According to architectural practices, “transom” is a term that is given to any transverse horizontal structural bar or beam. It is also used to describe a crosspiece that separates a door from the window located above it.
Transom windows, also known as transom lights or fanlights, are smaller-sized windows that are usually hinged and set above a doorframe or on a particularly high area of a wall. They have been used in architectural constructions for a very long time. The first were used to decorate early Gothic churches. These windows were unglazed windows located directly in the belfry. They also took the form of spire lights, where they were thought to be necessary to strengthen the overall church wall construction.
Toward the end of the Gothic period in architecture, it became common to include these types of windows in the designs of all structures, including residences and businesses. They were very popular in building construction before the advent of central air because buildings with these windows stayed cooler and more comfortable in the hot summer months than buildings without them.
Today, these window types are highly prized in a variety of architectural settings for the enhanced cross-ventilation they provide while at the same time maintaining an individual’s security and privacy. There are many different types of transom windows that are available on the market today. Here are descriptions of just a few.
This type of transom window is built with a frame that is paneled to create a symmetrical pattern or design similar to a grid. These windows are elegant, simple pieces that can be affixed by hinging either at the base or the top of the frame, or on both frame sides. The glass panels that make up this type of transom are almost always divided by vertical strips of metal or wood, but sometimes larger paneled glass transoms include horizontal pieces of wood.
In contrast to the multi-paneled transom, some transoms feature just one piece of glass inside a solid, sturdy frame. Like the paneled transoms style, these solid windows can be affixed or hinged at the frame’s top, bottom or both sides. These solid transoms often feature a heavy piece of frosted, brightly colored or intricately etched glass. They might also contain a piece of glass that is highly embellished for enhanced beauty.
These transoms are arched, fan-shaped or semicircular and are often called “fanlights” because they resemble open decorative fans. This type of window is either fixed in place or hinged at the base to allow the frame to swing from one direction to the other. This style of transom window is usually designed as much for decorative beauty as it is for practicality.
Major Brand Names
Most transom windows that are sold in the Northeast are constructed with vinyl and are manufactured by Pella. There are transoms available in other brand names, but Pella windows are some of the best.
Transoms can add beauty and functionality to any home or office building. To learn more about transom window styles and to see which one might be best for specific architectural needs, individuals should contact the professionals at United Home Experts.