What You Need To Know About Eyebrow Windows

Like many people, you’re probably not familiar with eyebrow windows. Either you’ve seen them on classic and extravagant homes, your neighbor just installed a new set, or you’ve always been fascinated with prefabricated eyebrow dormers. Here, we will explore what you need to know about eyebrow windows. 

Eyebrow windows
Firmitas Designs

You’re probably thinking about investing in eyebrow windows, but more importantly, if you can afford them. So, let’s explore further and see what we can find.

Eyebrow windows of Sibiu

Eyebrow windows of Sibiu

The most famous eyebrow window designs can be found in Transylvania on buildings in Sibiu. They are prominent in homes like the Haller House and monuments like the Făgăraș Citadel.

The Romanian city was one of the first to feature eyebrow windows, dating back to the 15th century. There are tales stating that the windows were made to haunt those who walked by, as they look like eyes watching you. 

Such stories were reinforced when Bram Stoker wrote his now-famous novel Dracula as Transylvania is the vampire’s home. The real reason, however, the windows were popular was because of their ventilation features. 

What Is A Dormer?

What Is A Dormer
Catalano Architects

The first thing you should know about eyebrow windows is how they’re more commonly known as eyebrow dormers. A dormer is a small window on a pitched roof. The windows look cool, but what practical purposes do they serve?


Eyebrow dormers, or in Transylvania, the Eyes Of Sibiu, were added to homes for ventilation purposes. It doesn’t matter  if the space is the ceiling instead of a second story. The small windows that sit close to a home’s ceiling improve its indoor ventilation. 

Adding Space

When using an attic or loft space, you need extra room. You can add a window seat, a built-in bed, or a place to put a chest. The extra ceiling and floor space is always a plus. 

Letting Natural Light In

Dormers are a safer and more efficient way to add natural light than traditional flat windows. When installing flat windows to a roof, you need to be careful. During hail storms, the glass can break if left uncovered. 

Creating A Functional Room

These reasons combined are the reasons why eyebrow dormers are added to attics or lofts. When creating a functional room, you need natural light, proper space, and ventilation. 

Types of Dormers

Types of Dormers

An eyebrow window is one type of dormer. There are many others related to eyebrow windows that may suit you even better. Take a look at the different types to find your perfect fit.

Gable-Front Dormer

The gable-front dormer is a simple triangle dormer. The style is common and features vertical sides with two slopes meeting the roof on either side. They’re also known as doghouse dormers since they are similar in shape.

Hip Roof Dormer

The hip roof dormer has three sloping planes rather than two, unlike a gable-front dormer. The design also features three walls. There is also a lip that either covers the windows or meets the walls.

Flat Dormer

A flat dormer is the simplest design. The small windows are similar to the hip roof dormer only instead of sloping planes, there is a single flat roof above them. Often, this feature is slanted, allowing for rainfall to escape the roof.

Shed Dormer

Shed Dormer
Jody Brown Architecture

The shed dormer is similar to a flat dormer, and only the top is slanted, often quite drastically. It is often slanted at a slightly milder angle than the roof. The small windows are usually added to sheds, hence their name. 

Wall Dormer

A wall dormer is different from other designs as they aren’t installed on rooftops. Instead, the windows are a continuation of a wall. It has two sloped pieces that meet over it, and two walls are added to fill the gaps. The dormers are easy to add during construction.

Eyebrow Dormer

Also known as an eyelid dormer, this is the design we’re talking about today. It has a curved top that makes it look like the house has eyes that watch strangers as they walk by. 

Link Dormer

The only dormer style that doesn’t need a window. It is a convex area of the roof built to accommodate a chimney or link the house to another area or used as an add-on to the original house.

Bonnet Dormer

Bonnet Dormer
McHale Landscape Designs Inc.

A bonneted dormer is similar to an eyebrow dormer because it has a curved top. However, it also has walls on three sides, making it different. The ends don’t meet the roof slightly protrude from it.  

Nantucket Dormer

A Nantucket dormer is a combination of different dormer styles. It has a shed dormer in the center, connecting two doghouse dormers. You will notice these in modern homes with pitched roofs, acting as the upper level.

Lucarne Dormer

A Lucarne dormer has a steep pitch that you’d see on a cathedral, gothic, or Victorian building. It looks like a spire, often seen on towers or in storybooks. It is the most fantastical and rare type of dormer today. 

Blind Dormer

Also known as a false dormer, these dormers offer no practical use. They don’t add light, space, or ventilation. They are simply added to make a home to make it look more appealing on the outside. It is the most inexpensive dormer style.  

Cost Of Eyebrow Windows

Cost Of Eyebrow Windows
Firmitas Designs

The cost of adding eyebrow windows varies. However, you probably won’t pay more than $10,000. If that’s still too high for you, then consider these things to find out if your project will be on the high or low end. 

Size Of Your Window

This is a given, but the bigger the window, the more materials you will need. The size and location of your windows are important. Ask a contractor for a quote and have them recommend where would be the cheapest spots to install new windows. 

Age Of Your House

The age of your house will determine the difficulty of installing eyebrow windows. It’s harder to match old hardware and wood. Plus, it’s more dangerous to work with old houses. Not to mention screws are more popular now than they used to be. 

Wall Dormers

Did you know you can make eyebrow wall dormers? They’re a cheaper option as they are a continuation of a wall. If you like this look, then consider them for affordable eyebrow windows. 

Adding Your Own Eyebrow Windows

Adding Your Own Eyebrow Windows
CG&S Designs

If you have construction experience, you may want to add eyebrow windows yourself. If so, you’ll need to follow these instructions carefully. Beware, it won’t be easy. 

Creating The Blueprint

This is important. Creating house plans with eyebrow windows is not easy. The most important step is your blueprint because whatever you choose will affect every step in the installation process. You will need to measure the area for your dormer windows. Height, width, and depth will need to be measured. 

Remember, measure twice, cut once. So, after you take the necessary measurements, mark your plywood and rafters. These will be your two main woodworking projects.

Use plywood for your vertical areas and 2X4s for the rafters. Plywood is also used to cover rafters, setting between them and your roof covering. 

Getting Your Window

Before making your cuts, you need to make sure the right window is available that will fit your frame. If you install your frame and can’t get a window that works, you’ll be in trouble. If you can’t find a window, you may need a custom-built design. 

Even then, contact the manufacturer for a quote and to make sure they can make what you need. You may need to change the specs by an inch or two before cutting your pieces.

Get To The Cutting

This is the most nerve-racking part. If your cuts are wrong, inverted, or half-an-inch off, your project will experience delays. Remember, measuring is vital. After you’ve confirmed the measurements are correct, it’s time to get to the cutting.

Or, if you want to be sure, make a cardboard prototype beforehand. This is an inexpensive option, and will let you know if any of your measurements are incorrect. 

Screw Everything In

After you have the necessary pieces, you can finish your project. First, cut a hole. If you cut it too big and you will have a mess. After you cut your hole, add your frame and rafters. 

Don’t forget to match your roof with the appropriate shingles or other roofing. Take a picture and ask someone at a home improvement store if they have a match. And finally, screw everything in and install your window to complete the project. 

The Inside Work

The final step is inside work. Weather conditions are not a factor during this stage. This includes insulation and covering holes you’ve made. 

For a complete guide, make sure you take a look at this amazing project where you’ll learn everything you need to know. It takes you through the process with pictures and a video made by expert contractors. 

Are Eyebrow Windows For You?

Are Eyebrow Windows For You
Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd

If you are in love with eyebrow windows, then you should consider installing them. The only con is the price tag. If that’s not enough to deter you, then go for it. Your forever home should be your dream home. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Can eyebrows windows be double-hung?

Yes, they can. Due to their width, sheds use double-hung eyebrow windows. Their width makes installation easier. Eyebrow windows rely on cooling techniques centered on the notion that cold air settles and warmer air rises to the top. Double-hung dormers improve ventilation, which explains why they are popular with sheds.

How do you cut curtains for eyebrow windows?

As you know, special windows require special treatment. Before you start cutting curtains for eyebrow windows, you will need to give extra attention to the window’s arches. You’ll need a curtain hardware kit that has rods that can bend according to the shape of your eyebrow windows. When selecting a fabric, yellow and sunburst themes are the most popular colors for eyebrow window curtains. 

How difficult is eyebrow roof construction?

If you want to install eyebrows windows in your home, you will need to enlist a professional unless you have extensive home construction experience. Prior to the sheathing, construction on eyebrow roofs will begin. During this process, air can leak through the exterior walls. To prevent this, you will need to air-seal your home during construction. If you fail to do this, the leaks will cause condensation, a precursor to mold, rot, and mildew. Insulation is very important, so make sure you’ve addressed this before you consider installing eyebrow dormer windows.

Eyebrow Window Conclusion

Eyebrow window dormers are different with each and every home. Depending on your home’s architectural style will determine what type of eyebrows windows you can install. The windows not only offer a touch of class but can help keep your home cooler during the summer. Dormer window additions can add curb appeal to your home. If you’re considering adding eyebrow windows, make sure you consult with a home construction specialist. Remodeling your home can be a fun and rewarding experience, but only when done correctly. You wouldn’t want to make a mistake that would later prove costly.