Front Door Styles
Many homes have doors surrounded by windows to add a decorative touch and allow light into the entry way. These windows are actually part of the entire door unit. The windows and door frame are “mulled” together to create the entryway. “Mulled” means that the frames of the door are attached to each of the windows to create the entryway. Sometimes these are referred to as “millwork window and door units”.
Below are the common types of front door windows and door units, known as doors with sidelites and transoms.
Door Sidelite Windows
A door sidelight is a vertical window that flanks a door. While most commonly used to enhance a home's front entrance, sidelights offer beauty and function to any exterior door where a visual emphasis is desired, or where additional light or visibility is needed.
The most common sidelite size is 12” wide, which offers the largest selection of glass options. 10” sidelites are found in certain areas of the country and manufacturers have increased the glass offerings for this size as well. Oversized sidelites are also available, and often require clear or obscure glass due to their unusual size.
- ½ glass: only half of the sidelite is glass and the lower ½ portion is a flat panel painted to match the trim or the door color.
- ¾ glass: ¾ of the sidelite is glass leaving a small solid section at the bottom. This is a popular option for pet owners who want the light but don’t want nose prints on the lower glass.
- ¼ glass: ¼ of the sidelite is glass at the top. This allows for privacy while still letting light into the space. This option is popular with the Craftsman ¼ glass door.
Single Door with Sidelites on both sides: A door with non-operable windows the height of the door on both sides.
Single Door with one sidelite: An entryway with limited space may only have one sidelite beside the door.
A transom window is the any window found directly over the top of a door. Transoms allow extra light into the entryway and make the space on the interior and exterior feel taller. They are available in several different shapes:
Rectangular Transom Non-operable glass that covers the opening width of the door and the width of the sidelites (as seen in photo at the top of this page).
Arch or Radius Transom A perfect ½ circle over the width of door and sidelites. See photo on left.
Extended Leg Radius Transom
Ellipse Transom Rounded window not as tall as
Palladian Transom Window Combination window consisting of a large, arch-top center window flanked by two shorter rectangular windows.
Front Door Configurations | Remodel
All the above transom options are available for both single and double doors. Certain configurations of doors can be changed to accommodate another style. For example, a double door can be reframed to become a single door with sidelites (as shown below in one of our complete exterior remodel projects).
Want to see your home with its new front door window and door unit BEFORE we start the remodeling project? Be sure to ask about EXOVISION™, our architectural rendering design process that takes the guesswork out of your remodeling plans. If you choose EXOVATIONS as your remodeling contractor, then the EXOVISION fee is deducted from your project price.