, but the homeowners felt that the exterior was looking too basic and reached out to us for a more exciting design. (Sidebar: The homeowner’s mother / mother-in-law purchased the design from us as a gift to her son and daughter-in-law — how sweet!) They had plans for a dormer but wanted to see how it would look along with our other suggested updates. The addition of a gable above the three front windows and the new two-stall front-loader garage makes all of the difference for this home’s roofline.

Large white home with both second- and third-story dormers

Add dormers to your house with a rendering as a guide

Big exterior renovations like dormer additions can feel daunting. We get it because we’ve been there. Our co-founders came up with the idea for brick&batten when trying to figure out a way to see what painting a home they were working on would look like before committing to the time and the expense. We believe in the power of expert design guidance and the confidence that we can give our clients through our photorealistic rendering services. And we’d love to help you next!

As the leaders in virtual exterior design, we’ve worked with thousands of clients to help them take the first step on their curb appeal updates. Some reach out to us knowing exactly what they’re looking for, while others only know they don’t love their current exteriors. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, our team has helped someone with a similar mindset, design style, and design challenge. Explore our clients’ stories to learn more. Or, take the leap now and get started on your own update!