Best Dormer Questionsdormer question

 
 
Bill,
What are some of the best questions to ask a contractor whenDormers considering a rear cape-cod dormer My husband & I bought a house this past October from close family friends. It has an addition on the back already (approx 12'x18') that extended the back of the house from its original foundation and part of the attic has been converted into a bedroom.
 
I'd like to add the rear dormer to add a half-bath and office to my existing 3-bedroom, one-bath cape.
 
If you need any additional information, please let me know. Otherwise, I'm excited to wait for your response!
 
Thanks and have a great day!
K S
 
 
Reply: 
 
Khristina,
Here's a few starter questions to ask: 
 
Are you experienced in building dormers? If he has built only a few, find someone else. A 30' dormer can (should) be built with the exterior completely finished, by a 4-5 man crew, in 2 days or less. 
 
How much more to build the dormer flush to the end of the house & flush to the rear instead of recessing it 16"? The additional 16" length & depth makes a big difference in room size. 
 
What size roof overhang do you normally build? No overhang is a bad answer, 6-8" is a good answer. 
 
Gutters & downspouts included? Yes is the right answer. 
 
What brand windows will you use? Andersen, Pella, Marvin or similar quality is correct. 
 
I could add at least 30 more but let me try to make a point. Since you probably know virtually nothing about dormers it is your obligation to do a little research. Before you commit to spending a very large sum of money on an item, do a little homework. 
 
Rather than asking, you would be better off telling the contractor exactly what you want to do. You will save a bunch of money & have exactly what you want rather than relying on the contractor (which is not a good idea) If you do not tell him he will include, or not include, a host of items that make up the dormer & save himself labor & materials. 
 
Dormers come in hundreds of shapes & lengths each with several detail items & each comes with a different cost. Which one do you want? If you don't know & let the contractor decide you are not going to get the best dormer for the money. Even worse, you may not have what you want when it is finished.  You can't get a refund on a dormer.  
 
Now I am going to give a shameless plug for the dormer book I wrote. It will tell you how to buy a dormer, any dormer, at a lower cost & get exactly what you want. Save at least 50 times the cost of the book (probably more). you risk nothing. If not satisfied, your money is refunded. 
 
Regards, 
Bill Harbrecht