Dormers are architectural pieces that protrude from a roof. The dormers have windows to allow in additional light and roofs, which allow the dormers to add additional living space to the upper areas of your home. There are different styles of dormers available but one of the most common types is the gable dormer.

Gable dormers have two upwards-slanting sides that meet at a peak. If you need to replace the roofing on your dormers, there are a few stylistic considerations you should make while discussing options with your roofing contractor.


If you have a one-story home, the sides of your gable dormer roofs might be fully visible from the ground. You want to invest in a roofing material that matches your current roof or, if you are replacing the entire roof, a roofing material that looks attractive. Wood and slate are two of the common options.

Wood shakes will give your dormers a classic textured look that is available in a range of stain colors. The shakes are higher maintenance if you live in an area with icy winters and humid summers, but you might consider the maintenance worth the look and the lower cost than slate shingles.

Slate is more expensive but also lower maintenance since slate tends to withstand weather changes far better than wood. The slate shingles can be laid in a variety of patterns to give a look similar to brick work.

If your dormer roofs aren't visible from the ground, consider going for a cheaper roofing material rather than slate. 

High Winds

The slopes of gable dormers provide a natural water runoff but also help high winds gain access to the undersides of the shingles. The wind can loosen or remove shingles from the dormer. Lightweight roofing materials like asphalt shingles are especially vulnerable to high wind damage.

If your home is out in the open with no natural windbreaks, avoid asphalt and choose a heavier material such as wood or slate. But if your home has close neighbors or trees, you might be able to use asphalt without danger. Talk to your local roofing contractor about whether asphalt will work for your specific needs.

Hips and Valleys

Hips and valleys on roofs refer to areas where different roofing sections come together at a sharp corner or at a sloping angle. Hips are harder to waterproof due to the corner while valleys can allow for a water buildup if there isn't proper drainage.

If your gable dormers connect to the house roof with hips or valleys forming, you might want to use metal roofing. The metal roofing can snap tougher to form a tighter seal while also providing channels that rainwater can use to run off to the ground.

To learn more about roofing, contact a company like Urethane Foam Consulting & Services