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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Dormer

Dormer Cost


How Much Does a Dormer Cost?

 
low costDIY Dormer: $1,800+average costMedium: Generally $2,500-$5,000+high costFor a Large Dormer: $5,000-$20,000+
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Although the terms are often used interchangeably, a "dormer" is a horizontal extension of an upper room that protrudes from a sloping roof, and a "dormer window" is a window located in that extension. Dormers can be just big enough to hold a single window, simply to let more light into an attic or other upper room, or as tall and as wide as the house, creating additional livable space where there used to be a sloping inside ceiling. A large dormer will often be the main element of an attic conversion or remodeling.

Typical costs:

  • The Family Handyman magazine estimates it takes about $1,800 in materials for a do-it-yourselfer to build a dormer about 6 feet wide and 9 feet high, with one window. In addition to basic carpentry tools, the project requires a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a framing square and 2- and 4-foot levels.
  • Hiring someone to build a small dormer the width of a single- or double-wide window can run $2,500-$5,000 or more, depending on size, the slope of the roof, the strength of the existing roof support system and other factors. A larger, more room-size dormer can run $5,000-$20,000. Prices may vary considerably by region.
  • These prices are generally for exterior work only; there will be additional costs for drywall, painting, flooring, carpets and other finishing work (total cost will depend a great deal on the type and quality of inside materials selected). Larger dormers are often the centerpiece of an attic conversion project. Remodeling Magazine estimates that the average cost for a complete attic conversion with a 15-foot dormer plus bathroom (including finishing the interior) averages $40,800-$58,900 nationwide.
Related articles: Replacement Windows, Attic Remodeling, Bay Window, Skylight

What should be included:
  • To add a dormer, a hole is cut in the roof, the dormer frame is erected, then it's roofed, waterproofed and finished to match the rest of the house. A dormer can be built in place piece by piece, or it can be framed on the ground and lifted into place. A small dormer can usually be added in a day, but larger projects can take several days or more. The Family Handyman magazine offers free plans and instructions for a 6x9-foot dormer with a single window. BobVila.com provides a video showing the in-place construction of a third-floor dormer.
  • Generally dormer windows should match the other windows, to give a uniform look. It's also important that the dormer look neither too large nor too small in comparison to the rest of the house. ThisOldHouse.com provides a photo gallery illustrating how to visually blend[1] a dormer. RemodelorMove.com discusses nine different[2] types of dormers and the house styles they go with best.
  • Check with your local planning department to see whether your neighborhood has any building restrictions on dormers, to obtain a building permit for your project and to arrange for any required inspections.
Additional costs:
  • For do-it-yourselfers, working on a roof can be dangerous. The Family Handyman magazine recommends that do-it-yourselfers buy a personal fall arrest system for around $250 or rent one for about $35 a day. You might also want to use metal roofing brackets (about $8 each) and 2x10 planks to provide solid footing.
Shopping for a dormer:
  • ThisOldHouse provides photo galleries illustrating dormer types[3] and dormer windows[4] .
  • Get several estimates, making clear what is (and isn't) included in each quote. Request and check references; ask about the contractor's length and type of experience; and be sure they're properly bonded, insured and licensed[5] in your state. See if there are any complaints listed with the Better Business Bureau[6] .
  • RenovationExperts.com lists tips[7] for hiring a contractor.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
adding a dormer
Amount: $98,000.00 total
Posted by: Lucy Graham in Clinton township, MI.Posted: March 1st, 2015 11:03AM
I am looking into a cost for building a 1 bedroom & 1/2 bath former on our home
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Cost for 500 sq ft dormer in ny
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Ct in Nb, NY.Posted: May 23rd, 2014 09:05PM
Anyone know how much this would cost?
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Dormer
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: Shady in Bellmore, NY.Posted: June 14th, 2010 06:06PM
What would be a good guess on the cost of a half dormer? The house already has a one half.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,1211376,00.html#
  2.  www.remodelormove.com/remodeling-and-home-improvement-articles
  3.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,1211203,00.html
  4.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,1211329,00.html
  5.  www.contractors-license.org/
  6.  us.bbb.org/WWWRoot/SitePage.aspx?site=113&id=46a6a9cd-5402-454e-9476-e4df22e6f371
  7.  www.renovationexperts.com/beforehire.asp
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