Gable Dormers

by Andy Sheldon

in Designing

Gable Dormer

Gable Dormer

This past summer my wife and I took our two oldest grandchildren to Williamsburg Virginia for a couple of days for a taste of history.  I had not been there in almost 20 years and was reminded of how wonderful the design, scale and proportion are in those simple old buildings. This is especially true of the gable dormer.

What is a Gable Dormer?

Usually it is a single window width dormer with the gable roof that was used to bring light and air into a space under a main sloping rooof of a building.   As you can see from the photo they look a bit like dog houses and are often called dog house dormers.

I don’t think the gable or dog house dormer has ever been designed better than in Williamsburg with their window in almost the Golden Mean proportion, thin trim at the sides and alignment of the eave with the window head.

Unfortunately today the original proportion and scale of these little jems is much forgotten. Some other time will look at more of the characteristics of the proper dormer and what some of the do’s and don’ts are in their design.

As always, I would love to have your feedback… please leave a comment below.




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