Does Your House Have A Face?

An eyebrow dormer, also known as a roof eyebrow, is a wavy dormer that protrudes through the slope of a roof. It contains a window that may be fixed or operable.
Eyebrow dormers add beauty, function and value to this home
The first eyebrow dormers appeared on medieval thatch-roofed cottages, making their way to America in the second half of the 19th century on Queen Anne-style houses after being popularized by Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Today, roof eyebrows can be found on many different types of homes, from post-modern beach homes to converted-garage guest cottages. They are most commonly found on the attic, although they’re sometimes incorporated into basements, garages and additions. Their designs, too, can vary from tall half-rounds to gentle “ocean waves” and geodesic domes. Construction is difficult, however, as most require tricky framing and roofing, as well as a custom-made sash.

The advantages offered by eyebrow dormers, and dormers in general (such as shed dormers), are a mix of aesthetics and function; they provide a curvaceous, subtle way to bring light into a building and ventilate the top-floor space while breaking up the monotony of an otherwise angular roof or flat, interior ceiling. Through these design features, occupants can gaze across their yard or see who is coming up the driveway. Occupants also enjoy additional headroom in certain areas without having to raise the building’s primary roofline. And, as with any design feature that adds elegance and utility to a home, eyebrow dormers typically improve the home’s resale value.

Eyebrow dormers are not usually problem areas, although shoddy roof work is probably more likely here than at the rest of the roof due to the expert handiwork required to put them together competently. Leaking might be an issue because eyebrow dormers are often shingled separately from the rest of the roof, so it’s possible that the Eyebrow dormer with visible paint chippingconnection between the two is a weak point for running rainwater. They can be inspected for water intrusion around the interior and exterior of the window. Note the chipped paint and general wear suffered by the eyebrow dormer in the photo to the right. Any water intrusion should be reported to an InterNACHI inspector during the next scheduled inspection so that the location can be inspected for mold and damage to building components. Inspectors and roofers should be extra careful while traversing roofs that include eyebrow dormers, as their undulating slope can allow for a deadly loss of footing.

Specialty dormers are usually quite expensive. In construction, anything that deviates from a straight line will cost extra. If the window is an unusual shape, it’s going to need to be custom-made and it will cost even more. In addition to the expense of a curved window, the inside of the eyebrow will need to be finished, and the exterior must be roofed around a tricky geometric shape. An eyebrow may cost the homeowner more than $10,000 if it’s a large retrofit, although the price will be somewhat less if it is incorporated into the building’s original construction. Regardless, eyebrows will typically cost several times as much as a skylight, a common design alternative.

In summary, eyebrow dormers add class to a building without requiring a dramatic change in architecture. Such unusual exterior design features in buildings and homes should be checked for flashing defects, water intrusion and other problems that custom features can present.

Hero Home Inspection Joined the ICC


About ICC

The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

The International Codes®, or I-Codes®, published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industry’s need for one set of codes without regional limitations.

Fifty states and the District of Columbia have adopted the I-Codes at the state or jurisdictional level. Federal agencies including the Architect of the Capitol, General Services Administration, National Park Service, Department of State, U.S. Forest Service and the Veterans Administration also enforce the I-Codes. The Department of Defense references the International Building Code® for constructing military facilities, including those that house U.S. troops around the world and at home. Amtrak uses the International Green Construction Code® for new and extensively renovated sites and structures. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands enforce one or more of the I-Codes.

Vision & Mission

Vision: Protect the health, safety and welfare of people by creating safe buildings and communities.

Mission: To provide the highest quality codes, standards, products and services for all concerned with the safety and performance of the built environment.


Customer Value
Integrity and Trust
Member Focus
Public Service


The International Code Council (ICC) was established in 1994 as a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes. The founders of the ICC are Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI). Since the early part of the last century, these non-profit organizations developed three separate sets of model codes used throughout the United States. Although regional code development has been effective and responsive to our country’s needs, the time came for a single set of codes. The nation’s three model code groups responded by creating the International Code Council and by developing codes without regional limitations; the International Codes.

ICC Family of Companies

The International Code Council (ICC) Family of Companies includes the ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation (SRCC) and the International Accreditation Service (IAS), which are dedicated to the construction of safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. (more)


The ICC has developed and made available a comprehensive and coordinated set of International Codes, including:

International Building Code
International Energy Conservation Code
International Existing Building Code
International Fire Code
International Fuel Gas Code
International Green Construction Code
International Mechanical Code
ICC Performance Code
International Plumbing Code
International Private Sewage Disposal Code
International Property Maintenance Code
International Residential Code
International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
International Wildland Urban Interface Code
International Zoning Code
Services of the ICC

The International Code Council offers unmatched technical, educational and informational products and services in support of the International Codes, with more than 250 highly qualified staff members at offices throughout the United States. Some of the products and services readily available to code users include:

Code application assistance
Educational programs
Certification programs
Technical handbooks and workbooks
Plan review Services
Digital products
Online magazines and newsletters
Building Safety Career Assistance
Code Development

ICC develops construction and public safety codes through the governmental consensus process. This system of code development has provided the citizens of the U.S. the highest level of safety in the world for more than 80 years. The ICC governmental consensus process meets the principles defined by the National Standards Strategy of 2000; OMB Circular A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities (1998). It complies with Public Law 104-113 National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995.

cdpACCESS In the 2015-2018 Code Cycle, ICC has fully implemented the cdpACCESS online cdpaccess2code development portal for all those interested in participating in the code development process. For more information on cdpACCESS and how to submit and comment on code change proposals, collaborate with peers and to vote, please visit the

Saving Energy Dollars With Infrared (Thermal) Imaging

I know everyone works very hard for their money (in order to pay the bills), but what you don’t realize is how much of your hard earned energy dollars are actually slipping right through the cracks of your home. Keeping your home at a comfort level (by conditioning it) can be very costly. I know everyone would like to reduce their energy bills in our freezing winter months and then again, in the summer cooling months. Well, a good place to start would be a professional infrared home-energy efficiency inspection. An infrared inspection will actually show you where you are wasting your hard earned energy dollars, and at the same time, will demonstrate how you can properly seal those areas that are pulling your energy dollars to the outside of your house.
There are many building envelope anomalies that can generate significant heat and air conditioning loss, which causes your energy dollars to be wasted in a not-so-tight home.

Sources of Air Leakage in a Typical Home

No access to the top side of this ceiling, but infrared detects missing insulation


During a Re-hab, infrared imaging detects missing insulation above ceiling


An infrared inspection detects a radiator conducting heat to the exterior.


An infrared home energy efficiency inspection can be used to verify problems caused by poor design, poor workmanship, or material failure. With the ridiculously high priced heating fuel today, my energy audit can pay for itself in as little as one year. This is the ideal inspection to conduct for numerous situations in a typical home…

1. Clients use my infrared services while I’m performing their Standard home inspection. This valuable option is not included in my standard home inspection fee.
2. I’m often hired immediately after completion of newly constructed homes, while the home or building is still under warranty with the building contractor. I can also scan new homes on construction stage inspections. (In many cases, those moisture stains on your basement walls are explained away by the builder as “during construction” moisture. It pays to confirm this before the builder’s warranty expires.)
3. If you own an older home that is costing you too much in energy dollars due to excessive air drafts, I can pinpoint those problem areas where cold air is infiltrating your living space. Then, it’s best if you contact a building contractor to upgrade those specific areas that I will be clearly identifying throughout your home. In my inspections, all efficiency information and pictures will be transferred onto a professional thermal report for your convenience.
4. 4) An infrared energy inspection will easily locate any missing insulation behind your finished walls and ceilings. Then, you can contact an insulation contractor to upgrade the areas that I will be identifying throughout your home. These areas will also be clearly identified on a professional energy efficiency report. During this inspection, I can show you how you can insulate specific areas without removing walls or ceilings.
5. I am able to detect potential mold problems behind walls and ceilings. All moisture issues must be mitigated immediately. As I stated previously, infrared imaging does not detect the actual Molds behind your walls and ceilings, but it will detect the issues associated with Mold build-up.
6. Infrared Thermograph provides you with a unique opportunity to assess the energy efficiency of your HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems, including the tightness of the duct work that is located behind your walls and ceilings. In order to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, this inspection will also test for leaks throughout the vent pipes.
7. An infrared camera will locate those thermal panes that are at the beginning stages of leaking insulated gases. I am able to locate any broken seals in double/triple pane windows that do not visually show signs of condensation as of yet.

Windows look great visually, but infrared detects three thermal barrier leaks


As you can see, having an infrared energy efficiency inspection makes it much easier to positively pinpoint problems throughout your home, instead of simply making an educated guess without the camera. An IR inspection also allows me to communicate my findings with greater understanding to homeowners instead of just “speaking another language.” As one client had put it very clearly, “This inspection lets my eyes make sense of what my ears are hearing.” Now that makes perfect sense, Right? any broken seals in double/triple pane windows that do not visually show signs of condensation as of yet.


Thermal imaging pictures combined with digital photographs can greatly enhance your understanding of just what the problem is and how to go about having it repaired with minimum damage to the home. My final energy efficiency report enhances your ability to deal directly with the contractors that may be performing the repair work for you. All you have to do is show your contractor the infrared energy efficiency report and they will fully understand your issues. After the contractor completes their upgrade, and before any final payment, clients often contact me to perform a final scan to verify that all work was performed correctly.