Last updated on 01/27/2022
Have you ever seen a wall of windows or an entry door that wowed you with how beautiful and elegant it was? Chances are these gorgeous features incorporated transom windows to get that elevated look you loved so much. But what are transom windows, and what styles do they come in?
Transom windows are any window that sits over a door or other window. Read on to learn more about this type of window and where you can put one in your home.
What Is a Transom Window?
Transom windows are a subset of windows that are placed over the tops of doors or other windows. These windows are usually the same width as the feature they’re over and can be rectangular or arched. They may also include decorative elements, such as stained glass or decorative framing, to make them more attractive.
Transom windows got their start with a very practical purpose in mind: ventilation. Original transom windows could be opened to allow hot air to flow out without leaving all the doors of the room open. These days, transom windows serve a much more decorative function and are a great way to bring more light into a space.
Fixed Transom Windows
Fixed transom windows are the most common model you’ll find these days. As you might guess from the name, these windows are fixed in place, meaning they do not open or close. They simply act as a decorative feature and a way to bring more natural light into your room.
You can find fixed transom windows in a variety of different spaces and over either doors or other windows. This style is popular over living room and kitchen windows, in primary bathrooms, over front doors, and even in some garages and sheds. You’re more likely to find decorative elements in fixed transom windows, since they don’t have to be mobile.
Operable Transom Windows
Unlike fixed transom windows, operable transom windows can open and close. You’re more likely to find these windows in older homes, businesses, and schools, especially those that predate central heating and air. These windows are usually interior styles and are almost always set over interior doorways.
Operable transom windows can use a variety of different opening mechanisms, from rods that extend down the sides of the door frame to simple latches that you have to get on a stool to open. These days, operable transom windows may even use simple push-open mechanisms similar to skylights to allow for better ventilation.
Interior Transom Windows
Interior transom windows are usually found over interior doors, including doorways into living rooms, bathrooms, entrance halls, and sunrooms. These are most common in older homes, although they can bring a fabulous charm to newer construction. They are also often operable, since their original function was to improve ventilation.
Today, interior transom windows can be a great way to make your rooms feel more open and airy. Even if you don’t have the advantage of an open floor plan, a transom window can keep your spaces connected and may be a great way to show off statement light fixtures. They can work especially well in small spaces that could benefit from the illusion of more room.
Exterior Transom Windows
Exterior transom windows are situated over a window or door that leads out of your home. These windows are a great way to bring in more light and make your space feel taller. They are often fixed and may include some of the decorative elements we mentioned.
Exterior transom windows are fairly common in living rooms, where they turn basic windows into gorgeous accent walls. In bathrooms, you may find these over glass block windows or next to soaking tubs. And no elegant front door is complete without a transom window to bring more light into the entrance of the home.
Arched Transom Windows
Although many transom windows are rectangular, you can also find arched transom windows. These are most common as exterior windows and are popular as an accent to living room windows. You’re also more likely to see these windows over entry doors, since they add a bit of elegance and flair to the space.
Arched transom windows can take the shape of a half oval or a chord window. The half oval window has a bit of a shallower curve to it, while the chord window more closely resembles a true half-circle. In some cases, you may even see arched transom windows split to form two quarter-circles.
Transom Window Costs
Your transom window cost will depend a lot on how big the window is, what style you choose, and where you live. Of course, the bigger the window, the more you’ll pay for it. More ornate styles, such as windows with decorative elements or operable windows, will also cost more money than plain fixed transom windows.
In general, transom windows cost somewhere between $200 and $600, depending on the factors we discussed. Fixed rectangle windows with a vinyl frame will cost you closer to $200, including installation costs. Decorative operable windows with a wood frame will run closer to the $600 end of the scale.
Learn More About Transom Windows
Transom windows can be a great way to bring more light into your rooms and open up your space. These windows can be set on interior or exterior walls and may sit over doorways or other windows. You can get transom windows in both operable and fixed models, as well as in arched or rectangular shapes.
If you’d like to learn more about transom windows, check out the rest of our site at Window Joe Replacement Windows. We provide support to homeowners in selecting replacement windows and replacement window installers. Check out our guide to different types of window replacements today and start saving on replacement windows.