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Gable Windows vs. Dormer Windows: What’s The Difference?

Do you know the difference between a gable window and a dormer window?

Gable windows are often confused with dormer windows, but they actually have very different purposes.

Dormers were originally created to add extra living space to an attic or roof area by adding another room on top of the house.

Gables are usually part of the main structure, which makes them stronger than dormers, so they can be used for larger openings like doorways and larger windows.

Both types of windows bring in light, but there are also some significant differences you should be aware of before deciding whether one is right for your home improvement project.

If you’re thinking about installing either type of window in your home then it’s important that you understand what each one looks like and how it works so that you can make an informed decision about which ones would look best in your home and provide maximum functionality based on your needs.

What Is A Gable Window?

A gable window is a form of a casement window, which means it has a large swinging door that opens outward from the side.

Gable windows usually have four panels in them and open from one side to allow for maximum ventilation during warm weather when you need it most.

When the frame is closed, they form a triangle shape on top of your house that makes a decorative addition to your home exterior.

Depending on where you live, gable window frames can be made out of vinyl or aluminum with one or more glass panels instead of solid wood boards.

For people who don’t want to sacrifice style for functionality, gable windows are an excellent choice because they make a statement about your home without making you lose too much square footage.

What Is A Dormer Window?

A dormer, on the other hand, is not a form of a casement window.

Instead of opening outward like gable windows do, dormers open inward toward the center of your roof.

Dormers are designed to add extra space in your attic if you don’t have enough room for a full second floor or another room upstairs. They can also provide you with additional storage space that doesn’t take away from your living area below. If you add insulation and drywall along with any other materials needed to complete this type of project, then you could even use it as an extra bedroom. In fact, dormer windows are sometimes called “bump-out windows” since they create a bump-out effect in your roof when you add an extra room or space.

While gable windows are aesthetically pleasing, dormers don’t add to your home’s exterior appearance. In fact, it may actually detract from the overall aesthetic design of your house because people who pass by will notice that something is different about your roofline and not in a good way.

What’s The Difference Between A Gable Window And A Dormer Window?

Although it would be easy to assume that since both windows are near the top of the home, they must serve similar purposes.

That’s not actually correct though because there are many key differences between a gable window and a dormer window.

Both types of windows bring in light, but there are also some significant differences you should be aware of before deciding whether one is right for your home improvement project.

Dormers were originally created to add extra living space to an attic or roof area by adding another room on top of the house

They’re placed high in a roofline, which makes them better for smaller spaces that need extra headroom rather than more open areas with plenty of vertical space

Dormers have a vaulted ceiling, which means they’re good for bedrooms or living areas that need more headroom.

Gable windows are often part of the main structure instead of being a separate addition, which makes them a better choice for larger openings like doorways and larger windows.

They can usually accommodate bigger pieces of furniture inside because there’s plenty of vertical space to move around.

Gabled roofs are very common in residential construction since they provide plenty of headroom for an attic or loft area as opposed to dormer windows which only give you extra height without taking up any room on the inside of your home.

Since their roofs slope inward toward the top, they don’t provide quite as much headroom as you would get from an actual gable window.

Types Of Dormer Windows

Although there are many different kinds of dormers, the two most common ones are located at either end or along a sidewall.

Most homes have dormers that help with extra space in the attic, but they can also provide additional exterior features like a flower box or even a window bench where you can sit and enjoy the view outside your home.

Hip Roof Dormer

A hip roof dormer is flat at the bottom and slopes upward to meet the other roof sections at an angle instead of forming a right-angle corner.

Bonnet Dormer

This type of dormer has curved sides and looks like it’s wearing a bonnet or straw hat.

Nantucket Dormer

This is another hip roof-style dormer with curved sides and lines that give it a pointed look at the top.

Lucarne Dormer

This type of dormer has straight sides and an angled bottom edge, which makes them appear like diamonds from one aerial view.

Flat Dormer

As the name implies, this kind of dormer is flat and may not be as dramatic as other dormers when seen from street level or below.

Shed Dormer

A shed roof dormer looks like two separate roofs that join together to form one small triangular-shaped addition on top of your home.

Pedimented Dormer

A pedimented dormer has a triangular shape to it, but the bottom edge curves slightly upward instead of being completely straight.

Flared Gable Dormer

This type of dormer has an angled roofline with an arched top edge that resembles Mt. Fuji when viewed from above. It’s one of the most dramatic-looking dormers and is perfect for homes with exterior features like turrets or towers that need a focal point.

Wall Dormer

A wall dormer is flat and very similar in size to your home’s exterior wall since it does not extend beyond it except for its sloping roof along the top edge.

Pyramidal Dormer

This style looks a bit like a pyramid with its square bottom edge that slopes up to meet the top at an angle.

Recessed Dormer

A recessed dormer has a square shape and is set back into your home’s exterior wall instead of being inset out from it or flush with it on both sides.

Link Dormer

A link dormer looks like two gable roof dormers stacked on top of each other, but they are connected together by their flat surfaces along the bottom edge instead of having pointed roofs.

Eyebrow Dormer

This style is also referred to as a flying eyebrow because it kind of looks like one when you see the side view of your home’s roofline.’s similar in size to a gabled dormer, but it doesn’t have any sides that stick out or protrude from the home.

Benefits of Dormers and Gable Windows

– They can usually accommodate bigger pieces of furniture inside because there’s plenty of vertical space to move around.

– As opposed to being a separate addition, which makes them a better choice for larger openings like doorways and larger windows.

– They allow for more insulation than do dormer windows because the roofline prevents air from getting trapped between two separate sections.

– If you have multiple seasons in your area, gabled roofs provide better coverage in winter to help keep out the snow and ice while letting in plenty of sunlight during the summer months.

– They give your home a traditional cottage, country or rustic look with their slanted rooflines and exposed beams.

– They can add plenty of extra space to your attic for storage if you have enough room, which makes it an excellent choice for rooms that need some extra organizational help.

Wrapping Up

Dormer windows are often more dramatic-looking than gable windows because they have slanted roofs that protrude from the home. For this reason, dormers offer a better choice for larger openings like doorways and larger windows. They also allow for more insulation since the roofline prevents air from getting trapped between two separate sections of your home’s exterior wall or framing structure.

Gabled roofs provide better coverage in winter to help keep out the snow and ice while letting in plenty of sunlight during summer months due to their sloped design on top which helps direct light into areas where it is needed most.

Dormers can give your home a traditional cottage, country or rustic look with their slanted rooflines and exposed beams as well as adding extra space to your attic for storage if you have enough room.