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How To Add A Dormer

Note: Adding a dormer is a multi-task project. This article is not intended to guide you step by step through the construction process but rather to give you an overview of what is involved and what you can do.

Adding a dormer to your home is a complex process that requires skill and experience. It is not a job for average do-it-yourselfer. However, you can cut significant cost if your contractor allows you to do some of the work and you are willing to take on specific tasks. How To Add A Dormer


Some of the tasks you may want to take on includes:

  • Construction Cleanup
  • Finishing the siding
  • Adding insulation
  • Hanging the drywall
  • Finishing the roofing
  • Installing windows
  • Obtaining permits

Be sure to take on only those tasks you are comfortable doing and observe any and all safety precautions when working outside on a roof.

How To Add A Dormer

To begin your dormer project, you may need a plan to present to your local building department. Once your plan is approved and permits are issued you are ready begin construction.

The dormer frame will require complex framing cuts. The best antidote for this complex framing process is to hire a professional framer who has experience and the skill to frame your project according to your plan. The frame should be constructed using HUD approved framing materials and local building code approved techniques.

After the dormer is framed and the sheathing is attached then roll up your sleeves and get busy. Depending on your skill and comfort level, you can elect to complete the project or specific parts of it.

The first thing you will want to do is "dry-in" the dormer. Dry-in refers to the process of making the dormer water tight.

The dry in process includes:

1. Installing roofing materials:

-Felt Paper
-Flashing
-Shingles

2. Installing windows

After the dormer is dried-in, move on to the siding. Before applying the siding you will need to wrap the sheathing with 30 lb felt paper or apply an appropriate housewrap. Feel free to visit our forums to discuss an appropriate wrap of your project.

Ceilings and walls should be insulated according to your climate conditions and drywall should be hung. Be sure to enlist a helper to help you hang the drywall. 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch dry wall is recommended. After the drywall is hung and your joints are taped and sanded, move on to painting.

Prime your walls and ceiling regardless of the finish you intend to apply. Finally, paint, wallpaper or add paneling and any other finishing touches you desire.

How To Add A Dormer
Hammer Still need help with installing a dormer? Head over to our Doors and Windows forum and get help from other do-it-yourselfers.