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    A Guide to Sidelights and Transoms

    The combination of matching sidelights and a transom window can add light and curb appeal to any entryway and home. Transom windows and sidelights can add elegance to your front entry door and light to your entryway. They can also be used to allow more light into your home's rooms.
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    A transom window is a horizontal window above a door or above another set of windows. Often used in conjunction with a transom window, sidelights are narrow windows, usually non-operable, that flank doorways or other areas where additional light and design flair are desired. Transom windows, in particular, are often used to accentuate vaulted ceilings. Read on for more information about these types of windows.

    Costs for Sidelights and a Transom Window

    Due to the range of options available to homeowners, prices range from as low as $1000 to as high as $10,000 depending on the complexity of glass and the different materials used. Additionally, homeowners should keep in mind that labor and installation fees can fall between $100 and $200 based on the difficulty of the installation.

    Types of Sidelights and Transoms

    A transom window is available in several different shapes, including the rectangular transom window, an arched, or fanned, transom window, a triangular transom, or an elliptical transom window. Similar to an arched transom, an extended leg radius transom has an extended arch shape. The palladian transom window is a combination window, incorporating an arched window with two smaller rectangular windows alongside it. A transom window can be fixed or operable, which means that it is able to be opened and can add increased airflow to your room.

    Usually around 12” wide, sidelights are sold as ¼, 1/3, and ½ windows. In most cases, smaller sidelights are available for homeowners who prefer to maintain privacy or prevent pets from leaving marks on low-hanging windows. Additionally, sidelights are also available as single units for unique cases where there is limited space or where homeowners seek to minimize entry light.

    Sidelights and a transom window can add beauty and lighting to your entryway | @ fotolia.com / Karen Roach

    Glass Options for Sidelights and Transoms

    A transom window and sidelights are typically available with clear or stained glass. They are also available with glazed tinted glass, which offers an open appearance while still providing privacy. A transom window and most sidelights usually feature tempered glass to prevent shattering and boost security. They can be installed individually or in a combined unit.

    Additionally, a transom window is often built with a paneled frame of glass panes to create a symmetrical, grid-like design.

    Energy Efficient Sidelights and Transoms

    As fixed accompaniment windows, sidelights and a transom window can provide a better and more energy efficient seal operable windows. Homeowners can increase this energy efficiency with the addition of low-e glass. The high-performance Low-e glass can enhance your sidelight's insulation and cooling properties with an invisible, thin metallic coating. In winter, low-e glass keeps your house warm by preventing heat from escaping. In summer, it reduces air conditioning costs by keeping your house cool.

    Summary: Natural Light and Elegance

    Entry doors accompanied by sidelights and a transom window can help to boost your home's curb appeal and your entryway's lighting. These types of windows can also transform your rooms' windows into beautiful centerpieces to provide natural light and/or increased ventilation. For more help choosing and installing a transom window and sidelights, use HomeAdvancement's database to contact a contractor in your area today.

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    Written by: Ryan Mchugh, Editor www.HomeAdvancement.com