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what to do with fake dormer windows

What to Do With Fake Dormer Windows: Creative Solutions

When it comes to architectural features, dormer windows have a unique charm that adds character and visual interest to a home. However, not all dormer windows are created equal. Some homeowners find themselves facing the perplexing challenge of dealing with fake dormer windows – those decorative additions that don’t serve any functional purpose. If you’re wondering “What to do with fake dormer windows?” you’re not alone. 

In this article, we’ll delve into creative solutions for fake dormer windows, shedding light on how to transform them into assets that enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your home. 

Whether you’ve got a home improvement itch or you’re simply curious about how to make the most of your space, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore the possibilities for your home’s fake dormer windows.

The Difference Between Fake Dormers and Dormer Additions

Dormers and fake dormers are both architectural features that can enhance the appearance and functionality of a home’s attic or upper level. However, they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Here’s the difference between fake dormers and dormer additions:

Dormer Additions

Dormer Additions

Purpose: Dormer additions are functional architectural elements that serve practical purposes. They are designed to bring more natural light, ventilation, and headroom into an attic space, making it usable as a living area, bedroom, or workspace.

Structural Integrity: Dormer additions are structurally integrated into the roofline of the house. They typically involve cutting into the existing roof structure, framing the new dormer, and adding roofing materials to ensure they are watertight and weatherproof.

Functionality: Dormer additions often have functional windows that can be opened to allow for airflow and natural light. They are designed to meet building codes and provide comfortable, habitable spaces.

Cost: Dormer additions tend to be more expensive than fake dormers because of the structural changes required. The cost includes materials, labor, and permits.

Fake Dormers

Fake Dormers

Purpose: Fake dormers, also known as false dormers or decorative dormers, serve primarily an aesthetic purpose. They are not designed to provide additional light, ventilation, or functional space within the attic. Instead, they are installed for visual appeal and architectural symmetry.

Structural Integrity: Fake dormers do not penetrate the roofline or alter the structure of the attic. They are essentially decorative elements added to the exterior of the house, often without corresponding changes on the inside.

Functionality: Fake dormers typically have non-functional windows that are fixed in place. They may not be designed to meet building codes or provide any practical use.

Cost: Fake dormers are generally less expensive than dormer additions because they do not require the same level of structural work. The cost primarily involves materials, labor for installation, and cosmetic enhancements.

Identifying the Challenges with Fake Dormer Windows

Before we roll up our sleeves and start planning the transformation of fake dormer windows, it’s crucial to understand the challenges they present. These architectural impostors may look appealing at first glance, but they often come with their fair share of issues.

Firstly, fake dormer windows can pose aesthetic challenges. Their presence might disrupt the overall visual harmony of your home’s exterior. This might leave you wondering how to integrate them seamlessly into your design scheme.

Functionality is another aspect to consider. Unlike real dormer windows that can bring in natural light and ventilation, fake dormers are often solid structures. This means they don’t provide the functional benefits you’d expect, such as improved airflow or extra headroom in your attic space.

Lastly, energy efficiency can be a concern. Fake dormers may not be adequately insulated, potentially leading to drafts and increased energy bills.

Design Ideas for Fake Dormer Windows

Now that we’ve identified the challenges, it’s time to get creative and discover how to turn those faux dormer windows into captivating architectural features. Your home’s aesthetic appeal can receive a significant boost with the right design choices.

Fake Dormer Windows

Symmetry and Balance: Consider creating a sense of symmetry by adding matching fake dormer windows on either side of your roof. This balanced look can enhance the overall curb appeal of your home, making it more visually pleasing.

Window Styles: Explore different window styles and shapes to add character. Arched or triangular windows can introduce a unique touch, while classic rectangular designs provide a timeless elegance.

Functional Illusions: If you’d like to add some functionality to your fake dormer windows, think about incorporating hinged or casement windows that can be opened to let in light and air. This can give the illusion of real dormer functionality.

Exterior Finishes: Pay attention to exterior finishes like siding or cladding materials. Choosing materials that match or complement your home’s existing exterior can create a cohesive and polished appearance.

Roof Integration: Integrate the fake dormer’s roof seamlessly with your home’s main roofline. This helps maintain a consistent and harmonious look.

Decorative Accents: Don’t forget about decorative accents like trim, shutters, and flower boxes. These small additions can add charm and character to your fake dormer windows.

Choosing the Right Materials

Selecting the appropriate materials for your fake dormer windows is a critical step in ensuring both durability and aesthetic appeal. Each material option comes with its own set of advantages and considerations.

Wood: Traditional and timeless, wood provides a classic look for fake dormer windows. It can be customized with intricate details, but it requires regular maintenance, including painting and sealing, to protect it from the elements.

Vinyl: Vinyl is a popular choice for its low maintenance requirements and durability. It’s resistant to rot, moisture, and pests. Plus, it comes in various colors and finishes to match your home’s exterior.

Fiberglass: Fiberglass offers excellent longevity and minimal maintenance. It’s also highly customizable in terms of design and finish. It’s particularly well-suited for achieving a realistic wood-like appearance without the upkeep.

Metal: Metal, such as aluminum or steel, can provide a sleek and modern aesthetic. It’s durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. However, it may not offer the warmth and charm of wood or fiberglass.

When making your material choice, consider factors like your climate, budget, and desired aesthetics. Additionally, think about how well the material can be customized to match your design ideas from the previous section. The right material can ensure your fake dormer windows not only look great but also stand the test of time.

In the next section, we’ll delve into practical tips and considerations to guide you through your fake dormer window project.

Practical Tips and Considerations for Fake Dormer

Now that you have a clearer understanding of design possibilities and material options for your fake dormer windows, let’s explore some practical tips and considerations to help you navigate this home improvement journey smoothly.

Considerations for Fake Dormer

Professional Consultation: Before diving into any project, it’s wise to consult with a professional contractor or architect experienced in fake dormer window renovations. They can provide valuable insights, help you make informed decisions, and ensure compliance with local building codes.

Accurate Measurements: Precise measurements are crucial to ensure a seamless fit for your new fake dormer windows. Inaccuracies can lead to issues during installation and detract from the overall look.

Insulation and Ventilation: To address potential energy efficiency concerns, invest in quality insulation and proper ventilation for your fake dormer windows. This step can help regulate temperature, prevent drafts, and reduce energy costs.

Permitting and Regulations: Check with your local authorities to determine if permits are required for your project. Compliance with building codes and regulations is essential to avoid complications down the road.

Budget Management: Establish a clear budget for your fake dormer window project. Consider all expenses, including materials, labor, permits, and any unforeseen costs that may arise during construction.

Maintenance Planning: Plan for the long term by discussing maintenance requirements with your contractor. Different materials may have varying upkeep needs, so understanding these in advance can save you time and money.

Environmental Impact: If sustainability is a priority, explore eco-friendly material options for your fake dormer windows. Many environmentally-conscious choices are available, which can contribute to a greener home.

DIY vs. Professional Help: While some homeowners opt for DIY projects, fake dormer window renovations can be complex. Weigh the pros and cons carefully and choose the approach that best suits your skills and resources.

Cost Estimations for Fake Dormer Windows Renovations

As you embark on your journey to enhance your fake dormer windows, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the potential costs involved. The total expense of your project can vary significantly depending on several factors, so let’s break down the cost estimations to help you plan effectively.

Fake Dormer Windows Renovations

Materials: The choice of materials plays a significant role in determining costs. For instance, wood, while elegant, may require more frequent maintenance than vinyl or fiberglass. Prices can range from budget-friendly to premium, so it’s essential to align your material choice with your budget.

Labor: Labor costs depend on the complexity of the project and local labor rates. Installing fake dormer windows may involve skilled carpentry, roofing, and potentially electrical or HVAC work if you aim to add functionality.

Size and Complexity: The size and design complexity of your fake dormer windows can impact costs. Larger or intricately designed dormers will require more materials and labor, leading to higher expenses.

Permitting and Inspections: Don’t forget to account for permitting and inspection fees, which can vary based on your location and the scope of your project.

Unforeseen Expenses: It’s wise to allocate a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses that may arise during the project, such as repairs to the underlying structure or addressing issues uncovered during installation.

To get a precise estimate, consider obtaining quotes from local contractors or professionals experienced in fake dormer window renovations. They can provide a breakdown of costs tailored to your specific project requirements. With a well-defined budget, you can proceed confidently and make informed decisions while keeping your finances in check.

What should I put behind our fake dormer Windows?

Deciding what to put behind your fake dormer windows can depend on your design goals, the function you want to achieve, and your personal preferences. Here are some ideas:

Decorative Items: You can use the space behind fake dormer windows to display decorative items like potted plants, sculptures, or art pieces. This adds visual interest and enhances the aesthetics of your home.

Seating Nooks: Create a cozy reading nook or small seating area behind your dormer windows. Place a comfortable chair or a small sofa, along with a side table and some cushions, for a relaxing space with natural light.

Home Office: If you need a dedicated workspace, consider setting up a home office. A desk, chair, and adequate lighting can make good use of the space and provide a quiet place to work.

Storage: If space is limited in your home, use the area behind dormer windows for built-in storage. Custom shelves or cabinets can be installed to store books, clothing, or other items.

Window Seat: Create a window seat with built-in benches and cushions. This not only adds seating but also maximizes the use of the space while offering a charming spot to enjoy the view.

Mini Bar: For a unique touch, transform the space into a mini bar or serving area. Install shelves for glassware, a countertop for mixing drinks, and some bar stools for a stylish entertaining space.

Cozy Bedroom Corner: If your dormer window is in a bedroom, use the space for a cozy bedroom corner. A small dresser, a vanity, or a comfy chair with a side table can make the room more functional and inviting.


In closing, your journey through the world of fake dormer windows has hopefully been enlightening and inspiring. These architectural elements, while initially posing challenges, can become delightful assets to your home with the right creative solutions. From design ideas that breathe life into their appearance to material choices that balance aesthetics and durability, you’ve gained the knowledge to embark on a transformative journey.

We hope this guide has empowered you to embark on your home improvement journey with confidence, turning those faux dormer windows into captivating architectural features that elevate your home’s curb appeal and functionality.

Should you have any questions, require further guidance, or wish to embark on this journey with the help of experienced professionals, don’t hesitate to reach out.