Adding ventilation and fixing leaks in back dormer

Adding ventilation and fixing leaks in back dormer

The previous owner cannot be blamed for everything. The dormer roof was flush with the wall. The lack of an overhang did not allow for proper ventilation and also offered little protection from the elements. When our first contractor moved the window, he missed a spot when he caulked around it, causing a water leak. He also did not fully insulate one of the cavities at the top of the wall resulting in a condensation problem along the drip edge when warm interior air met cold outside air. We knew we had a leak, but our other contractors were fixated on a different potential cause and missed the obvious one.

Our architect drew up some quick plans for extending the roof. Finding someone to actually do the work proved to be difficult. The job was too small for construction contractors, and a lot of roofing companies don’t do framing. After much searching, we were finally able to hire a roofing and siding company to do the work.

The original state of the dormer
Siding and sheathing were removed to expose the rafters.
water damage
A closer look at the water damage. The framing (2 x 6’s) had significant surface damage despite being relatively new (2005). (This picture was taken in 2011)
The old water-damaged sheathing was removed and replaced with 2 inch polystyrene which passes code and adds more R-Value.
rafter extensions
The rafters were extended with 2x4s sistered to the existing members.
The dormer now has an overhang– protecting the window from the weather– and proper soffit ventilation.


Roof extension was added in January 2012.  We have not had any water issues since.

Structural Repairs: How to “unbutcher” a house

The Back Dormer: Repairing water damage and fixing framing problems
The Back Dormer:  Adding ventilation and eliminating water leaks
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Load-bearing walls

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