Transom Windows to Increase the Style and Appeal of Your Home

Transom windows bring in light, and fresh air and add visual height to the room. These windows range from unassuming to decorative, but even the most simple windows beautify the spaces they inhabit.

Transom WindowsView in gallery

What Are Transom Windows?

Transom windows are windows located above the transom, which is the cross beam just above a door or window. Before air conditioning existed, transom windows provided an opening for air to flow between the interior rooms and the outdoors and between interior spaces. 

Transom WindowsView in gallery

Today, transom windows still provide the benefits of airflow, light, and a visual boost to ceiling height, but they also help your resale value.

According to the National Association of Realtors on, adding more light into your home through additional windows is a concrete way to increase your home’s appeal for prospective home buyers. 

What are Transom WindowsView in gallery
Rambling Renovators

Types of Transom Windows

There are two main types of transom windows: interior transom windows and exterior transom windows.

Interior transom windows

Interior transom windows are located above interior doors and windows in the home. These include both operable transom windows that open and non-operable transom windows that are fixed.

You can open operable windows to create more airflow between rooms. A fixed interior transom window will provide additional light but bring no benefit of airflow.

Exterior transom windows

You will find exterior transom windows above doorways and exterior windows. In historic homes, exterior transom windows were both operable and non-operable. Now, almost all exterior transom windows are in a fixed position.

Transom Window Materials

Exterior transom windowsView in gallery
House and Home

If you are looking to purchase transom windows for your interior or exterior spaces, there are four main materials that builders use to create them.

For the frame, builders use wood, MDF, vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum.  

In addition to the frame, transom windows have different types of glass. The most common glass types include clear glass, stained glass, leaded glass, and frosted glass.

Transom Window Shapes

There are three main transom window shapes. Most transom window shapes work the best in areas with high ceilings as an eight-foot ceiling will not have the clearance needed for most transom windows.

Fanned Window

Fanned WindowView in gallery
Lasley Brahaney

Fanned windows are the shape of a half circle. Architects also call this window a fanlight. You can find most of this shape on exterior doors and windows.

Solid Window

Solid WindowView in gallery
Tim Brown Architecture

Solid transom windows are one single pane of glass without dividers. This transom window is the most common in modern and contemporary home design or in rustic traditional design.

Paneled Window

Paneled WindowView in gallery

Paneled transoms have frames that divide the glass pane into transom lights. Builders create transom light into different shapes including squares, rectangles, and diamonds.

Transom Window Design

Transom windows on interior and exterior windows and doors create a look of distinction wherever you place them.

We have gathered some pictures of creative and elegant ways that others have used these windows to inspire you with ideas for your home. 

Stained Glass Transom Windows

Stained Glass Transom WindowsView in gallery
Elle Decor

Koo de Kir designed this entrance using a combination of distinct elements. They began by layering contrasting neutrals to create bold visual texture. The most interesting element and the focal point of the entry is the dramatic stained glass transom window. 

Transom Windows That Open

Transom Windows That OpenView in gallery
Old House Online

If you have an area where you want to increase the circulation of warm air from one room to another, consider a transom window that opens. An open transom window will capture and transfer the warm air that floats near the ceiling  

Transom Windows With Sidelights

Transom Windows With SidelightsView in gallery
Southern Living

Light in an entryway will set the tone of your home. Use unique transom designs and pair them with sidelights to bring in more light.

Bathroom Transom Window

Bathroom Transom WindowView in gallery
House of Hargrove

The House of Hargrove designed this bathroom with transom windows. Windows and bathrooms do not always work well together as people in the intimate space of a bathroom need total privacy. Transom windows work well in bathrooms as they bring in light but do not hinder privacy.

Window Everywhere

Window EverywhereView in gallery
Rambling Renovators

Rather than separate rooms with a solid wall, consider a glass divider. For this design, the homeowners used large windows and transoms to define the different spaces.

Unlike solid walls, these windows give the entire area the feel of openness with the benefit of defined areas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Are transom windows in style?

Like every style, the popularity of transom windows rises and falls. However, transoms are both practical and beautiful. Windows that look amazing and create more light will always be a classic look.

What was the purpose of a transom?

Transom windows serve multiple purposes: to provide additional light, to increase ventilation, and to make the ceilings look taller.

Why is it called a transom window?

These are called transom windows because they are above the transom, the crossbeam over doors or windows.

When would you use a transom window?

Transoms work best in rooms with high ceilings where you want to create more light but still need privacy. If you invest in a transom window that opens, you can also use the transom in a room where you want to increase airflow between rooms.

How much are transom windows installed?

According to Anderson Windows, a popular supplier of new windows, the price of transoms range from $175-$375. Installing these windows runs between $75-$200. Therefore, the price of transom windows plus installation is between $200-$575 per window.


Transom windows bring valuable benefits to your home including more natural light and increased ventilation.

In addition, more windows make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Adding new windows requires an initial investment, so it is worth considering your budget and your long-term goals before you make the decision to purchase them.

If you decide transom windows make sense for you, there are different options that will allow you to beautify and add value to your home and to stay within your means.