Hanson Carlen Architects Spokane | Shed Dormer

Shed Dormer

June 15, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


DormerDormerShed dormer


A lot of the older homes we work on have shed dormers.   The purpose of these dormers was more practical in nature in that they added floor area to the second floor of a 1-1/2 story home.  Done correctly, they can offer a nice architectural element to the outside of a home as well.   Shed dormers are different than gable dormers in that they are much wider and are defined by a single-slope roof.   Because they are wider than gable dormers, shed dormers provide more headroom and more space in the upper floor.   Shed dormers also tend to go away, whereas gable dormers are often used as more of a focal point. 


This past spring we were asked to design a non-attached garage to a really great looking older home on the South Hill of Spokane.   On two of the options, the client wanted to see what we could come up with for “Living space” above the garage.  

Shed dormers, again, actually add a nice element when built correctly.


Here are a few rules for shed dormers to make them look right:



  • Set dormer face back at least one foot from the wall below


  • Keep dormer ridge below the main ridge of the house


  • Dormer roof pitch should be at least 3/12 and not less than half the pitch of the main roof


  • Be sure dormer window relates to main house windows in size and look


  • Hold side check wall back at least 30” from outside gable wall


  • Dormer fascia looks best with simplified version of house trim

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