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A dormer is a structural element of a house that starts from the plane of a sloping roof surface. Dormers are used, either in original construction or in later additions, to create usable space in the roof of a house by adding headroom and also by enabling addition of windows. Dormer roofs can be built with many different types of materials depending on your current roof and its design. Common dormer roofs are: copper, lead-coated copper, aluminum, asphalt shingle, slate, wood shake, and tile.