Basics and Common Uses of Transom Windows

Many home and building owners are regularly looking for ways to infuse additional light and design intrigue into their spaces, and a number of window options are often ideal for this purpose. One great example here is the transom window, which too many people have not heard of – but which is a fantastic addition to many homes and design setups.

At Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors, we’re happy to provide Utah clients with a huge range of window options and materials, from wood-clad windows to glass block windows and many other specialty types. What exactly are transom windows, and what are several of the most common ways they’re often infused into home designs along with doors or even other window types? Here’s everything you need to know.

basics uses transom windows

Transom Window Basics

For those who have never heard the term before, a transom window refers to a section of fixed glass that will often be installed above an existing door or window in a home. Their name comes from the use of a transom beam, which is a horizontal piece that separates the top section of a door or window from the rest of the wall area.

Transoms are typically quite small, measuring between one to three feet in height. They may also be constructed using multiple panes and even be adorned with muntins for additional design flair.

What Are the Benefits of Adding a Transom Window?

Adding transom windows is often beneficial for several reasons. For starters, many people choose to install them as a means of bringing in more natural light and opening up spaces visually. This is especially useful for darker areas of the home, such as hallways or even bathrooms where it can be hard to get sunshine exposure through traditional windows.

Second, transoms are also often used to provide additional ventilation via passive airflow that comes from the area above a door or window. This can be especially helpful in hot climates, where transom windows allow the coolness of nighttime air to filter into the home and help regulate temperatures indoors.

Finally, transoms are also great for providing aesthetic appeal without compromising on privacy. They can let light in while still allowing people to maintain their views of the outdoors without having to install a fully open window.

Our next few sections will go over some of the most common ways transom windows are used.

Above Front Doors

Perhaps the single most common way transom windows are used is above front doors. Here, they can be added to add an extra design touch that complements the existing door, or even as a means of providing additional light and ventilation in entryways.

This can be especially helpful for climates where temperatures at the front door can get very hot due to direct sunlight exposure, since the transom window can help cool down the area. It may also be helpful for providing better visibility of guests who arrive at the door, since light coming in through this window can make it easier to see who is standing outside.

Extending Patio or French Doors

Another popular use for transom windows is to augment patio or French doors. Here, the window itself can be added above the existing door to add more light and visual interest into a space. This type of setup also helps to create an elegant look as well, since it gives the impression that the entire wall area is made up of one continuous opening with no visible boundaries between the window and door.

If you’re going this route, be sure to choose a window material and design that matches the existing door color, style, and even trim. This will ensure that they blend together seamlessly for an aesthetically pleasing look as well as maintaining a consistent overall design statement in the home.

Above Certain Windows

In other cases, transom windows may be installed above existing window setups, such as in living rooms and bedrooms. This is often done to add more natural light into these spaces without having to increase the size of any existing windows.

It’s also a great way to open up the view outwards for people inside the home, since it can help provide an uninterrupted panorama of the outdoors. Once again, be sure to use a window material that matches in with the existing windows for a more unified look.

Which Shape Should You Use?

While the most common transom windows are typically rectangular in shape, there are plenty of other choices available. Depending on the style you want to achieve and the overall design scheme of your home, you may opt for a round or even arched window. This can help provide more visual interest into a space as well as create a unique focal point within it.

No matter which shape you choose, transom windows can make a great addition to your home or building. They’re both practical and beautiful, allowing people to enjoy more natural light and ventilation while also providing a touch of design charm.

For more here, or to learn about any of our great window or door options for Utah clients, speak to our team at Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors today.