What is a Canadian Dormer?

We have a lot of French Canadian architectural features located here in New Hampshire – specifically in Manchester.

I’ve always been fascinated by unique or odd architectural features. I tend to ponder whether the feature has a deliberate function, or was it just for “show?”

So I noticed a feature that I kept seeing on older homes throughout the city, so I did some digging around, and asked some Carpenters, and I was introduced to a term I had never heard before: Canadian Dormers.

A Canadian Dormer, also known as a “Dramatic Dormer” is best be described as a very tall, steep sloped “A” Frame Dormer with a window. The high peak ends up being just an architectural feature, and doesn’t offer any additional “functional” space.

So again, not surprising considering the heavy French Canadian influence in Manchester.

We are not required as home inspectors to know all the names of all the architectural features that we see, but I like to know what I’m looking at, so I can share the history as well.

You could also just call them just regular dormers, and that would be a perfectly accurate description.

But since that we have all kinds of unique and odd architectural features here in New England, it’s fun to do the research and be able to share the information with our clients, especially for our clients that have come from outside of New England.

So be on the lookout for Canadian Dormers as you observe the unique architecture features present here in New Hampshire!

At First Choice Home Inspection, our established process of inspecting a home ensures you receive a thorough and comprehensive inspection.

Michael McCarty
NH Licensed Home Inspector # 316
Vermont Property Inspector License # 143.0134099
HUD 203k Consultant # P-1939

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