Can I Replace My Front Door Only And Not The Sidelights and Transoms?

What You Need To Know About Replacing Your
Front Door, Sidelights, And Transoms

Is It Possible To Replace My Front Door Only And
Not The Sidelight In Orange County, CA?

Are you looking to replace your Orange County, CA, entry door? Many homes here have sidelights and transoms to allow more of that beautiful Southern California sun to filter in – but do you need to replace these as well?

Unfortunately, with constant exposure to sunlight, older doors can start to show their age. Many homeowners are finding that their original front door is no longer in style or doesn’t meet today’s energy efficiency standards.

So what’s a Southern Californian to do?

You may be thinking:

  1. Do I need to replace all of them, or can I just do a door swap?
  2. The existing frame is rotten, but I like the sidelights. Should I replace those too?
  3. Is it possible to get a new door that will fit the current structure without touching the transom or sidelights?

Let’s take a closer look at each of these questions and help you make the best decision for your home.

Do I Need To Replace All Of Them Or
Just Do A Door Swap?

In short, you can opt to only replace your door, but there are a few key concepts you should consider before making a decision.

1. Is The Door Plumb, Level, and Square?

Our door technicians check if your walls are plumb, your floor is level and your door frame is square. Not sure what those mean? Here’s a brief rundown of these important terms:

  • Plumb – refers to a perfectly vertical wall.
  • Level – means your floor is even from front to back and side to side.
  • Square – describes a door frame 90 degrees at each corner.

If your door isn’t level, plumb, or square, that may indicate whether it will seal up tight against wind and weather or if gaps will let in drafts. If the opening isn’t level, we’ll need to adjust for that to make sure it is. The best way to do this is by removing the entire door unit, including the frame.

2. Do The Sidelights And Transom Match The Style
Of Your New Door?

You will need to examine the style of your sidelights and transom. If they are not the same style as your new door, it may be worthwhile to replace all three. The reason being a mismatched style can be an eyesore.

It may not seem like a big deal at first, but over time it will begin to bother you. It’s like having a picture hanging in your living room that’s just a little bit off-center. You don’t notice it at first, but eventually, it drives you nuts.

3. Does The Door System Work In Your Existing Frame?

Not all new door panels, slabs, or leafs will fit your existing frame. In fact, many new doors are too big or too small for older frames. Often, the manufacturer has changed the sizing or new materials impact the dimensions. If you have an old, out-of-date frame, only replacing the door could cause all sorts of problems down the road.

A too-small frame will stress the door every time it’s opened and closed, eventually leading to cracks or breaks. Too big of a frame, and you will leave gaps around the door, letting in drafts and making it more challenging to open and close.

To avoid these problems, it’s often best to replace the entire door unit, including the frame.

4. Do The Sidelights And Transom Match The Style Of Your Home?

Older or historic homes often have decorative sidelights and transoms that match the style of the home. If you’re planning to replace just the door, make sure the new door compliments the sidelights and transom. A mismatched style can make your home look like it’s been pieced together over time, devaluing the property.

5. Are The Sidelights And Transom In Good Condition?

If your sidelights and transom are in good condition and you’re happy with the way they look, there’s no need to replace them. In many cases, replacing the door doesn’t mean you have to replace everything.

On the other hand, if the sidelights and transom are in poor condition or you’re not happy with the way they look, replacing all three may be the best way to go.

Other questions to ask yourself:

  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • Is this your forever home, or will you sell in the next few years?
  • Are you planning to do a major renovation in the near future?

A temporary fix may be fine if you’re not planning to live in your home for very long.

But if you’re planning to stay in your home for years to come, it’s best to do the job right and replace the entire door unit, including the frame.

Is Your Orange County Front Entry Door Old And Outdated?
Let Us Help You Replace It Today!

If your Orange County, CA front door has eclipsed the point of salvaging, you can install a new one in just a few days! We’ll show you how easy it is to customize your new door and even bring our mobile showroom directly to your house so you can physically inspect samples of hardware, glass options, and other choices.

Ready to get started? Give us a call at (714) 974-5728 to schedule your free consultation.

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