If you already live in your dream home, then we can congratulate you. If you feel no need to renovate and you feel that you have enough space, that’s amazing! But sometimes a little bit of extra space can be incredibly useful. If you have an artistic hobby or you like to host extended family when they’re in from out of town, you may sometimes wish that you had a bit more space.
In this edition of the Professional Roofers blog, we’re here to tell you that you can increase the space in your home without undergoing stressful and extravagant renovations. The answer, dear reader, is something called a gabled dormer: a structure with its own independent pitched roof that rises from below the roofline of the house.
A gabled dormer is the most common type of dormer, though there are many different types. A dormer protrudes from your attic space to create a loft that can be used as a studio, a guestroom or anything you can put your imagination to. Because you have to remove part of your roof and reconstruct it to accommodate the dormer, it isn’t exactly a small undertaking. At the same time, however, you are not fundamentally changing the structure of your house, you are more or less creating a modest addition.
Before you start the work you’ll probably want to consult with an architect who understands the slope of the roof, the condition of the roof and what kind of costs are going to be involved. If everything looks good, the architect can draw up the plans and you can apply to the city for a building permit.
If you’re ambitious and you have some experience, then you may be able to undertake some or all of the project on your own. Once the roof is off, however, you’ll need a straight block of time to get the frame sorted out so that your home isn’t exposed to the elements for too long. Since it’s an ambitious project, don’t be shy about calling in Toronto roof repair experts to lend an extra hand; the last thing you want to do it make a big crater in your roof in lieu of the beautiful loft space you imagined.
Once you’ve cut the correct sized hole in your roof, you’ll need to put together the dormer’s front wall on the floor of the attic. Eventually you can erect it, installing the lower header on joist hangers and then nailing the wall into the floor with joists. Obviously a great deal of working and planning has to be done before you get to this step, but once this is accomplished you will start to see the bigger picture and hopefully it will be a relief.
Once you’ve installed the rafters and finished the outside and the inside of the dormer and made sure it’s weather tight, you can rest assured that the integrity of you house is safe. Eventually you’ll want to paint it and maybe even install colourful stained-glass in the window. Give us a call if anything should go wrong – we’ve worked on a lot of dormers over the years and know a few tricks when it comes to installing, maintaining and repairing them.