Home improvement and renovations prove to be one of the biggest investments that occupy any American homeowner. After all, this endeavor always brings out positive results regardless of who is looking at it. In the eyes of the inhabitants themselves, a newly renovated home provides increased quality in terms of comfort and aesthetics. In the eyes of the visitors, home improvements connote a certain measure of prosperity.
According to Statista, it is estimated that a total of US $326.1 billion covers for the overall worth of nationwide spending for home improvements and renovations in 2015 alone. In line with these findings, home improvement stores have generated US $144 billion worth of total revenue as of 2014. Judging by these facts, upgrading the value of one’s home is not strictly confined to the trends of a certain period.
When it comes to home improvement, the second most significant structural area is the attic or dormer. It allows homeowners to establish an extra room or improve the aesthetic appeal of the interiors with increased natural light and ventilation. A graphic data presented by US Bank estimates 84.3% worth of financial recovery spent on this investment. In other words, adding a dormer is not a bad idea.
What makes dormers valuable is because of its versatile merit. From the outside, this post-medieval French design exudes a sophisticated charm reminiscent of the old mansions of suburban Europe. From the inside, dormers provide all the possible advantages of having an additional living space – especially one that offers an elevated (and therefore appealing) vantage point.
General Estimated Cost
If building an extra upper floor is a significant investment, how much does dormer cost? When it comes to the estimated cost of building a dormer, the figures would vary depending on several factors. It is important to take note that when a homeowner decides to build a windowed attic, he or she may not necessarily want an extra room.
Some dormers only function to provide better natural light (atrium) or an aesthetic ventilation outlet to boost energy efficiency. In other cases, homeowners construct a fake dormer simply because they look good on the outside. Bottom line: these dormers are significantly cheaper than those that provide or function as an extra room.
The projected average cost of dormer can range anywhere between $1,800 and $59,000. Achieving either end of the broad price range depends on how the homeowner plans his or her overall construction project (more on the cost drivers in the later part of the article).
The Important Cost Drivers
As mentioned earlier, the exact dormer price is driven by many factors. It is crucial for homeowners to reflect on the following questions prior to undertaking such home renovation project. These following reflective inquiries may provide a better direction in terms of how much a homeowner will be spending to complete his or her dormer project:
Shall I do it myself or hire a professional contractor?
Ultimately, the decision between choosing to hire workers per hour or to go DIY will largely depend on the skill of the homeowner. Here is a comparison of cost projections depending on who will do the work:
- DIY (material cost): not less than $1,800
- Professional contractor: $50 to $100 per hour plus the material cost
How big is my dormer going to be?
Another important area that drives the dormer price is the size. Naturally, huge rooms are more expensive than smaller ones. Considering that one is hiring extra hands to finish the renovation, here is a projection of the cost strictly based on the coverage:
- Small window-sized dormer: $2,500 to $5,000
- Large single-room dormer: $5,000 to $20,000
What materials should I choose?
The kind of resource used for the roof, outer wall (siding) and floor comprises the overall worth of material costs. These are the cost of materials based on the ballpark figures presented by Better Homes & Gardens, Home Advisor, and Remodeling Calculator:
- Wood shake (roofing): $350 to $450 per square
- Concrete tile (roofing): $300 to $450 per square
- Clay tile (roofing): $800 to $1,000 per square
- Fiber cement (siding): $7 per linear foot
- Wood (siding): $5 per linear foot
- Vynil (siding): $6 per linear foot
- Carpet (flooring): not less than $1,200
- Laminate tile (flooring): not less than $2,400
Cost Variation via Dormer Style
For anyone who asks ‘how much does dormer cost,’ the most visible factor that follows after the basic cost drivers is the style. These are the three types of dormers and their corresponding costs as presented by Modernize:
The most common type of dormer, its design is based on a smaller two-sloped roof that juts perpendicularly from the main house roof. It is also known as the ‘doghouse dormer.’
- Small (4-foot): $3,000
- Large (30-foot): $11,500
The shed dormer is characterized by its namesake design. Like a tool shed, this dormer has a single flat roof that slopes at a very shallow angle to support the protruding walls. This variety provides a bigger vertical interior space than the gabled dormer.
- Small (12-foot): $5,500
- Large (30-foot): $11,500
This style is often believed to incorporate the advantages of both the gabled and shed dormer. This dormer is noted for its three-sided roof, with the perpendicular edge sloped in the same angle as the main house roof.
- Small: $4,000
- Large: $15,000
Extra Project Expenses
Apart from all the factors previously mentioned contributing to the average cost of dormer, a homeowner must also consider other expenses that are not part of the dormer components. Case in point: the permits for construction.
According to Angie’s List, acquiring the legal right to construct the dormer proves to be one of the most time-consuming efforts any homeowner must undertake. In some areas in the country, it may only take a short period to process the permit. However, there are also certain locations wherein the duration could take several weeks to a few months. Although municipalities charge different fees for issuing a dormer construction permit, the lowest possible cost is roughly around $200.
For those who are particularly choosing the DIY option, homeowners can feel a lot safe working on the roof by acquiring a personal fall arrest system. Simply put it, this equipment prevents workers from the real hazards of high-altitude construction.
- Rent: $35 per day
- Purchase: $250