Avoid the “Arched Dormer” Faux Pas

Thanks to the internet, self-educated homeowner-remodelers are getting more and more sophisticated.Dormer Essentials Video

In fact, thanks to the high velocity of change in the construction industry and the ease with which things can be researched (if you know what you're doing), a homeowner can go into a meeting with a GC (general contractor) knowing more about some narrow topics than the GC does.

eyebrow dormer tools by flickr’s origamidonIt's humorous to me how a lot of old-timers in home-building have their own localized language set for construction terms. They might refer to a roof dormer as a “pop-out”, and some of them would give you a blank stare if you used the word “dormer”. Incidentally, I've found that much of the standard education for tradesmen comes from the packaging of the products they buy. So this explains the lack of terminology for “dormer” — you won't find any dormers at the local hardware store.arched (eyebrow) dormer and vent by flickr’s origamidon

barrel dormer by flickr’s origamidonAnyway, much of the goal of this site is to allow homeowners to deal skillfully with the various contractors parading through their home during a remodel. Language can help. Contractors, of course, are down the food chain from engineers and architects, so if you begin to sound like someone with a “proper education” in construction, you will get respect.

So, for example, you'll want to avoid a faux pas like referring to a barrel dormer or an eyebrow dormer as an “arched dormer”.

Augment your dormer intelligence here.