Imagine a front door. You're likely picturing something pretty standard and simple. The kind of thing you see on most homes. A wooden door, perhaps. Or something metal. In either case, you're most likely imagining a door simply set into the wall of the house, with nothing above or around it. But why not think differently?
Instead of a plain old door, stuck in the wall, picture a beautiful pane of glass sitting above it. You just imagined a transom window. It's one of the best additions to any entry door. Indeed, those little windows can transform simple exterior doors into veritable works of art, bringing beauty and grace to a home's facade.
What Are Entry Door Transoms?
Unfamiliar with transoms? If you're not a door professional, you might not have even heard the word before. So, let's kick off with a quick definition. The word transom refers to the beam that sits atop a door. Thus, the transom window is the window that sits above that beam.
These days, transom windows aren't all that common. But let's travel back in time to the 20th century. To an age before AC units. To a time when homeowners relied on windows to cool down their rooms. Back then, transoms were much more commonplace, spotted atop the doors of many new homes and public buildings.
The Unique Benefits of Transoms
Is an entry door transom the right choice for you? Well, that all depends. These days, they may seem like little more than decorative door additions. However, they actually offer a surprising number of benefits, even in today's world of technological comforts and smart home devices. Here are some of the best benefits of a transom entry door:
Letting More Light into the Home
With a transom window above the entryway, much more natural light can shine through the glass and enter the home. It's similar to how sidelights (windows on the left hand or right hand side of the door) work. This can make a notable difference to the look and ambiance of your inner spaces, especially for the entryway, hallway, or staircases.
Having a transom entry door is a lovely and effective way to brighten up your home's interiors, without having to rely on lamps and artificial lighting. All day long, you'll benefit from extra interior light, casting its soothing glow across your walls, floors, and furnishings.
More natural light tends to not only make homes feel warmer and cozier, but can even impact your mood, so people typically feel more peaceful and at ease in a well-lit home. Plus, even after the sun has set, the moon's soft glow will still flow in above your door, helping you find your way around after dark.
A Big Boost to Curb Appeal
A century ago, transoms were much more about functionality than style. These days, they're often chosen not for their practical benefits, but for their ability to enhance the curb appeal of a property, giving it a more elegant, refined, and attractive exterior to present to the world.
Walking along a typical street, passers-by will naturally be more likely to admire homes with grand facades and fancy frontages, like big double doors, sidelights, and glass transoms over the doorway. They may seem like a small addition, but transoms truly can transform the aesthetics of a home.
Standing Out from the Crowd
Neighboring houses often resemble each other, especially in planned and structured communities or suburbs. You can walk down a street and see homes that almost look copy-pasted from the same design. Each one resembles the one before, lacking any kind of distinguishing allure and features. It's up to the owners of those homes to make changes and give them life and personality.
Well, something as simple as a rectangular transom can make all the difference. Indeed, if you look at before and after shots of a property with and without a transom glass window, the difference is often staggering. With the window, the home takes on new life, far away from its cookie-cutter, copy-paste neighbors.
Adding Value to Your Property
A home is an investment. And if you can find ways to build on that investment, making it more valuable, not only will you have a happier time living there, but you'll also reap the rewards when it's time to sell and move on somewhere new. Even if you have no plans to move anytime soon, you never know when the situation could change. Life is unpredictable, after all.
Prospective buyers pay attention to the little things. Something as simple as a fancy sink or power shower can make the more inclined to buy a home. Sidelights and glass windows over the exterior door have that very same effect. Indeed, many real estate agents have found that their clients get significantly more money, on average, with these kinds of exterior additions.
It's simple psychology. If your home looks fabulous at the front, buyers will assume that the inside is just as good, if not better. That'll make them more likely to visit your property, to bid on it, and to buy it. You can therefore drum up more competition and kick off a bidding war, if you have a lovely transom window above your entryway. And what does all that lead to? A higher final price.
A Valuable Upgrade
Despite the fact that they can add value to your home, most entry doors with transoms really don't cost all that much to install. Especially if you're building a new home, you'll have free rein over its design and layout. So, you can simply request to have a transom door fitted during the construction phase.
But even if your home is older and needs a new transom fitting, it shouldn't cost an excessive amount. Plus, with minimal maintenance, transom doors don't have high upkeep costs, either. They're very cost-effective door additions, especially when compared to sidelights and other external add-ons.
So, those seeking exterior improvements at low prices could be tempted by the addition of a new glass panel above the front door.
So Much Versatility
You might have only seen standard rectangular transom windows in the past, but the truth is that transoms are available in a vast, versatile range of shapes and designs to suit every front door. Whether your home is old or new, with a single door or double doors at the front, you can find a transom to match.
The PINKYS collection has some striking examples of this, like our exquisite Air Lite Interior - a flawless example of a traditional rectangular transom - or the Golden Arch, with its semi-circular shape and intricate woven metal.
Making Rooms Look Larger
Ever wished you had more interior space? Well, we can't magically make homes larger. But door transoms are able to make them look bigger. It's a clever optical illusion, and it's astonishing to see how well it works. With extra natural light let in from outdoors, combined with the impression of taller doors and walls, even a tiny hall or foyer can look twice the size.
After getting a rectangular transom fitted above their front door, many homeowners find that the space beyond, like a hall or entryway, feels wider and more welcoming. This is quite a powerful optical illusion, working just as well in small and large homes alike.
It's extraordinary how a simple piece of glass can have such an impressive effect, but if you've always felt like your hall feels a little small or cramped, transoms might help you create the illusion of a bigger space. The same logic also applies with sidelights, which bring extra light into a foyer or hall, making it appear wider and more spacious.
As explained earlier on, the original purpose of those rectangular transoms you often see in older homes was for ventilation. Since older buildings didn't have the luxury of advanced HVAC systems, it was common to install transoms above doors; the owners could then open and shut each transom accordingly, letting air flow through the home.
It might seem a little old-fashioned to those born and raised in the AC age, but opening windows is one of the simplest and most effective ways to promote airflow through a home. And most transom windows can be opened when it's warm, letting a soft breeze flow across the doorway, permeating the space beyond with its refreshing coolness.
This is one of the most cost-effective ways to cool a house. It doesn't cost a thing. Nor does it require the use of expensive or environmentally-destructive energy sources. Of course, having a single glass transom door won't change your home's ventilation entirely, but it can add a nice bonus way to cool off on those sticky days.
By this point, you may be thinking "Transom windows sound wonderful, but what about all the cleaning and maintenance?" Well, the truth is that these little, decorative windows often don't need all that much TLC. Thanks in large part to their positioning and small size, the average transom won't cause you too much hassle.
You'll simply need to wipe away any light dust that might gather on the window to keep it neat and clean. Aside from that, there's really not a lot that needs to be done. Although, of course, a replacement pane of glass would be needed if ever your entryway window gets cracked, but that's quite an unlikely scenario.
Small repairs may be needed to elements like the jamb or grilles, too. However, homeowners won't generally need to worry, and with less maintenance to deal with, you can simply sit back and enjoy the advantages of your windows, with minimal downsides.
How to Choose and Install a Front Door Transom
Not only are transom windows relatively cheap, but they're also quite easy to fit. You can purchase them independently, or buy a door with a rectangular transom already built-in at the top. Then, if your home already has a transom frame, the new glass can be fitted into position to fill the slot quite simply and quickly.
If there isn't space for the transom, workers can make some modifications to open up the area and get ready to install the new door and window. The whole project shouldn't take too much time, and you'll be able to feel and enjoy the benefits of your new door for decades to come.
Clearly, these unique windows above the door can offer many benefits, but there are quite a lot of options to choose between, from simple white rectangular models to other colors, like black, blue, and brown, and various decorative styles, too. Matching the right window with the right entry door transoms is key, and here are a few tips and pointers to help:
Size: Naturally, any window you choose should be an appropriate size for your existing door (unless you plan on having the door replaced). Measure the width across the top of the door frame to narrow down your search.
Color: These windows are available in a mixture of colors. There are simple black and white variants, as well as more unique and unusual shades for those with quirkier tastes and personalities. Try matching the door frame and transom color for a seamless visual effect, or mix and match differing shades to stand out.
Style: Some windows have decorative grilles and curving, twisting metal or arched frames around the glass. Others are infinitely more simplistic, with sleek lines and sharp angles, like little boxes above the door. Again, it's best to pick a product that blends well with your home's existing theme or style.
PINKYS has a fabulous collection of transoms for all homes. From sleek, modern models to Southern-style frames with beautiful iron and steel elements, the options go on and on.
Taking our inspiration from the beauty of Southern California sunsets, PINKYS has been crafting wonderful doors and windows since 1978. If you're looking for a top-quality exterior upgrade to elevate your home's external look, we invite you to consider our transoms range.