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Alpine Sheet Metal Systems engineer and install architectural metal dormers for your residential and commercial property. A dormer is a window that is typically set vertically on a sloping roof. The dormer has its own roof, which may be flat, arched, hipped, pointed, or ornamented. Dormer windows may be built into the roof or a wall and they come in many shapes and sizes. The kind of roof on the dormer may complement the larger roof or other architectural details of the house. Dormers can add beauty and curb appeal to your home, or they can end up making your house look ridiculous, so you should carefully consider when and where to add them.

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For centuries, windows have been known as “the eyes” of a dwelling. Like a chimney, roof dormers are not part of the roof but stick through the roof. Some dormers, called wall dormers, stick through the edge of the roof at the cornice. Essentially, dormers are “glazed structures,” meaning they are windows. In fact, they are sometimes called lucarne, a French word for “skylight.” The gable above the dormer is called the dormer head, and it is often in the shape of a pediment.

Dormers can have exterior and interior beauty and appeal. On the inside, what may be dark, attic space can become habitable with a dormer window. An additional bathroom can be enlarged by a dormer tucked into a large bedroom. Besides additional space for a home, natural light and ventilation can make interiors more inviting and healthier.

From the outside, a dormer can define certain house styles—Neo-colonial and Colonial Revival, Stick Style, Chateauesque, Second Empire, and the American Foursquare are all house styles that generally include a dormer in their designs. Also, a dormer can give a horizontally-oriented house a sense of height, especially if the house is situated very close to a street. When designed correctly, a dormer can accentuate the architectural details in the body of the house—Victorian scroll-work, pediments, and even window likeness and symmetry can be enhanced by a like-minded dormer.