What is a Transom Window

What is a Transom Window?

There are so many ways to make a property more unique and functional. A transom window is just one upgrade that can greatly enhance a building's character. What exactly is it, how does it work, and where should you use it? This quick guide will give you the basics to help you make the best choices for your property.

What is a Transom Window?

A transom window is a decorative window that is placed right above a standard window or door. It's also known as a “transom light” due to its ability to let in more natural light. This type of window is placed above the transom, the beam that separates the top of a window or door from the wall above. A transom window can be installed anywhere in the home where the designer thinks it needs more light. 

What is the Purpose of a Transom Window?

Before the age of electricity, transom windows also had vital functions. They let in as much natural light as possible so people could take advantage of daylight. Also, transom windows placed above interior doors were able to open and close, providing ventilation in between rooms. This was a vital comfort aspect before air conditioning was commonplace.

In modern times, transom windows mainly serve a decorative purpose. They fill in extra space between a window or door and a tall ceiling, creating fullness. They also let in extra light, which makes narrow hallways look better. Transom windows can still be used to facilitate extra airflow in a home, especially if you prefer to leave windows open during mild weather seasons.

Where are Transom Windows Located?

Transom windows can be located above any door or window in the home. However, they are most commonly found above front doors, windows in places with tall ceilings, and above french door patio windows. In historical homes, they are often placed on top of interior room doors. You may also see transom windows installed alone up high on basement walls due to the limited space to access above-ground light.

Check out this video of a front door with built-in transom windows:

Do Transom Windows Open?

Yes, transom windows can open, though many today are purely decoration and do not open. Interior transom windows that can open typically pivot open to allow airflow. Exterior transom windows that can open usually include a screen to keep bugs from entering.

Types of Transom Windows

The majority of transom windows are fixed picture windows, which have large, thick frames and are set in a closed position. These cannot open and are purely for decoration. Transom windows are usually rectangular, but you can also find them in a domed shape, in grids, and decorative glass varieties.  If they can pivot open, they resemble hopper windows that can be easily pulled down to promote airflow.

Transom Windows: Are They Right for You?

Transom windows add value to many interiors by allowing more natural light and design into places that need it. There are many styles and sizes on the market to allow a custom choice for your next remodel. Find the perfect transom window to enhance the look and function of your property here.

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