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Tag: Custom Front Doors

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Transform Your Home’s Entryway With Sidelights And Transoms

Add Drama And Texture To Your Home’s First Impression

The spaces above and to the sides of many Orange County area home entryways are wasted opportunities to put your stamp on your home. Those plain slabs of material might surround your door with a clean look, but what do they say about you and your family?

With so many of the homes today looking so similar, your entryway is one of your few opportunities to really make a statement about who you are. And at Today’s Entry Doors, we excel at helping you shout your truth out to the world.

What In The World Are Sidelights And Transoms?

Unless you are in the industry, your first question might be, “What in the world are you talking about?” Well, we’re happy to explain. Here are some of the terms we’ll be using throughout this short guide:

  • Sidelight – A sidelight is the area to either side of an entry door that fills the rest of the framework in the openings, usually composed of mostly glass.
  • Transom – A transom serves the same purpose as a sidelight but is located above the door to fill the upper portion of the opening in the framework and is usually all glass.
  • Active Sidelight – An active sidelight is hinged so it can swing open to create an area for a breeze without opening the door.
  • Uneven Pair – Any combination of an entry door and a sidelight that allows the sidelight to act as a passive door. They are, in essence, an uneven pair of doors with the sidelight also able to open and create a larger opening.

There is one item that absolutely must be understood before you start planning a new look for your home’s entryway.

Your entryway options are determined by the size of the framework around your opening. This means you can’t create a wider or taller framework to accommodate adding sidelights or transoms.

Whatever combination you choose, your entry door, transom, and sidelights must fit in the framework as it sits.

For example, suppose you have two 30” wide doors that are unusually tall at 96” right now. In that case, you could replace them with a single standard 36” door (at the average 80” height), a transom 16” high, and two sidelights a little under 12” each (to account for the door’s frame) for a new and exciting look.

And if you made one of the sidelights an uneven pair sidelight, you’d still have a nice wide space (47+”) to move furniture and appliances through with ease.

Explore The Possibilities

With all the options available, size, style, glass types, hinged or no, the possible combinations are nearly limitless. And with our mobile showroom, making your choice is no more difficult than a walk to your curb.


Entryway with a white door and glass transom that matches the door’s sidelights

Transoms sit above your door and travel all the way across as an integral part of the entry door system. All of our transoms are created with your choice of our many decorative panes of glass.


Dramatic double-door entryway with sidelights that match the doors’s arched glass

While paired sidelights tend to add the most impact to the look of your entryway, many homeowners have elected to install just one sidelight to the left or right of their entry door.

Sidelights are all about the glass. While cross braces can complement an architectural theme, open glass panes will make your neighbors take notice. There’s something about the clean, artistic look of decorative glass panes (especially with light shining through at night) that draws the eye.

Active Sidelights

Beautiful wooded-style door with an active sidelight on the left side

Adding a hinged side to one of your sidelights increases their utility with no effect on their aesthetic appeal. It is best to limit your entryway to only one active sidelight to prevent bowing of the pillars holding the door.

The Benefits Of Sidelights And Transoms

While sidelights and transoms offer a chance to transform the look of your home’s entryway, that isn’t all they offer.

Glass inserts let more natural light into your home without the potential security risk of a large glass panel in the door itself. Transoms are an especially secure way to let light in and are only a risk if your local thief is the acrobatic type.

Sidelights can offer more than just increased light when they are active. You can open just the sidelight to let in the cool afternoon breeze that is one of the best features of Orange County life.

And if you are worried about letting bugs into your home, we can fit retractable screens into the system to keep those noseeums outside where they belong.

Plus, with all the glass types and designs available, your sidelights and transoms can give you the amount of privacy you require. From clear glass, to decorative, to frosted or obscured, the choice is yours to make.

If you are interested in adding a little pizzazz to the entryway of your Orange County area home, contact us at Today’s Entry Doors for a free consultation.


How We Guarantee No Mistakes

This Is How Our High-Quality ‘No Mistakes’ Control Methods Ensure Your Front Door Will Be EXACTLY What You Ordered

Here at Today’s Entry Doors, new customers are often surprised by how simple and straightforward our contracts are.

The reason for this is simple: because of our quality control methods, we don’t need to add tons of fine print or legalese to try and protect our company from things going wrong.

They won’t, and they don’t. We’ve been at this for decades.

Let’s talk about some of these measures we have in place to ensure your entry door is the Very Best Door it can be.

What Happens When Custom Front Doors Arrive At Our Warehouse

After your custom entry door is built, the core slab(s) and other major parts and accessories are shipped to our warehouse here in Orange County, CA.

We typically see at least one truck a day, carrying anywhere from two to as many as ten entry door systems.

They’re specially crated together, sort of like you would see with a large piece of fine furniture. The door itself is placed inside the crate, secured and protected. Plus, for us, they’re much easier to unload off the trailer tractor this way.

Then We Begin Our Inspection Process

We make sure every entry door system that leaves our warehouse and is installed in a local home is of the highest quality. Period.

  • Reminder: To see our quality control in action, head on over and bookmark our Entry Door Galleries. We have hundreds of real project photos from across the Orange County, CA area to see for yourself.
  • We inspect each entry door for 20-30 minutes before putting them safely in our warehouse for temporary storage.
  • Our inspection process is focused on accuracy and quality.
    • Accuracy: Not only in terms of ensuring you get the exact door you paid for, but that all the technical details like swing, build, and measurements are as they should be.
    • Quality: Our standards are pretty high, but we don’t expect absolute perfection. These are premium artisan-level products almost entirely processed by hand (cut by hand, glass installed by hand, prepped and mortised by hand, painted and packaged by hand, etc.).

If you grab a giant magnifying glass, you can find all kinds of evidence of this method of hand-crafting. When you order a hand painting, do you want it to look like a machine print?


This is why the vast majority of our customers aren’t looking for perfection either. They WANT unique craftsmanship.


Sometimes there will be itsy-bitsy bubbles or tiny hard-to-see blemishes in the paint.

Sometimes there’s what we like to call ‘paw prints’ from having so many different hands on them from initial creation through the manufacturing and transportation process (easy to clean off).

Or, we might see some almost microscopic blemishes where the hinges are prepped.

Rarely is there anything seriously wrong with these Fiberglass Entry Door Systems. But, does it happen from time to time, though? Sure.

What Happens When There’s A Serious Quality Issue?

If we find a serious issue with the door or it simply doesn’t meet our standards (or your expectations), we work with the manufacturer to get the situation dealt with promptly.

In a year, however, out of hundreds and hundreds of custom entry doors, we might only have to do this once or twice. Maybe it was accidental shipping damage. Maybe there’s an issue with the glass that wasn’t spotted before shipment.

Regardless, you’re in the loop, informed, and updated every step of the way.

After your entry door passes inspection, you’ll get a friendly call from us, where we’ll work with you to schedule your installation on the first available date.

To learn more about our process directly, reach out and Contact Today’s Entry Doors. We’ll happily walk you through the details and answer your questions. Hope to hear from you soon!