In architecture, a turret is a small tower that projects upward from a building, such as a medieval castle. Originally designed to provide a defensive position allowing covering fire in the days of military fortification, this use faded, and were more recently used purely as a decorative addition in Baronial or Renaissance style construction.


Form and Function

It is important to match the style to that of the rest of the house, either one already existing or one that you are planning. Half-timbered structures are good because they enjoy a look that recalls the days of old. Besides being decorative, turrets can be also used as distinct spaces within the home, so check the space you are planning inside the turret, too. It can be designed to contain a staircase if it projects higher than the building, or simply to add an imposing space inside an existing room, where its appearance will finish level or lower than its host structure.

Project and Overall Look

A turret’s peak can have a circular top, a pointed roof or some other kind of peak, but they look best when they reflect their origins as lookout posts: Rooms that extend beyond the outer walls, and built in a circular shape. This interior space can provide a spectacular sweep-around view of nearby countryside, a coastal panorama or the local neighborhood.

Design and Building Challenges

Turrets are most often built using a circular turret from stone or other masonry material. However, many markets build by wooden frame construction. To create truly circular walls with this type of construction is complex, but there is a wonderful design compromise that has worked well since medieval times.

The 8-sided Tower

You can design and build the turret as if it were an octagon — except where it connects to the walls and roof of the house. Turrets based on this approach place one window in each wall, as you have probably seen before. Other options include using different shaped and sized windows in pleasing compositions, or dividing individual windows into multiple panes. This overall look works better, however, when repeated through the entire residence, so planning is critical to your design’s success.

Rectangular Look-Outs

Rectangular turrets work can usually be found on the corners of buildings. The reasons for this are many: Providing extra space, funneling available light into the interior and providing views for a surprisingly long way. When used in neighborhoods with both residential and commercial buildings, they can also make a roof over the doorway of a corner store below.

Nashville Turret Experts

Whether you are planning adding a turret to an existing residence, or are in the planning stage of an entirely new residence, Antebellum Roofworks Co Inc can design, consult and build the design that suits both your plans, and your designs. Call us today at (615) 794-9111 or fill out our contact form today for a quote or to get started.

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