How to Frame a Dormer

dormer framing

Those of you who want to know how to frame a dormer please read this carefully. If you need advice framing a dormer then I wonder why you would even attempt it unless you are experienced carpenters. But then, if you are experienced why would you be asking in the first place? Read on....

The answer is very simple: You frame a dormer the same as you would frame any ground floor room addition except you do your work 10' up in the air.

The only difference between framing a dormer or a first floor addition is that you start a ground floor by framing upon a concrete slab or concrete block. 

Dormer wall framing rests either atop the first floor wall -if it is a flush dormer- or you frame the wall resting on the second story floor beams- if it is a set back dormer.

Keep the existing roof rafters, re-cut them & re-use them for the new dormer ceiling beams.

The old ridge rafter stays in place as is & new roof rafters are cut & nailed in place.

Don't try to salvage the existing lumber except for the roof rafters you are going to reuse. Not nearly worth the time & effort to save a few 2X4s or pieces of sheathing.

What I have told you is quite simple if you have a background cutting & nailing lumber. If you are a novice & did not understand the above I strongly suggest you let an experienced dormer crew do the exterior shell complete with roofing, siding gutters etc.

Dormer building is hard, dirty & dangerous work. If you are inexperienced, reconsider doing it yourself. You will find yourself in over your head very quickly. Dormer work is labor intensive & time intensive. You can't leave the roof open any length of time. You need emergency tarps & must know how to flash the roofing & windows, set the windows correctly etc. If you go ahead & start the dormer......don't say I didn't warn you.

Sorry my "How to frame a Dormer" page is such a bummer  but I have supervised building a few hundred dormers, large & small & had more then one worker fall from the scaffolding or roof. Not worth the risk for the inexperienced where work will be slow & plodding. When/if you finish, your savings will be smaller than you had hoped.