Posted on: 14 September 2015
A roof dormer is a raised section of roof or bumpout in the roofline of a home. This architectural feature not only serves as a way to add valuable space to the interior of the home but also adds visual appeal to the roofline when viewed from outside of the home. While dormers may seem relatively simple, they represent a fairly complex project and require the help of a professional roofer to install properly. The cost of a dormer can vary significantly depending on the size, design and profile you choose, but even homeowners looking to install the most basic dormer should expect to pay an average of $2,500.
Before you compare dormer prices, it's helpful to understand the different types of dormers. The simplest dormers mimic traditional roof profiles, such as the gable dormer, which is sloped on both sides like a gable roof. Hipped dormers are similar to gable ones but are sloped on all three sides like a hipped -- or barn -- roof. Shed dormers are a simple sloped rectangle that rises out of one side of a roof. These three represent the most affordable dormer designs. If you want something more complex, be prepared to pay more. These more costly dormers include ones with arched or rounded tops, large barrel-style dormers, or tiny, curved eyebrow dormers that rise out of the roofline.
The average cost of a dormer per square foot ranges from about $80 to $140, though there are certainly exceptions for more complex designs. A sloped gable dormer to accommodate a window and add light to the attic will cost between $3,000 and $11,500 depending on its size. A shed dormer measuring 12 feet in length will cost around $5,500, while one that measures 30 feet long will cost around $11,500.
The High Cost of Curves
Gable, shed and hipped dormers are relatively straightforward -- all straight lines and easy-to-measure angles. When you start talking about adding curves to the roofline, the price increases dramatically due to the complexity of the project. For example, adding a small eyebrow dormer -- which really doesn't add much space and is mainly used for aesthetics -- can cost $10,000 or more. You may be able to save some money using a half-circle type design, but true eyebrow dormers are more customized and costly.
If you are adding a dormer simply to increase head room, add light, or improve the exterior appearance of your home, your costs to refinish the interior of your home may be minimal -- amounting to no more than some drywall, paint and ceiling work. If you are adding a dormer to boost living space, however, the cost of completing the interior can be more dramatic. For example, adding a 15 foot shed dormer and outfitting it with a bathroom and bedroom in the attic can cost in excess of $50,000. When pricing dormers, make sure you understand whether the price includes only the roof work, or both the exterior and interior work required to complete the project.
For more information, speak with a professional residential roofing contractor.Share